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Glossary of Subjects and Terms - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Glossary of Subjects and Terms
Académie des sciences morales et politiques. One of the five académies that compose the Institut de France (see Institut de France).
Anti-Corn Law League. The Anti-Corn Law League, Corn League, or League, was founded in 1838 by Richard Cobden and John Bright in Manchester. Their initial aim was to repeal the law restricting the import of grain (Corn Laws), but they soon called for the unilateral ending of all agricultural and industrial restrictions on the free movement of goods between Britain and the rest of the world. For seven years they organized rallies, meetings, public lectures, and debates from one end of Britain to the other and managed to have proponents of free trade elected to Parliament. The Tory government resisted for many years but eventually yielded on 25 June 1846, when unilateral free trade became the law of Great Britain.
Association pour la liberté des échanges. Founded in February 1846 in Bordeaux. Bastiat was the secretary of the board, presided over by François d’Harcourt and having among its members Michel Chevalier, Auguste Blanqui, Joseph Garnier, Gustave de Molinari, and Horace Say.
Capital and Rent (OC, vol. 5, p. 23, “Capital et rente”). This pamphlet first appeared in February 1849 and was a reply to the socialists Proudhon and Thoré.
Le Censeur. A journal founded by Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer. From 1814 to 1815 its full name was Le Censeur, ou examen des actes et des ouvrages qui tendent à détruire ou à consolider la constitution de l’État; later, from 1817 to 1819, it was called Le Censeur européen ou Examen de diverses questions de droit public et de divers ouvrages littéraires et scientifiques, considérés dans leurs rapports avec le progrès de la civilisation. The journal was devoted to political and economic matters and was a constant thorn in the side of first Napoléon’s empire and then the restored monarchy. It was threatened with closure by the authorities on several occasions and finally was forced to close in 1815. During this period of enforced leisure Comte and Dunoyer discovered the economic writings of Jean-Baptiste Say, and when the journal reopened, it tilted toward economic and social matters as a result. It was one of the most important journals of liberal thought in the early nineteenth century.
Le Censeur européen. See Le Censeur.
La Chalosse. A weekly journal of the district of Saint-Sever.
Charter.See Constitutional Charter.
Cobden and the League (OC, vol. 3: Cobden et la ligue: ou, L’Agitation anglaise pour la liberté du commerce). First published in 1845 by Guillaumin as a separate book before it was reissued in Bastiat’s Œuvres complètes. Bastiat was so impressed with the organization and tactics of the Anti-Corn Law League in Britain that he wished to emulate it in France. He was ultimately largely unsuccessful. As part of his efforts to inspire the French people to pressure the government for tariff reform he put together this collection of translations of many of the League’s public speeches, newspaper reports of their meetings, and other documents of the campaign. He prefaced the book with a long introduction in which he outlined the League’s goals and beliefs (see OC, vol. 3, p. 1, “Introduction”).
Collège de France. An institution created under François I in 1529 to deliver advanced teaching not yet available at the universities.
Conservatoire national des arts et métiers. A public institution of higher education created by Abbé Grégoire in 1794. It was intended for people already engaged in professional life.
Constituent Assembly (Assemblée constituante). A body elected by universal suffrage to prepare a constitution. Its motions were prepared by two commissions and fifteen committees.
Constitutional Charter. Promulgated by Louis XVIII on 4 June 1814. It was a compromise between the principles of the ancien régime and the reforms brought about by the French Revolution.
Corn Laws. Legislation introduced by Parliament in the seventeenth century to maintain a high price for corn (in the British context this meant grain, especially wheat) by preventing the importation of cheaper foreign grain altogether or by imposing a duty on it in order to protect domestic producers from competition. The laws were revised in 1815 following the collapse of wheat prices at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The artificially high prices which resulted led to rioting in London and Manchester. The laws were again amended in 1828 and 1842 to introduce a more flexible sliding scale of duties which would be imposed when the domestic price of wheat fell below a set amount. The high price caused by protection led to the formation of opposition groups, such as the Anti-Corn Law League in 1838, and to the founding of the Economist magazine in 1843. Pressure for repeal came from within Parliament by members of Parliament, such as Richard Cobden (elected in 1841), and from without by a number of factors: the well-organized public campaigning by the Anti-Corn Law League; the writings of classical economists who were nearly universally in favor of free trade; the writings of popular authors such as Harriet Martineau, Jane Marcet, and Thomas Hodgskin; and the pressure of crop failures in Ireland in 1845. The Conservative prime minister Sir Robert Peel announced the repeal of the Corn Laws on 27 January 1846, to take effect on 1 February 1849 after a period of gradual reduction in the level of the duty. The act was passed by the House of Commons on 15 May and approved by the House of Lords on 25 June, thus bringing to an end centuries of agricultural protection in England.
