Policing the Media in the French Revolution


Jane McLeod is associate professor of history at Brock University. She is the author of Licensing Loyalty: Printers, Patrons and the State in Early Modern France (University of Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011). Her interest in state-media relations continues in her current SSHRC-funded project, “Printers Confront the French Revolution: Profits, Principles and Perils.”

Her paper presents an argument about the nature of media control in the reigns of Louis XV and XVI and explores how this changed in 1789 with the advent of Freedom of the Press. Case studies of printers’ careers are used to explore the high levels of persecution experienced by printers from early in the Revolution.