Mathiez, Albert

Mathiez, Albert älbĕrˈ mätyāˈ [key], 1874–1932, French historian, an authority on the French Revolution. He studied under Aulard, whose scientific method he adopted, although it led him to different conclusions. Although not a member of the Socialist party, Mathiez was a follower of Jean Jaurès. Mathiez's chief work, La Révolution français (3 vol., 1922–27; tr. 1928, repr. 1962), was essentially a socialist interpretation. For Mathiez, the French Revolution began as a struggle between the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy, but evolved into a conflict that pitted the middle class against the working class. He saw the terror as a necessary response to the circumstances, and characterized Robespierre as the patron of popular democracy, and regretted Robespierre's overthrow. He published many studies of Robespierre, but no complete biography.

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