Extended war against the Grand Coalition

By September 1792, French military forces were finally having some successes against the Austrian-Prussian armies, notably at Valmy where a French offensive was a significant victory. This military improvement coupled with the desire of the Girondins to engage with a more aggressive foreign policy stance, meaning that by 1 February 1793, the existing war against Austria and Prussia escalated to a war against the Grand Coalition (sometimes termed the First Coalition) which comprised of Spain, Great Britain and Holland.

This effectively meant that France was now geographically surrounded by enemy states, most of who were considered great maritime powers. The extended war further aggravated the already-present issues of French military capability. To manage these exacerbated issues, the Girondin government introduced military conscription through the Levée of 300,000 men and price controls; however the Girondins’ poor handling of this escalated military situation was one of the factors which led to its ultimate downfall in late May 1793.

Furthermore, many coastal areas such as Lyon which were already being internally resistant to the Revolution now willingly accepted foreign invasion, such as from the British, as a means of ending the Revolution and restoring the monarchy.

See Also

War against Austria and Prussia