Council of State. A French institution giving advice on draft bills and acting as a court of final appeal on administrative matters. Its members were appointed by the king.
Le Courrier français. A daily paper, with a mildly Catholic, leftist, and monarchic slant. It ran from 1819 to 1851.
Damned Money (OC, vol. 5, p. 64, “Maudit argent”). The pamphlet Maudit argent first appeared in the April 1849 edition of the Journal des économistes and was written in response to a criticism of money expressed by an economist on the government’s finance committee.
La Démocratie pacifique: Journal des intérêts des gouvernements et des peuples. A Fourrierist journal, launched by Victor Considérant, advocating the creation of “harmonious communities.” It ran from 1843 to 1851.
Département. France is divided into ninety-five départements, which are the equivalent of counties and which enjoy a certain administrative autonomy.
Deputy. A member of the French parliament.
Economic Harmonies (OC, vol. 6: Harmonies économiques). “Social Harmonies” was the original title Bastiat gave to what was eventually published as Economic Harmonies. The idea that all voluntary economic exchanges are “harmonious,” mutually beneficial to both parties to the exchange, and conducive to social peace and order is a key insight of Bastiat and one that preoccupied him as he was dying. His chef d’œuvre and the only book-length work he ever wrote but left unfinished at his death was Harmonies économiques. It was published posthumously in a more complete version by his friends in Paris in 1851.
Economic Sophisms (OC, vol. 4: Sophismes économiques). Bastiat published two collections of essays under the general title Economic Sophisms. Originally published in Le Journal des économistes in 1845 and 1847, these essays were designed to refute common misconceptions about the free market, which Bastiat termed “sophisms.” A first collection was published by Guillaumin in book form in 1846 as Sophismes économiques. Guillaumin also published further editions in 1847 and 1848. Very popular, they went through many editions and were quickly translated into Spanish, Italian, German, and English.
Économiste. See Les Économistes.
Les Économistes. In Bastiat’s lifetime Les Économistes was the term used to refer to the free-trade school of economic thought.
February Revolution.See Revolution of 1848.
Fourierism.See glossary of names: Fourier, François-Marie Charles.
General Council. A chamber in each French département that deliberates on subjects concerning the département. It has one representative per county (28 at the time for the Landes département, 31 today), elected for nine years then (six years today). Its functions have varied over time. Bastiat was elected general councillor in 1833 for the county of Mugron, a post he held until his death. At that time, the council deliberations had to be approved by the prefect.
Harmonies. See Economic Harmonies.
L’Indicateur. Newspaper with a very liberal perspective.
Individualism and Fraternity (Individualisme et fraternité). The unpublished sketch “Individualisme et fraternité” was written to refute the socialist interpretation of the first French Revolution that was expressed by Louis Blanc in his Histoire de la révolution française, the first volume of which appeared in 1847.
Institut de France. Academic institution covering the five académies (arts, literature, sciences, history and archaeology, and moral and political sciences).
Jacques Bonhomme. A short-lived biweekly paper that seems to have lasted for only four issues (June-July 1848). It was founded and largely written by Bastiat, Alcide Fonteyraud, Charles Coquelin, and Gustave de Molinari. Its purpose was to counter socialist ideas during the 1848 revolution, and it was handed out in the streets of Paris.
Le Journal des débats. A journal founded in 1789 by the Bertin family and managed for almost forty years by Louis-François Bertin. The journal went through several title changes and after 1814 became Le Journal des débats politiques et littéraires. The journal likewise underwent several changes of political positions: it was against Napoléon during the First Empire; under the second restoration it became conservative rather than reactionary; and under Charles X it was in support of the liberal stance espoused by the doctrinaires. It ceased publication in 1944.
