The French Revolution as an Imperial Revolution

Megan Maruschke (Uni DUE), Manuel Covo (UCSB)

Publication Date

August 2021


Duke University Press






French Historical Studies







Additional Information


Attempts to reframe the Age of Revolutions as imperial in nature have not fully integrated the French Revolution. Replying to this gap and criticisms of the Revolution’s global turn, this essay positions the Revolution as both a moment of imperial reorganization and a sequence of political reinvention that exceed our current categories of empire and nation-state. These arguments open a forum comprising five contributions set in transimperial contexts that span from the Indian to the Atlantic Ocean. The forum offers some points of reflection regarding the narratives, periodizations, and concepts that guide historians of the French Revolution as they navigate the global turn.

Biographical Note

Megan Maruschke (University Duisburg Essen, Germany)

Originally from the US, Megan Maruschke came to Leipzig in 2010 to join the Erasmus Mundus MA Programme “Global Studies – A European Perspective”. She also studied in Italy and Poland. In 2012, she started her PhD research at Leipzig within the Research Training Group (GK 1261): “Critical Junctures of Globalization”. She wrote her dissertation on the history of free port and free trade zone practices since the mid-nineteenth century in Mumbai, India. Her current research deals with the way in which the French Revolution challenged concepts of space in the Americas. She is now a scientific assistant in History at the University Duisburg Essen, Germany.

Manuel Covo (University of California Santa Barbara, USA)

Manuel Covo is an assistant professor at the History department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is working on the transition from early modern to modern European colonialism in the long eighteenth century. He specialized in French imperialism, political economy and Atlantic revolutions, with a special focus on the impact of the Haitian Revolution on France and the United States.