What has caused the formulation of theory regarding to French Revolution?

The polarization of Europe’s politics into Left and Right also encouraged new ideas of the revolution which led to radical upheavals and subversion of such basic social institutions as family and property.

By 19th century, the revolution had become a universal force-an ideological form of politics that first influenced Europe and then the world.

This resulted in the construction of a conspiracy theory on the origins of the Revolution. The Revolution began to be seen by many (like Edmund Burke) as a conspiracy by an active minority who were fed by the teaching of philosophers and had all veneration for ancient institutions and demanded a new deal.

This minority was poisoned by the new doctrines and in the name of democracy undermined authority and damaged social stability. Many (like Austrian chancellor Metternich) reared the outbreak of revolution in other parts of Europe and this gave birth to the theory of conspiracy which haunted many government and conservative leaders.

The general impression persisted throughout the nineteenth century that the French Revolution was the outcome of conspiracy for which contemporary groups like freemasonry and men of revolutionary ideology were held responsible for overthrowing ‘legitimate’ authorities. The conspiracy theories promoted and sustained the language of civil war in politics.


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The theory of conspiracy was revived with its old myth when the civil war erupted in Parts after the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-71. This impression was created because some Persian freemasons had tried to mediate between the rebels and the government.

Interestingly Nicholas Decamps in his book Less Society’s (The Societies and the Society) saw freemasonry behind the German unification.

The conspiracy theory was also applied throughout the nineteenth century to Protestants, Jesuits and Jews. The Jews were also accused of plotting the rise of Prussia under Bismarck, in association with Protestants and freemasons.


The publication of Eduard Dumont’s best seller La France Juiva (The French Jew Women) in 1886 saw the beginning of anti-Jewish propaganda in many parts of Europe. Anti- Semitism became a major conservative theme in the late nineteenth century. An anti-Semitic paranoia got a major twist in France through the Dreyfus affair (1894-99). Its aftermath could be seen even during the Second World War.

The formation of International Socialism in London in 1864, consisting of labor representatives and socialist parties of some European nations, was seen by many in context of the theory of conspiracy. There were many who held it responsible for the Paris Commune of 1871. Interpreting political events in terms of conspiracies is a tendency whose origins can be easily treated to the days of French Revolution.

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