Le Journal des économistes.Le Journal des économistes: revue mensuelle de l’économie politique, des questions agricoles, manufacturières et commerciales was the journal of the Société d’économie politique and appeared from December 1841 until the fall of France in 1940. It was published by the firm of Guillaumin, which also published the writings of most of the liberals of the period. Le Journal des économistes was the leading journal of the free-market economists (known as Les Économistes) in France in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was edited by Adolphe Blanqui (1841-42), Hippolyte Dussard (1843-45), Joseph Garnier (1845-55), Henri Baudrillart (1855-65), Joseph Garnier (1865-81), Gustave de Molinari (1881-1909), and Yves Guyot (1910-?). Many of Bastiat’s articles for the journal were later published as pamphlets and books, and his works were all reviewed there. There are fifty-eight entries under Bastiat’s name in the table of contents of the journal for the period 1841 to 1865.
Le Journal du commerce. A business daily that appeared from 1795 through 1837 under various titles.
July Monarchy.See Revolution of 1848.
July Revolution.See Revolution of 1848.
Justice and Fraternity (OC, vol. 4, p. 298, “Justice et fraternité”). This essay first appeared in Le Journal des économistes on 15 June 1848 and was one of several essays Bastiat wrote during the 1848 revolution to counter socialist ideas. In this essay, Bastiat takes aim at socialists such as Fourier, Cabet, Owen, Proudhon, and Louis Blanc, who wished to use the law in order to bring about by force their ideal of fraternity. Bastiat contrasts this with the aim of political economists like himself, who saw the function of the law as one of achieving universal justice by protecting each individual’s life, liberty, and property.
The Law (OC, vol. 4, p. 342, “La Loi”). Bastiat wrote two pieces titled “La Loi”: the first was published as a pamphlet, La Loi (1850); the second was his only entry, “Lois,” in the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852), vol. 2, pp. 93-100, published posthumously. The Law is quite well known to English readers because it was quickly translated in 1853 and has been kept in print since 1950 by the Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York.
League.See Anti-Corn Law League.
Le Libre échange. The weekly journal of the Association pour la liberté des échanges. It began in 1846 as Le Libre-échange: Journal du travail agricole, industriel et commercial but changed its name to the simpler Libre échange at the start of its second year of publication. It closed in 1848 as a result of the revolution. The first fifty-two issues were published as a book by the Guillaumin publishing firm under the title Le Libre-échange, journal de l’association pour la liberté des échanges (1847). The first sixty-four issues were published by Bastiat, the editor in chief, and Joseph Garnier; the last eight issues were published by Charles Coquelin. The journal’s editorial board included Anisson-Dupéron (pair de France), Bastiat, Blanqui, Gustave Brunet (assistant to the mayor of Bordeaux), Campan (secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaux), Michel Chevalier, Coquelin, Dunoyer, Faucher, Fonteyraud, Garnier, Louis Leclerc, Molinari, Paillottet, Horace Say, and Wolowski.
Le Mémorial bordelais. A newspaper that represented several political perspectives.
Le Moniteur. See Le Moniteur industriel.
Le Moniteur industriel. A periodical created in July 1835. It became the stronghold of protectionists and Bastiat’s bête noire.
Montagnard Manifesto.See La Montagne.
Montagnards.See La Montagne.
La Montagne (The Mountain). La Montagne comprised a group of deputies (Montagnards) favorable to a “democratic and social republic.” The Montagnard Manifesto expressed their ideas. The name comes from the first general assemblies of the Revolution, in which the deputies professing these ideas sat in the highest part of the assembly, “the mountain.”
Le National. Liberal paper founded in 1830 by Adolphe Thiers to fight the ultrareactionary politics of the prince de Polignac. It played a decisive role during the “three glorious days” and contributed to the success of Louis-Philippe. Its readership considerably exceeded the number of its subscribers (around three thousand).
National Guard. A militia created in 1789, recruited mainly from among the bourgeoisie. It was responsible for keeping order jointly with the army. Dissolved in 1827, it was reestablished in July 1830. La Fayette took command of it, as he had forty years earlier, in 1789. It played an essential role under Louis-Philippe, and its desertion in 1848 marked the end of that regime.
Navigation Act. The act prevented merchandise from being imported into Britain if it was not transported by British ships or ships from the producer countries. The first act, adopted in 1651, applied to commerce within Europe and generated a war with Holland (1652-54). Extended to colonies in 1660 and 1663, it generated a second war with Holland (1665-67). It was repealed in 1849.
