Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism by K. Steven Vincent

By K. Steven Vincent

Conventional scholarship on French liberalism has often proceeded by way of defining the center concerns and telling a narrative in their emergence and improvement. This e-book takes a distinct process: instead of starting with an a priori definition of liberalism, it makes a speciality of the political considered Benjamin consistent and Germaine de Sta?l, the 1st figures in France to name their idea “liberal.” In so doing, it advances a brand new interpretation of the timing and personality of French (and extra commonly ecu) liberalism, and contributes to the continued debate in regards to the position of morality, sociability, and conceptions of the “self” in smooth liberal notion.

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Extra resources for Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism (Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History)

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The republican regime, attempting to find a path between these extremes, faced difficult conditions and trials. The most pressing conditions were continuing economic crisis, civil war, and war with Austria and England. The economic crisis was a result of the inflation that had begun soon after the outbreak of war in 1792; by mid-1795 this inflation was beyond control, with the assignat of 100 francs worth less than twenty sous and the expenses of the government at least ten times revenues. 1057/9780230117105 - Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism, K.

Com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-24 22 The episode ended when Benjamin’s father took him to Paris, where he quickly lost interest in Mrs. Trevor. He was unmoved, he tells us, when he saw her three months later. In Paris, there was a somewhat similar episode, with another desperately unsuccessful resolution, though the object of Constant’s affection was not a mature woman in her mid-thirties, but a young woman of seventeen years. In May 1787, Constant met Jeanne-JacquelineHenriette “Jenny” Pourrat, the daughter of Augustine-Magedeleine Pourrat (ca.

He also began attending sittings of the Convention. Constant became one of the important spokespersons for moderates who hoped to unify moderate republicans and constitutional monarchists into a centrist party. Constant had high hopes of playing an active role in French politics. To do this he needed to become a French citizen, reside in France, and own property. 11 His ancestors were Huguenots, but in fact they had left France before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; nonetheless Constant was granted citizenship on 21 March 1797.

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