The history of civilization in Europe- PDF by François Guizot

The history of civilization in Europe

François Guizot
The history of civilization in Europe- by François Guizot

François Pierre Guillaume Guizot was born at Nismes, the fourth of October, 1787. His father was a distinguished advocate of that city, who took a prominent part in the revolution which overthrew the throne of Louis XVI. In the spring of 1794, having protested against the violence of the revolutionary tribunal, he died upon the scaffold. 

The care of Madame Guizot provided the boy with a classical education in the schools of the city of Geneva, and at the age of nineteen, he went to Paris to study law. But he had no taste for the profession, and, with the help of the Minister from Switzerland, his friend and patron, he devoted himself to literary pursuits. At the age of twenty-five he was appointed adjunct Professor of History in the University of Paris, and two years later accepted the position of general secretary in the Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior. Henceforth his life was divided between history and politics, and in both, he achieved the highest distinction. Let us briefly review his political career. 

Before he was thirty he was an active agent in negotiating the terms for re-establishing the monarchy under Louis XVIII. On the accession of Louis Philippe in 1830, he was called to assist in forming a Cabinet and became Minister of the Interior. Compelled to resign in a few months, he was elected deputy and sustained the cause of constitutional government in the National Assembly. Two years later he was recalled to the royal counsels as Minister of Public Instruction. 

During the few years of his administration, he did much for public education in France, and it is said that the germinal ideas of all progress made since are to be found in his suggestions and enterprises. He reformed the primary schools, and put new spirit into their conduct by a law which established over ten thousand primary schools in destitute parishes. He planned the creation of four universities to be centres of light and learning for the provinces of France. He made great efforts for the advancement of historical science and the improvement of historical teaching. 

Some contents:

The object of the course — History of European Civilization — Part taken by France in the civilization of Europe — Civilization a fit subject for narrative — It is the most general fact in history — The ordinary and popular meaning of the word civilization — Two leading facts constitute civilization: i. The development of society; 2. The development of the individual — Demonstration — These two facts have necessarily connected the one with the other, and sooner or later the one produces the other — Is the destiny of man limited wholly within his actual social condition? — The history of civilization may be exhibited and considered under two points of view — Remarks on the plan of the course — The present state of men's minds, and the prospects of civilization i

Purpose of the lecture — Unity of ancient civilization — Variety of modern civilization — Its superiority — Condition of Europe at the fall of the Roman Empire — Preponderance of the towns — Attempt at political reform by the emperors — Rescript of Honorius and of Theodosius II — Power of the name of the Empire — The Christian church — The various stages through which it had passed at the fifth century — The clergy exercising municipal functions — Good and evil influence of the church — The barbarians — They introduce into the modern world the sentiments of personal independence and the devotion of man to man — Summary of the different elements of civilization in the beginning of the fifth century 18

The object of the lecture — All the various systems pretend to be legitimate — What is political legitimacy? — Coexistence of all systems of government in the fifth century — Instability in the condition of persons, properties, and institutions — There were two causes of this: one material, the continuation of the invasion; the other moral, the selfish sentiment of^ individuality peculiar to the barbarians — The germs of civilization have been the necessity for order, the recollections of the Roman Empire, the Christian church, and the barbarians — Attempts at the organization by the barbarians, by the towns, by the church of Spain, by Charlemagne, and Alfred — The German and Arabian invasions cease— The feudal system begins 37


 The object of the lecture — Necessary alliance between facts and doctrines — Preponderance of the country over the towns — Organ- ization of a small feudal society — Influence of feudalism upon the character of the possessor of the fief, and upon the spirit of the family — Hatred of the people towards the feudal system — The priest could do little for the serfs — Impossibility of regularly organizing feudalism: 1 No powerful authority; 2. No public power; 3. The difficulty of the federative system — The idea of the right of resistance inherent in feudalism — Influence of feudalism favourable to the development of the individual, unfavourable to social order 53

the book details :
  • Author: François Pierre Guillaume Guizot was a French historian, orator, and statesman. Guizot was a dominant figure in French politics prior to the Revolution of 1848.
  • Translated by William Hazlitt
  • Publication date: 1899
  • Company: New York, Colonial Press

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