La Patrie. A political journal of no fixed political opinions.
Plunder and Law (OC, vol. 5, p. 1, “Spoliation et loi”). The pamphlet Spoliation et loi, published by Le Journal des économistes on 15 May 1850.
Prefect. A representative of the executive branch in a département (see Glossary of Places: département). The prefecture is the location of the office of the prefect. In large départements, there are also administrative subdivisions called sous prefectures, which are headed by sous préfêts.
La Presse. A widely distributed daily newspaper, created in 1836 by the journalist, businessman, and politician Émile de Girardin (1806-81). Girardin was one of the creators of the modern press and author of, among many works, the brochure Le Socialisme et l’impôt (1849), in which he advocated a single tax on capital and revenue.
Property and Law (OC, vol. 4, p. 275, “Propriété et loi”). The pamphlet Propriété et loi appeared in the May 1848 edition of Le Journal des économistes and was written to defend a natural law theory of property.
Property and Plunder (OC, vol. 4, p. 394, “Propriété et spoliation”). During the 1848 revolution Bastiat wrote an important pamphlet in the July 1848 edition of Le Journal des débats. It was a reply to socialist critics of property, such as Louis Blanc, Proudhon, and Considérant, especially the latter’s Théorie du droit de propriété et du droit au travail. A key to understanding the social and economic ideas of the French économistes in general, and Bastiat in particular, is the contrasting notions of “property” and “plunder” (or “spoliation” in French). According to this view, there are two contrasting ways of acquiring and owning property. On the one hand there is “property” justly acquired through one’s own hard work or by the peaceful exchange with other property owners on the free market. On the other hand there is “spoliation,” or plunder, by which one uses violence oneself or uses the power of the state to act on one’s behalf to take the justly acquired property of others through legislation, subsidies, tariffs, taxation, or other state-enforced means.
Protectionism and Communism (OC, vol. 4, p. 504, “Protectionisme et communisme”). The pamphlet Protectionisme et communisme was written in response to a work by Thiers, De la propriété.
La Quotidienne. A royalist journal, organ of the legitimists during the July Monarchy.
La République française. A newspaper launched by Bastiat, which lasted only a few days. The circumstances are explained in the letter to Félix Coudroy of 13 February 1848 (see Letter 89).
Revolution of 1848 (also called the February Revolution). Because France went through so many revolutions between 1789 and 1870, they are often distinguished by reference to the month in which they occurred. Thus, we have the “July Monarchy” (of 1830) (also called the revolution of 1830), when the restored Bourbon monarchy of 1815 was overthrown in order to create a more liberal and constitutional monarchy under Louis-Philippe; the “February Revolution” (of 1848), when the July Monarchy of Louis-Philippe was overthrown and the Second Republic was formed; the “June Days” (of 1848), when a rebellion by workers in Paris who were protesting the closure of the government-subsidized National Workshops work-relief program was bloodily put down by General Cavaignac; and the “18 Brumaire of Louis-Napoléon,” which refers to the coup d’état that brought Louis-Napoléon (Napoléon Bonaparte’s nephew) to power on 2 December 1851 and which ushered in the creation of the Second Empire—the phrase was coined by Karl Marx and refers to another date, 18 Brumaire in the revolutionary calendar, or 9 November 1799, when Napoléon Bonaparte declared himself dictator in another coup d’état. Bastiat was an active participant in the 1848 revolution, being elected to the Constituent Assembly on 23 April 1848 and then to the Legislative Assembly on 13 May 1849.
Revolution of 1830. See Revolution of 1848.
La Revue britannique. A monthly review founded in 1825 by Sébastien-Louis Saulnier (1790-1835), which contained many articles on economic matters. Its full title read Revue britannique. Receuil international. Choix d’articles extraits des meilleurs écrits périodiques da la Grande-Bretagne et de l’Amérique, complété sur des articles originaux. The issue of the 6th series, vol. 1, in 1846, contained a long essay on the Anti-Corn Law League, by Alcide Fonteyraud, “La Ligue anglaise,” which was based on Bastiat’s book Cobden and the League (1845). The Revue ceased publication in 1901.
La Revue des deux mondes. A review founded in 1829 by François Buloz that published essays on arts, literature, politics, and society. Its name was a reflection of its aim, namely, to bring France and the United States closer together. It ceased publication in 1944.
