Louis Blanc (1811-82) was a French historian and politician whose writings had a considerable influence on the development of French socialism. In his famous Organisation du travail (1839) he called for social reform by action of the State, an unusual position at the time. As a member of the provisional government established after the 1848 Revolution, he campaigned for workers' rights, advocating the creation of cooperative workshops. His twelve-volume Histoire de la Révolution Française (1847-62), most of which he wrote while in exile in England, combines years of thorough research with Blanc's characteristic socialist and republican enthusiasm. Volume 8, first published in 1856, opens with the execution of Louis XVI in 1793. It focuses on the political situation that year, including the beginning of the war in the Vendée in March 1793, and the rise and fall of the Girondins.