France declares war on Austria (the War of the First Coalition)

(118 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

The National Assembly, led by the Girondin faction and encouraged by Louis XVI, declares war on Austria which is threatening to attack France on the pretext of supporting Marie Antoinette, an Austrian princess, and in order to restore the monarchy to the throne. The army was in a poor state, officers having fled abroad. The value of the new currency, the assignats was falling steeply. The situation came to a head in the summer of 1792 as the monarchists hoped for a restoration and the king dismissed his Girondin ministers. The Assembly responded by calling up the national guard from provincial cites. The Duke of Brunwswick responded with a decree threatening the Parisians with mass executions, inflaming public opinion.

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Editors. "France declares war on Austria (the War of the First Coalition)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 January 2008
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. French Revolution and French Revolutionary Wars: 1789-1802