Long Reads: France's First Revolution w/ Justine Firnhaber-Baker

If you think about the French revolutionary tradition, you’re most likely to picture the storming of the Bastille and the overthrow of the monarchy. But that wasn’t the first time there was a major uprising against the established order in France. In the second half of the fourteenth century, there was a popular revolt known as the Jacquerie, which terrified the French ruling class. They drowned the revolt in blood and set about demonizing the peasants who took part in it. It was only in the wake of a successful revolution four centuries later that historians began taking a fresh look at the Jacquerie.

Long Reads is joined by Justine Firnhaber-Baker to discuss this uprising. She's a professor of history at the University of St Andrews and the author of The Jacquerie of 1358: A French Peasants’ Revolt. Published in 2021, the book was the first major study of the Jacquerie since the nineteenth century.

Read her article for Jacobin, "The Jacquerie Was a Great Popular Rebellion Against the Rich Nobles of France" here: https://jacobin.com/2023/09/jacquerie-peasant-revolt-france-middle-ages-class-conflict-nobility

Long Reads is a Jacobin podcast looking in-depth at political topics and thinkers, both contemporary and historical, with the magazine’s longform writers. Hosted by features editor Daniel Finn. Produced by Conor Gillies, music by Knxwledge.

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