La Revue encyclopédique. A review founded in 1819 by M. A. Julien. During the restoration period it was quite liberal, with many articles and book reviews on economists such as Say, Dunoyer, and MacCulloch. It changed direction in 1831, when the son of the founder took it in a markedly Saint-Simonian direction. It ceased publication in 1835.
September Laws. Laws restricting liberties promulgated in September 1835, following an attempt against the life of Louis-Philippe.
Social Harmonies. See Economic Harmonies.
Société d’économie politique (Society of Political Economy) was founded in 1842, with the name Réunion des économistes, and began meeting regularly in October 1842. Summaries of the meetings were published by Joseph Garnier, the permanent secretary and vice president of the society, in Le Journal des économistes. The articles “Adresse au président de la ligue anglaise son adhésion sympathique aux principes de cette association,” vol. 13 (December-March 1846), p. 19; “Réponse de M. Cobden au nom de la Ligue,” vol. 14 (April-July 1846), p. 60; and “Banquet offert à M. Cobden,” vol. 15 (August-November 1846), p. 89, show the very great interest the society had in Cobden’s activities in England.
Sophisms. See Economic Sophisms.
The State (OC, vol. 4, p. 327, “L’État”). Originally published in Le Journal des débats in September 1848, “The State” was one of several essays which Bastiat wrote during the 1848 revolution in order to counter socialist ideas and proposals for increased economic interventionism. His criticism and sarcasm in this piece was directed toward the Montagnard faction (see La Montagne) in the Chamber. This group was promising the moon to French citizens and was urging massive increases in the function of the state to achieve this. In this short essay Bastiat sarcastically offered his own definition of what the state was, namely “the great fiction by which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”
La Voix du peuple. A newspaper launched by Proudhon on 30 September 1849 to replace Le Peuple, a paper that had ceased on 13 June 1849. La Voix du peuple ceased in May 1850.
What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen (OC, vol. 5, p. 336, “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas ou, l’économie politique en une leçon”). This was the last pamphlet Bastiat wrote, in 1850, before his death. It has a sad story, as Bastiat wanted to refute many of the bad economic arguments he had heard in the National Assembly. According to George de Huszar, the editor of Bastiat’s Selected Essays on Political Economy (Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Foundation for Economic Education, 1964), in which this essay appears, Bastiat lost the original manuscript in a house move and so rewrote it. He was unhappy with the result, so he rewrote it again. The expression “what is seen and what is not seen” has become emblematic of Bastiat’s approach to economic problems in that he wants to go beneath the apparent surface of economic phenomena, such as in the parable of the broken window. Some would see the broken window as an opportunity for the glass industry to expand its sales and create more work; others, like Bastiat, would see it as a loss because the old window has been destroyed and what is spent on replacing it might have been used to purchase something else. Bastiat spent the last decade of his life making arguments like this to a popular audience who did not seem to understand.
Wine and Spirits Tax. Eliminated by the revolutionary parliament of 1789, the tax on wine and spirits was progressively reinstated during the empire. It comprised four components: (1) a consumption tax (10 percent of the sale price); (2) a license fee paid by the vendor, depending on the number of inhabitants; (3) a tax on circulation, which depended on the département; and (4) an entry duty for the towns of more than four hundred inhabitants, depending on the sale price and the number of inhabitants. Being from a wine-producing region, Bastiat had always been preoccupied by a law that was very hard on the local farmers.
List of the Correspondence by Recipient
To Victor Calmètes
To Félix Coudroy
To A. M. Laurence
To Richard Cobden
To Horace Say
To Charles Dunoyer, member of the Institute
To Alphonse de Lamartine
To Mr. Paulton
To [D.] Potonié
To Alcide Fonteyraud
To Mrs. Schwabe
To Marie-Julienne Badbedat (Mme Marsan)
To Bernard Domenger
To Julie Marsan (Mme Affre)
To Mr. Schwabe
To Mme Cheuvreux
To the Count Arrivabene
To George Wilson, chairman of the Anti-Corn Law League
To Prosper Paillottet
To M. Cheuvreux
To Louise Cheuvreux
To M. de Fontenay
To the president of the Peace Congress in Frankfurt
From Prosper Paillottet to Mme Cheuvreux
To the Journal des économistes