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Amalgamating the Social in the French Revolution
Abstract

The French Revolution has long depended on social factors to explain its causes, course, and consequences. In particular, Marxist explanations held sway throughout the first three-quarters of the twentieth century. In the last twenty years or so, linguistically driven works pushed the social aside and became the leading viewpoint. However, a current wave of scholarship suggests a differing approach in which the social returns but significantly altered. First, it arrives linked to cultural or ideational factors. Second, bourgeois class consciousness emerges from commercial links, not from the precise social position of individual entrepreneurs.