Bunhill: Revolution revisited

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VIVE la revolution] Those French bureaucrats who pencilled in 20 September for the country's referendum on the Maastricht treaty - and the next day for the result - have clearly been neglecting their history books.

On 20 September 1792, the French - in the throes of revolutionary fervour - defeated the interfering Prussians at the Battle of Valmy. The next day, the republic was proclaimed and the monarchy abolished. Is this an omen that the course of European history will be altered again?