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

By K. Steven Vincent

This booklet advances a brand new interpretation of the timing and personality of French (and extra commonly eu) liberalism, and contributes to the continuing debate about the position of morality, sociability, and conceptions of the "self" in sleek liberal suggestion.

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Additional info for Benjamin Constant and the Birth of French Liberalism

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However, they were confined in their actions by elaborate rules. They did not have the right to declare peace and war, for example, which was left to the Councils. Nor did the Directors have control of finances, which were left to a five-member Treasury Commission that was elected in the same way that the Directors were elected. Emergence of Liberalism (1795–97) 47 Moreover, the chairmanship of the Directory was to be rotated; and, one Director would retire each year, in accordance with the outcome of a drawing.

Distraught that they were not lovers, Constant staged some dramatic scenes, including a threatened/attempted suicide in lateMarch 1795. ”88 Staël and Constant returned to Paris together on May 25, 1795, and became embroiled in post-Thermidorian politics. ”89 Because of her political activities and reputation, Staël was frequently forced to live outside of France during the Directory. There was a decree for her expulsion from France dated October 15, 1795, for example, and she left Paris for her father’s château Coppet on 20 December.

81 And, on balance, the changes introduced by the Revolution were worth the price. ”82 With the onset of the Terror in France, Constant’s relationship with Charrière was tested by diverging assessments of the Revolution. Isabelle, who always disliked abstract systems and favored moderate reform, became more and more critical of the Revolution following the events of August 1792. By late-1793, she was expressing sympathies for the counter-revolutionary views of Antoine Ferrand (author of Rétablissement de la monarchie) and of Mallet Du Pan (author of Considérations sur la nature de la Révolution de France).

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