DiscoverGrey History: The French Revolution
Grey History: The French Revolution

Grey History: The French Revolution

Author: William Clark

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History isn't black and white, yet too often it's presented as such. Grey History is a podcast dedicated to retelling great historical events, but in a way that highlights contradiction, dissent and contrasting conclusions. Why? Because it's in the grey that history has its beauty, its intrigue, and most importantly its lessons.

Current Season:
The French Revolution - Tyrants and Terrorists
27 Episodes
Civil war erupts within the Jacobin Club as Brissot and Robespierre denounce each other's solutions to the nation's woes. Diplomatic and ministerial crises finally trigger conflict between France and Austria in April 1792. Support the show: the show:
1.25 The Road to War

1.25 The Road to War


European monarchs threatened war and Jacobin deputies embraced the challenge. A strange alliance is forged between the Brissotins and the Court as the nation prepares for conflict, while the offical justifications for war hid more sinister motivations.Maps of the Holy Roman Empire: the show: on Facebook:
New assembly, new problems. As the Legislative Assembly gathers in Paris in October 1791, a new generation of revolutionaries are forced to confront a multitude of threats. The solutions embraced by the deputies were both dramatic controversial.Support the show: on Facebook:
With the democrats on the run, the newly established Feuillant Club had an opportunity to revise the constitution and cement its power. King Louis XVI accepts the Constitution of 1791, but historians and contemporaries alike criticise the document for possessing countless flaws. Patreon:
King fled. Captured Instead. Trouble Ahead. With the nation shocked by the King's attempted escape, public debate erupted over the future of both the monarch and the monarchy. Unfortunately for the revolutionary left, these divisive debates resulted in bloodshed and repression. Who should be blamed for the Champ de Mars Massacre, and how successful was the Tricolour Terror it unleashed?Support the show: on Facebook:
Show Update April 2020

Show Update April 2020


When will season one end? What will be the topic of season two? How can you access Grey History's new bonus content, including Episode Extras, Stand Alone Episodes and Mini-Series? This is the update that answers it all (sort of).Support the show on Patreon for as little as $1 an episode, and gain access to exclusive bonus content: the show on Facebook:
1.21 Run Louis Run

1.21 Run Louis Run


The King escapes Paris in the famous Flight to Varennes. As the revolution was devoured by the left and the right, what was the true catalyst for Louis' decision to flee? What prevented the daring escape from succeeding? Maps of the Flight to the Show on
As religious divisions threaten the peace, the Assembly makes an enemy of France's warrior class. Mirabeau, seeking to save the revolution from its increasing radicalism, enters into secret dealings with the court. Were his actions justified?Facebook Page:
1.19 A Holy War Begins

1.19 A Holy War Begins


The Catholic Church becomes the revolution's most tenacious and ferocious foe. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy forces the nation to choose between revolution and religion. Was this conflict inevitable, or did the revolutionaries simply make a terrible mistake?
A popular, revolutionary sentiment sweeps across the nation. To express support for this new nationalism, the French people create a whole host of new ceremonies and customs. But do these traditions truly represent national unity?Check out illustration of liberty trees, federations and Phrygian caps here:
1.17 Rivals for Power

1.17 Rivals for Power


The Assembly's authority was being challenged by a variety of revolutionary actors both inside and outside of Paris. Attempting to command greater authority, the Assembly introduced sweeping administrative and judicial reforms.
1.16 Clubbing in Paris

1.16 Clubbing in Paris


Division and disunity grip the Assembly. As factions, societies and clubs begin to dominate the political landscape, the Assembly finds itself embroiled in divisive debates concerning universal male suffrage and martial law.
1.15 The October Days

1.15 The October Days


A great revolt consumes Paris. It almost consumes the monarchy itself. The success of the royal veto and the King's refusal to sign the revolutionary decrees of August combine with a number of factors to bring about a popular revolt.... supposedly.
The Great Fear was followed by great achievements. In an effort to tame the peasant uprisings, the deputies attacked feudalism as well. The rights of man were declared to consolidate the revolution, and the role of the King in society became a central debate.
1.13 The Great Fear

1.13 The Great Fear


'The Great Fear' focuses on France's slide into anarchy. Fear and paranoia drive the populace to take up arms, and a municipal revolution occurs. When the forces of counter-revolution fail to take their revenge on the people, the peasants take theirs instead.
Episode 12, 'The Storming of the Bastille', examines the famous storming of the Bastille, the creation of Paris’ new municipal government by the Electors, and the symbolism of the Bastille both before and after its fall.
Episode 11, 'The Parisian Powder Keg', details the events in Paris as Necker is dismissed from the ministry on July 11 1789 and a counter-revolutionary coup is commenced by the King and his allies. This episode examines how the effects of hunger, freedom of the press and rumoured conspiracy impacted Paris’ willingness to revolt, as well as the actions undertaken by various social classes within the city to protect themselves against numerous enemies (counter-revolutionary or otherwise).
Episode 10, 'The National Assembly', explores how the Estates General transforms itself into the National Assembly, how the dramatic Tennis Court Oath is undertaken, and how the Court responds to the renegade Third Estate.
1.09 The Estates General

1.09 The Estates General


Episode 9, 'The Estates General', examines the events that unfold once the Estates General meets at Versailles on 5 May 1789. The episode also explores the impact of food scarcity on the French nation and its bloody consequences.
King Louis XVI announced the summoning of the Estates-General, but that did little to contain the kingdom's growing unrest. The Paris Parlement was ridiculed by the public for attempting to ensure the nobility dominated the body, while Necker struggled to grapple with the violent situation he faced as he determined how the Estates-General should be constituted. Finally, the nation listed their grievances as they elected their delegates, giving us a snapshot into the thoughts of a nation on the brink of revolution.
Comments (2)

Harald Kaiser Hermann

Very well told and well edited. The host has a very funny and interesting way of telling this story.

Mar 18th
Reply (1)
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