From Prairial to Pop Culture: The French Revolution in 2015. Day One, the political meaning of Prairial

Hello readers,

Following on last summer’s fabulous “Thermidor Fun facts,” this summer we are featuring a series called “From Prairial to Pop Culture: The French Revolution in 2015.” It will run during the month of Prairial (beginning now) to July 14, 2015.

If you would like to contribute a fun fact on the French Revolution, please write to jdouthwa@nd.edu. All contributors naturally receive a by-line on the blog.

Day One

Q:  What does Prairial mean, as a symbolic date akin to Thermidor (Robespierre’s death) and Brumaire (Napoleon’s coup d’état)?

  1. an uprising of peasants from the meadows of the Jura who marched into Paris leading their cows, in May 1795
  2. an allegory of refreshment, which became a refreshing salad made of “rocky mountain oysters” and rocket, much appreciated during the Directoire (1795-99)
  3. a popular revolt in Paris on May 20, 1795 against the policies of the Thermidorian Convention; widely considered the last popular revolt of the French Revolution begun in 1789
  4. Napoleon’s unstoppable rise to power, as depicted in a dazzling shade of spring green, by Girodet in 1796

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