Republicanism and the French Revolution: An Intellectual History of Jean-Baptiste Says Political…

Hardcover | November 1, 2000

byRichard Whatmore

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Republicanism and the French Revolution reassesses Jean-Baptiste Say's political economy by locating the author's ideas amidst the intellectual upheavals of Old Regime and revolutionary France. Traditionally Say has been portrayed as a rather staid figure, the archetypal liberal and classicalpolitical economist devoted to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. This study reveals the historic Say to have been altogether different; a passionate and committed republican intellectual and French patriot, he was as opposed to Britain's constitution, commerce, and political culture as he was toBonaparte's First Empire. The relationship between Say's political thought and political economy, evinced in the full range of his writings from 1789 to 1832, is scrutinized for the first time, elucidating the true origins of his republicanism. This derived from a rich seam of political speculation among French and Genevanradicals concerning the possibility of transforming large and corrupt monarchies into modern republics whose political culture was characterized by commerce and virtue. By the 1790s such ideas had come to define the French Revolution itself, at once promising to restore French greatness and replaceBritain as the leading cultural force in Europe. Say looked back to such luminaries as Diderot, Gibbon, and Franklin as members of the modern republican Pantheon and dedicated his life to formulating a political economy that would persuade legislators and ordinary citizens to embrace the republicancreed.

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Republicanism and the French Revolution reassesses Jean-Baptiste Say's political economy by locating the author's ideas amidst the intellectual upheavals of Old Regime and revolutionary France. Traditionally Say has been portrayed as a rather staid figure, the archetypal liberal and classicalpolitical economist devoted to Adam Smith's ...

1989-90, Joseph Hodges Choate Memorial Fellow, Harvard University

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Format:HardcoverPublished:November 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199241155

ISBN - 13:9780199241156

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Table of Contents

Part I. Reinterpreting Say1. The J.-B. Say problem2. Republicanism and political economyPart II The Intellectual Context of Say's Ideas3. The political economy of French decline4. The republican turn in France, 1776-17895. Revolution and the political economy of TerrorPart III Republican Political Economy6. Say's republicanism, 1794-17987. The idea of a Traite d'economie politique8. Defending republican manners9. Restoring French gloryPart IV Republican Political Economy in Conditions of Monarchy10. Rejecting the post-war settlement11. 'Social science in its entirety'12. Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

`an important contribution to a much bigger field ... this takes us into the entire background of French Revolutionary republicanism'Richard Whatmore, TLS