Sister Republic

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The Sister Republics (French: républiques sœurs) were republican governments established or assisted by the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. Ideals favored by the National Convention and Robespierre during the period were popular sovereignty, rule by law, and representative democracy. The republicans also borrowed ideas and values from Whiggism and Enlightenment philosophers.

The French Republic supported the spread of republican principles in Europe, but most of these sister republics became a means of controlling occupied lands through a mix of French and local power as client states. The institution of republican governments promoted nationalism over the monarchy, primarily the Bourbons and Habsburgs.

In France, Revolutionary Republicanism was, in part, based on limiting corruption and greed, which the revolutionaries saw as endemic at the time but more readily preventable in a popular republic. A genuinely virtuous citizen was one that ignored monetary compensation and made a commitment to resist and eradicate corruption. The Republic was sacred; therefore, it was necessary to serve the state in a truly representative way, ignoring self-interest and individual will.

Republicanism required the service of those who were willing to give up their own interests for a common good. According to Bernard Bailyn, "The preservation of liberty rested on the ability of the people to maintain effective checks on wielders of power and hence in the last analysis rested on the vigilance and moral stamina of the people." Virtuous citizens needed to be strong defenders of liberty and challenge the corruption and greed in government. The duty of the virtuous citizen become a foundation for the American Revolution.[1] The French Revolution looked to incorporate these founding ideals and to export them throughout the balance of Europe as well. However, most of these French client republics were quite short-lived. As the revolutionary republic became the Napoleonic Empire, they were often annexed to France proper or subsumed into more openly French puppet regimes.

French sister republics of Italy[edit]

France and sister republics in 1798.

Other French sister republics[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967)