1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aulard, François Victor Alphonse

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2
Aulard, François Victor Alphonse by Charles Bémont
15694801911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2 — Aulard, François Victor AlphonseCharles Bémont

AULARD, FRANÇOIS VICTOR ALPHONSE (1849–  ), French historian, was born at Montbron in Charente in 1849. Having obtained the degree of doctor of letters in 1877 with a Latin thesis upon C. Asinius Pollion and a French one upon Giacomo Leopardi (whose works he subsequently translated into French), he made a study of parliamentary oratory during the French Revolution, and published two volumes upon Les Orateurs de la constituante (1882) and upon Les Orateurs de la législative et de la convention (1885). With these works, which were reprinted in 1905, he entered a fresh field, where he soon became an acknowledged master. Applying to the study of the French Revolution the rules of historical criticism which had produced such rich results in the study of ancient and medieval history, he devoted himself to profound research in the archives, and to the publication of numerous most important contributions to the political, administrative and moral history of that marvellous period. Appointed professor of the history of the French Revolution at the Sorbonne, he formed the minds of students who in their turn have done valuable work. To him we owe the Recueil des actes du comité de salut public (vol. i., 1889; vol. xvi., 1904); La Société des Jacobins; recueil de documents pour l’histoire du club des Jacobins de Paris (6 vols., 1889–1897); and Paris pendant la réaction thermidorienne et sous le directoire, recueil de documents pour l’histoire de l’esprit public à Paris (5 vols., 1898–1902), which was followed by an analogous collection for Paris sous le consulat (2 vols., 1903–1904). For the Société de l’Histoire de la Révolution Française, which brought out under his supervision an important periodical publication called La Révolution française, he produced the Registre des délibérations du consulat provisoire (1894), and L’État de la France en l’an VIII et en l’an IX, with the reports of the prefects (1897), besides editing various works or memoirs written by men of the Revolution, such as J. C. Bailleul, Chaumette, Fournier (called the American), Hérault de Séchelles, and Louvet de Couvrai. But these large collections of documents are not his entire output. Besides a little pamphlet upon Danton, he has written a Histoire politique de la Révolution française (1901), and a number of articles which have been collected in volumes under the title Études et leçons sur la Révolution française (5 vols., 1893–1908). In a volume entitled Taine, historien de la Révolution française (1908), Aulard has submitted the method of the eminent philosopher to a criticism, severe, perhaps even unjust, but certainly well-informed. This is, as it were, the “manifesto” of the new school of criticism applied to the political and social history of the Revolution (see Les Annales Révolutionnaires, June 1908).

See A. Mathiez, “M. Aulard, historien et professeur,” in the Revue de la Révolution française (July 1908).  (C. B.*)