Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is History Repeating Itself?

Did a volcanic eruption in Iceland in 1783 precipitate the economic and agrarian disasters which helped to bring about the French Revolution? According to Euronews:
A French historian says it has happened before.

Emmanuel Garnier argues that a volcanic eruption in Iceland in 1783 brought freak weather conditions in Europe that indirectly led to the French Revolution.

“Without a doubt, repeated episodes of eruptions, droughts and floods across Europe played a not insignificant role,” he said. “In France, in particular, in July 1788, there was a storm which destroyed all the main regions which produced wheat for Paris. The next year, in May 1789 to be precise, just at the beginning of the Revolution, we see that the first revolts were not outside Versailles, but outside the bakeries. And that is no coincidence.”


Brantigny said...

Yes! This effect was taken advantage of by the Philosophes, using the plight of a normally happy people by accusing themonarchy of not helping their subjects. "Never waste a good crisis" was the mantra of the Jacobins, long before Rahm Emanuel.
The mob is so easily led, then and now...

Julygirl said...

The weather has certainly had an historical effect on events past and present.