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

By K. Steven Vincent

Conventional scholarship on French liberalism has usually proceeded by means of defining the center matters and telling a narrative in their emergence and improvement. This publication takes a unique 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 continuing debate about the position of morality, sociability, and conceptions of the “self” in sleek liberal concept.

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1057/9780230117105 - Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism, K. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-24 in a philosophy which consists merely of words, I see here on earth only a great deal of unavoidable suffering . . , very few pleasures . . 26 He reveals himself to be sexually promiscuous, continually in pursuit of women for physical satisfaction, emotional warmth, social respectability, and apparent security, and at the same time chronically anxious and indecisive.

They both supported the Constitution of 1795 and worried about the restoration of the Bourbons, whose leader Provence (the future Louis XVIII) made it clear in his Declaration of Verona (24 June 1795) that a royalist restoration was synonymous with a return to the Old Regime and revenge against republicans associated with the Revolution. They also opposed the Jacobin Left, whose defenders called for continued ascendancy of the Montagnards and their allies among the sansculottes, and who insisted on the application of the (never utilized) Constitution of 1793.

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.

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