Foreign Policy and the French Revolution: Charles-François by Patricia Chastain Howe (auth.)

By Patricia Chastain Howe (auth.)

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Additional info for Foreign Policy and the French Revolution: Charles-François Dumouriez, Pierre LeBrun, and the Belgian Plan, 1789–1793

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After leaving his father’s tutelage, Dumouriez continued to be a voracious reader and scholar, receiving his formal schooling at the Collège of Louis-le-Grand in Paris, the same college attended by LeBrun a decade later. There he pored over the works of Plutarch, Montaigne, Pascal, Bayle, and Voltaire and was particularly influenced by the writings of the philosophes. In 1755, Dumouriez’s father sent him to Versailles to live for a year with one of his uncles, a first commis in the Ministry of Interior under the 24 Foreign Policy and the French Revolution Duke de la Vrillière, where he became acquainted with life at the court of Louis XV and practiced the martial arts.

Members had established branches in all the provinces, distributed pamphlets calling for resistance to the Austrian decrees, collected weapons and money, and organized revolutionary committees to plan local rebellions. The successful revolution in Liège in August furthered their mobilization of a patriot army when they received permission from LeBrun’s friend Fabry, bourgmestre of Liège, to train the Belgian volunteers on Liégeois soil. There thousands of youths arriving from the Belgian provinces joined hundreds of Belgians deserting the Austrian army of occupation.

While Choiseul was unwilling to commit French forces to a war in central Europe, he felt it necessary to superintend the political and military activities Dumouriez and the Belgian Revolution 25 of the Polish Confederation of Bar, the French-supported league of Polish nobles leading the resistance. This task he entrusted to Dumouriez, giving him financial and diplomatic carte blanche. To prepare, Dumouriez read everything available on the history and geography of Poland as well as all the dispatches of French agents who had served there since 1764.

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