French Liberalism in the 19th Century
Edited by Robert Leroux, David Hart
Routledge – 2012 – 320 pages
Political and economic liberalism has generally been considered to be of marginal import in France, but at an intellectual level, it is a different story. An exploration of the history of French economic thought shows how a rich intellectual tradition developed during the nineteenth century, which has been previously neglected in English language studies of French thinking. In this important new collection, Robert Leroux brings together key works, both from widely regarded and lesser known authors, whose thinking constituted the core of a singular intellectual movement. These include such figures as Charles Dunoyer, Joseph Garnier, Gustave de Molinari, Yves Guyot, Alexis de Tocqueville, Benjamin Constant and Frédéric Bastiat.
Including several works that have never before been published in English, this anthology begins with a full introduction that provides an overview of liberal thought in the nineteenth century, and each text is preceded by a biographical note on the author, and an explanation of the wider significance of the text. This anthology, by bringing to the fore a number of writers and doctrinal positions, seeks to give a coherence, an overall cast to French liberalism without exaggerating its unity. It will be of interest to economists, political scientists, historians, philosophers and sociologists alike.
Introduction Part I: The Empire (up to 1815) 1. Pierre-Louis Roederer on 'Property Rights' (1800) 2. Jean-Baptiste Say on 'The Division of Labouor ' (1803) 3. Destutt de Tracy on 'The Laws and Public Liberty' (1811) 4. Charles Comte's Foreword to Le Censeur (1814) Part II: The Restoration (1815-1830) 5. Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer's Forward to Le Censeur Européen (1817) 6. Destutt de Tracy on 'Society' (1817) 7. Germaine de Staël on 'The Love of Liberty' (1818) 8. Benjamin Constrant on 'The Liberty of the Ancients and the moderns' 9. Pierre Daunou on 'Freedom of Opinion' (1819) Part III: The July Monarchy (1830-1848) 10. Alexis de Toqueville on 'The Liberty of the Press' (1830 11. . Béranger on his Songs and Liberty (1833) 12. Gustave de Beaumont, 'The Abolition of the Aristocracy in Ireland' (1839) 13. Béranger: Selected Poems (1800-1840) Part IV: The Second Republic (1848-1852) 14. Frédéric Bastiat on 'Disarmament and Taxes' (1849) 15. Gustave de Molinari on 'The Private Production of Security' (1849) 16. Michel Chevalier on 'The Protectionist System' (1852) 17. Léon Faucher on 'Property' (1852) 18. Courcelle-Seneuil on 'Sumptuary Laws' (1852) 18. Joseph Garnier on 'The Cost of Collection of Taxes' (1852) 20. Joseph Garnier on 'Laissez Faire - Laissez Passer' (1852) 21. Ambroise Clément on 'Private Charity' (1852) Part V: The Second Empire (1852-1870) 22. Henri Baudrillart on 'Political Economy' (1852) 23. Augustin Thierry on 'The Rise of the Bourgeoisie' (1859) 24. Louis Wolowski and Émile Levasseur on 'Property' (1863) 25. Horace Say on 'The Division of Labour' (1863) 26. Maurice Block on 'Decentralization' (1863) 27. Édouard Laboulaye on 'Individual Liberties' (1865) Part VI: The Third Republic (1871 onwards) 28. Hippolyte Taine on 'Abusive Government Intervention' (1892) 29. Yves Guyot on 'The Tyranny of Socialism' (1893) 31. Gustavo de Molinari on 'Governments of the Future' (1899)
Robert Leroux is Professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada.
David M. Hart is Director of Liberty Fund’s Online Library of Liberty Project, Indiana, USA