The revolutionary spirit - PDF by Félix Rocquain

The revolutionary spirit preceding the French Revolution

The revolutionary spirit
The revolutionary spirit 

The interval between the fall of the Bourbon despotism and the rise of that Napoleon, during which the social and political foundations of old France have swept away, forms an epoch in the history of the modern world, the importance of which looms the larger the farther the stream of Time carries us away from it. 

Far-reaching as were the moral and political consequences of the great events of the sixteenth century, they begin to look small beside those of the later age; and even the speculative controversies of the Reformation dwindle down to mere theological squabbles in face of the issues tried at the great popular assize of the Revolution, when every authority, whether its pretensions were human or divine, was called upon to make them good before the tribunal of reason. 

And, while the questions debated with so much rancour and fought over at the cost of so much bloodshed, Papists and Protestants, are rapidly losing their interest, in view of the sense of the insecurity of the ground upon which both combatants take their stand, which is rapidly growing among thinking men; the grave political and social problems which press for a solution, at the present day, are the same as those which offered themselves a hundred years ago. In the Draft of a Constitution, which Robespierre drew up and presented to the Convention in 1793, I fail to dis¬ cover any article which goes beyond the requirements of liberal politicians among ourselves, who would be shocked to Vlll Introduction. be considered extremists. 

Moreover, the prior method of the Philosophes, who, ignoring the conditions of scienti¬ fic method, settled the most difficult problems of practical politics by fine-drawn deductions from axiomatic assumptions about natural rights, is as much in favour at the end of the nineteenth, as it was in the latter half of the eigh¬ teenth century. Under these circumstances, it should be needless to com¬ mend the scientific study of the phenomena of the revolutionary epoch to all thoughtful men. 

Introduction by Professor Huxley . . . vii
Author’s Preface ..... xii
 The Regency (1715-1723) . . . . 1
11. Ministry of the Due de Bourbon and the First
Half of the Fleury Ministry (1724-1733) . 19
hi. Second Half of the Fleury Ministry (i 733 - I 743 ) 35
iv. Government of Louis XV. (1743-1751) . . 45
v. Government of Louis XV. (1752-1754) . . 5 8
vi. Government of Louis XV. (1754-1762) . . 72
vii. Government of Louis XV. (1762-1770) . . 89
viii. End of the Government of Louis XV. (1770-1774) 105
ix. Reign of Louis XVI— The Turgot Ministry
(1774-1776) ...... 120
x. Reign of Louis XVI.— The Necker Ministry
(1776-1781) . 135
xi. Reign of Louis XVI.— The Joly de Fleury,
d’Ormesson, and Calonne Ministries (1781-1786) 148
xii. The Assembly of Notables and the Convocation
of the States-General (1787-1789) - - 161

the book details :
  • Author:Félix Rocquain
  • Publication date: 1891
  • Company: London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. Paternoster Square

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