Napoleon and the French Revolution

Napoleon and the French Revolution

“The Liberal Revolution: Short Notes on the Greek War for Independence of 1821”

Prof. Aristides Chatzis’s short notes will be posted here regarding the Revolution of 1821.

Aristides Chatzis is Professor of Philosophy of Law and Institutional Theory at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and member of the KEFiM’s Academic Board. His books Liberalism (2nd edition 2017), Arguments of Freedom (2017) and Institutions (2018) are published by Papadopoulos Publishing. His monograph on the liberal character of the Revolution of 1821 will be released in the US. in early 2021. He gives thanks to KEFiM for its support.

Napoleon and the French Revolution, in my opinion, opened the world’s eyes. At first, the nations were ignorant, they believed their kings to be gods on earth, and anything they did they would call it: a job well done. That’s why it is harder to govern the people now.

[The excerpts are from the memoirs of Theodoros Kolokotronis: Interpretation of the Events of the Greek Race from 1770 to 1836. Dictated by Theodoros Konstantinos Kolokotronis. Editing by Georgios Tertsetis (1846), p. 49. The picture you see is probably a minor painting by Jacques-Louis David (or his assistants) while he was preparing his large painting (4 x 6.6 meters) entitled “The Tennis Court Oath” (Le Serment du Jeu de paume), the event that sparked the revolution. He began the preparation in 1790 with the strengthening of the Jacobin club initially and the National Assembly afterwards. He even put in subscriptions. But on the one hand, the money was not enough for him to finish it, and on the other, the protagonists of the image were being sent, one after the other, to the guillotine. So, in 1793 he abandoned it for economic, political and personal reasons. The unfinished (large) painting is currently in Versailles. The smallest painting with the same theme (the one you see) is at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, a small but beautiful museum, three hundred meters from the Place des Vosges.]

[Aristides Chatzis, The Liberal Revolution, Note 2]