Amazoncom the french revolution and the birth of electoral democracy 9781409454717 melvin edelstein books. Editorial reviews melvin edelsteins the french revolution and the birth of electoral democracy is an earnest and extremely meticulous analysis of electoral practices in the french revolution and their implications for the broader quetsion of democratic political apprenticeship. Democracy is perhaps the defining characteristic of modern western society but even as late as the nineteenth century it was often viewed with suspicion by many who saw it as akin to anarchy and mob rule. It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of elections during the french revolution by late 1790 over a million legislative administrative judicial and clerical positions had been created and opened to selection by the electorate. Over the last 20 years the political history of the french revolution has become more closely integrated with the study of political culture and elections and electoral practices have gained new prominence in revolutionary historiography
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