The Citizenship Experiment

Contesting the Limits of Civic Equality and Participation in the Age of Revolutions


The Citizenship Experiment explores the fate of citizenship ideals in the Age of Revolutions. While in the early 1790s citizenship ideals in the Atlantic world converged, the twin shocks of the Haitian Revolution and the French Revolutionary Terror led the American, French, and Dutch publics to abandon the notion of a shared, Atlantic, revolutionary vision of citizenship. Instead, they forged conceptions of citizenship that were limited to national contexts, restricted categories of voters, and ‘advanced’ stages of civilization. Weaving together the convergence and divergence of an Atlantic revolutionary discourse, debates on citizenship, and the intellectual repercussions of the Terror and the Haitian Revolution, Koekkoek offers a fresh perspective on the revolutionary 1790s as a turning point in the history of citizenship.

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Biographical Note
René Koekkoek, Ph.D. (2016) is Assistant Professor in Political History at Utrecht University. His research focuses on the history of political thought and culture in the early-modern Atlantic world. This is his first book.
All interested in the history of the Age of Atlantic Revolutions, the American, French, Dutch, and Haitian revolutions, as well as the history of political thought, citizenship, and empire. Keywords are citizenship, revolution, Atlantic world, equality, participation, Haitian Revolution, Terror, rights, civilization, 1790s, exclusion, inequality, popular societies.
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