Constant: Political Writings

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 10, 1988 - History - 350 pages
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The first English translation of the major political works of Benjamin Constant (1767-1830), one of the most important of the French political figures in the aftermath of the revolution of 1789, and a leading member of the liberal opposition to Napoleon and later to the restored Bourbon monarchy. The texts included in this volume are widely regarded as one of the classic formulations of modern liberal doctrine.
 

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Contents

Introduction i
24
THE SPIRIT OF CONQUEST
33
USURPATION AND THEIR RELATION
43
The spirit of conquest
51
A further reason for the deterioration of the military class
59
The effect of a conquering government upon the mass of the nation
63
Means of coercion necessary to supplement the efficacy of falsehood
66
Further drawbacks of the system of warfare for enlightenment and the educated class
68
Religion under arbitrary power
127
Mens inability to resign themselves voluntarily to arbitrary power in any form
129
Despotism as a means of preserving usurpation
132
The effect of illegal and despotic measures on regular governments themselves
134
Implications of the preceding considerations in relation
138
Additions to The spirit of conquest and usurpation
149
Further reflections on usurpation
157
On usurpation
165

The point of view from which a conquering nation today would regard its own successes
69
Effect of these successes upon the conquered peoples
71
On uniformity
73
The inevitable end to the successes of a conquering nation
79
Results of the system of warfare in the present age
81
Usurpation 1 The specific aim of the comparison between usurpation and monarchy
85
Differences between usurpation and monarchy
87
One respect in which usurpation is more hateful than absolute despotism
95
Usurpation cannot survive in this period of our civilization
97
Can usurpation not be maintained by force?
101
The kind of liberty offered to men at the end of the last century
102
The modern imitators of the republics of antiquity
105
The means employed to give to the moderns the liberty of the ancients
110
Does the aversion of the moderns for this pretended liberty imply that they love despotism?
114
A sophism in favour of arbitrary power exercised by one man
115
The effects of arbitrary power upon the different aspects of human existence
118
The effects of arbitrary power upon intellectual progress
120
Foreword
171
On the declaration that ministers are unworthy of public
242
On municipal power local authorities and a new kind
251
On the right to declare war and make peace
255
On the organization of armed forces in a constitutional state
257
On the inviolability of property
261
On the liberty of the press
272
On religious liberty
274
On the liberty of the individual
289
On judicial guarantees
295
Final considerations
302
THE LIBERTY OF THE ANCIENTS COMPARED WITH THAT OF THE MODERNS
307
Bibliographical note
308
Bibliography
329
Index
344
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