French Revolution Resources

Sep 2015

I know there's a section in the forum for teachers but it doesn't appear as active as this one.

I teach a French History unit at a sixth form (16-17 year olds) and currently looking for primary source material on life in the Third Estate under the Ancien Regime. I notice a piece written by Sieyes 'What Is The Third Estate?' comes up often on web searches but isn't quite what I'm after. Could anyone suggest any primary sourcebooks I could consult?

Apr 2011
Vancouver, BC
Do you have a particular focus area regarding the Third Estate?

You're covering a really broad area in the Third Estate: Its basically every French person who isn't part of the royalty, nobility or clergy.

Are you looking mostly at city-dwelling artisans? peasantry? merchants/traders? A Paris-focus? A provincial focus?

And also, in regards to the Ancien Regime, do you have a particular area of years you are looking for information on?

Is it just immediately prior to the Revolution with which you are concerned?

Maybe something like Arthur Young’s Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, 1789 would be of help:

Arthur Young?s Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, 1789 - Online Library of Liberty
Apr 2011
Vancouver, BC
You could also look at the many Third Estate cahiers de doleances (lists of grievances) that were formulated in the lead up to the meeting of the Estates General in 1789.