By Alphonse Aulard
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:February 2012
Original Publication Year:1921
Subjects: European history after 1450
Alphonse Aulard (1849–1928) was the first French historian to use nineteenth-century historicist methods in the study of the French Revolution. Pioneered by German historians such as Leopold van Ranke, this approach emphasised empiricism, objectivity and the scientific pursuit of facts, rather than the philosophical and literary concerns that had guided earlier scholars. Aulard's commitment to archival investigation is evidenced by the many edited collections of primary sources that appear in his extensive publication record. In these eight volumes of papers analysing the French Revolution (published 1893–1921), Aulard sought to apply the principles of historicism to reveal the truth. The work draws on earlier journal articles and lectures which Aulard delivered as Professor of the History of the French Revolution at the Sorbonne, a post he had held since 1885. Volume 8 (1921) describes the annexation by France of land in the Rhine Valley, and compares the French and American Revolutions.