By Mi Gyung Kim

The hot-air balloon, invented through the Montgolfier brothers in 1783, introduced for the second one time simply days sooner than the Treaty of Paris might finish the yank progressive conflict. The ascent in Paris—a technological surprise witnessed by means of a various crowd that incorporated Benjamin Franklin—highlighted celebrations of French army victory opposed to Britain and ignited a balloon mania that swept throughout Europe on the finish of the Enlightenment. This renowned frenzy for balloon experiments, which attracted thousands of spectators, essentially altered the as soon as elite viewers for technology by means of bringing aristocrats and commoners together.

            The Imagined Empire explores how this fabric artifact, the flying computing device, not just increased the general public for technology and spectacle but additionally encouraged utopian desires of a republican monarchy that might obliterate social barriers. The balloon, Mi Gyung Kim argues, was once a people-machine, a cultural functionality that unified and mobilized the folk of France, who imagined an aerial empire that will deliver glory to the French state. This serious historical past of ballooning considers how a comparatively uncomplicated mechanical equipment turned an explosive cultural and political phenomenon at the eve of the French Revolution.

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The Imagined Empire: Balloon Enlightenments in Revolutionary Europe by Mi Gyung Kim


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