Michelet, Jules


Michelet, Jules
(1798–1874)
   One of France’s foremost nineteenth-century historians, Jules Michelet was born in Paris less than a decade after the French Revolution. Michelet worked from a young age in his father’s print shop; however, in 1817, he passed the baccalauréat with high honors. He then held a variety of teaching positions until 1822, when he was appointed specifically to teach history - only recently added to the curriculum, and still viewed with suspicion by the government - at the Collège Sainte-Barbe. In 1827, Michelet was invited to teach philosophy and history at the École Normale and later became keeper of the national historical archives from 1831 to 1852 and held a Chair at the Collège de France from 1838 to 1851.
   Michelet came to believe that the study of world history revealed a progressive movement from enslavement to liberty and that France had a crucial role to play in the next phase of world history - the unification of humanity. Hence, he sought to acquaint himself with every possible detail of France’s past. In doing so, he produced a vast body of historical work. His massive History of France was published in 17 volumes between 1833 and 1869. His History of the French Revolution - 1847–1853, seven volumes - and History of the Nineteenth Century - 1872–1874, three volumes -were also written on a grand scale and in a florid, literary style. Michelet eventually came to see the French Revolution as the moment when nations, and France in particular, attained the final stage of self-consciousness. His glowing patriotism and intense sense of what it meant to be French, combined with a strong current of enlightenment universalism, meant that he came to view France as “the brilliant culmination of universal history.” As he recalled in retrospect, “I arrived both through logic and through history at the same conclusion: that my glorious motherland is henceforth the pilot of the vessel of humanity.” He believed that these views were justifiable because France had built its identity on the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The popularity of Michelet’s work waned sharply after his death, but it was extremely well received during his lifetime and inspired in many significant public figures both patriotism and a belief in the unique mission of France to disseminate the values of the revolution abroad.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Kippur, S. A. Jules Michelet, a Study of Mind and Sensibility. New York: State University of New York Press, 1981.
   PAUL LAWRENCE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Michelet, Jules — born Aug. 21, 1798, Paris, France died Feb. 9, 1874, Hèyres French nationalist historian. He taught history and philosophy before he was appointed head of the historical section of the Record Office in 1831. His time there provided him with… …   Universalium

  • Michelet, Jules — (1798 1874)    historian, writer    Born in Paris, Jules Michelet, a leading French historian, at the end of a poor and laborious adolescence during which he worked in his father s print shop, began his brilliant studies at the École normale… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Michelet, Jules — ► (1798 1874) Historiador francés. Autor de Historia de Francia (1833 67) en la que consigue hacer revivir el pasado de su patria por la fuerza del estilo y la pasión. * * * (21 ago. 1798, París, Francia–9 feb. 1874, Hèyres). Historiador… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Michelet,Jules — Mi·che·let (mēsh ə lāʹ, mēsh lāʹ), Jules. 1798 1874. French historian noted for his lively 17 volume Histoire de France (1833 1867). * * * …   Universalium

  • MICHELET, JULES —    French historian, born in Paris; was the author among other works of a History of France in 18 vols., and a History of the Revolution in 7 vols.; he cherished a great animosity against the priests, and especially the Jesuits, whom he assailed… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Michelet — Michelet, Jules …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jules Michelet — por Félix Nadar …   Wikipedia Español

  • Michelet — (Jules) (1798 1874) historien et écrivain français. Il enseigne au Collège de France (1838), où son libéralisme et son anticléricalisme le font suspendre. Il perd définitivement sa chaire (1851), puis sa fonction aux Archives (1852). Son Histoire …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jules Michelet — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Michelet. Jules Michelet …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jules Michelet — Portrait of Jules Michelet by Thomas Couture Jules Michelet (21 August 1798 – 9 February 1874) was a French historian. He was born in Paris to a family with Huguenot traditions. Contents …   Wikipedia


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