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The Revolution and The French Establishments in India (1790-1793)

Marguerite V Labernadie (Author) Arghya Bose (Editor) Sandhia Vasseur (Translator) Arghya Bose (Translator)

When, on February 22, 1790, a French barge by the name of ‘Bienvenue’ came ashore Pondichéry with the news of the events in Paris around the meeting of the Estates General, the storming of the Bastille and the abolition of feudal rights; it sent out a wave of topsy-turving repercussions amongst both the French and the English colonial administrations in India. Excited with the newly found principles that were inherent in the cries of the Revolution in France, yet, not knowing their precise socio-political extents and implications, each of the five French settlements on the Indian subcontinent came to create their own individual ‘revolutions’ – periods of mostly confusing and sometimes violent socio-political upheaval.  Wellesley, on the other hand, fearing the influence of the principles of the French Revolution on the employees of the English East India Company, asked his superiors in London for the establishment of a college in Fort William in order to train men in the service of the Company against such ‘erroneous principles’. How do these revolutions in each of the French settlements in India – in some ways, mirror events of the 1789 Revolution in the metropolis – unfold? Where, exactly, did the universalist values of the Revolution find its boundaries when applied in contemporaneous colonial India? And how were the diametrically opposite values of imperial and republican France sought to be accommodated in such a context?  Labernadie’s intricately detailed narrative from 1930 developed out of a privileged access to the French colonial administrative (yet unpublished) archives and correspondences based in Pondichéry, along with the contemporary interventions of Jacques Weber and Hari Shankar Vasudevan ensure a volume that is not only rich in material resources, but also intellectually nourishing; compelling its readers to reflect on questions of transcolonial experiences and mixed modernities in colonial India, as much as the very consequences of a revolution that fundamentally changed the manner in which politics came to be thought of thence.   

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Bibliographic information

Title The Revolution and The French Establishments in India (1790-1793)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 23.07.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Setu Prakashani
Language: English
isbn 9788198945186
length x+399p.,5.5 x 8.5
Subjects History