To Caffeinate a Revolution: The Historical Importance and Necessity of the Parisian Café Before and During the French Revolution

Faculty Sponsor

Timothy Tomasik


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


My research involved discovering the influence of Parisian cafes on the French Revolution. This research reveals some of the less well-known aspects of Parisian cafes and how they influenced many people during this time by being a public space in which one had the power to speak freely. I discuss how these cafes were founded, what kind of coffee was served within them, who frequented these cafes, and various events in which cafes helped the people start and finally sustain the Revolution. The purpose for this research is to explore the origins of Parisian cafes and how a culture’s food and dining places can contribute to a country’s history. The results of my research reveal how the café environment in Paris helped nourish the ideas and the movement behind the French Revolution. Each café allowed free thought and speech, which encouraged debates and arguments. Much like the salons which philosophers such as Voltaire and Descartes frequented, new ideas emerged. Although similar to salons, the café allowed more than just scholarly intellectuals a voice. Students, workers, and even women voiced their ideas and opinions in these cafes. This free movement of ideas in a city fueled with discontent at the monarchy allowed the café to become the backbone of the French Revolution.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

I decided to choose this topic as my French senior seminar project because it combined my two loves, coffee and French. Currently, I am wrapping up my last semester at Valparaiso University as an international business and French double major as well as a member of Valpo's Christ College. I intend to use my French and business skills in my career after graduation.

This document is currently not available here.