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Glossary of Subjects and Terms - Frédéric Bastiat, Collected Works of Bastiat. Vol. 2: The Law, The State, and Other Political Writings, 1843-1850 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 2: The Law, The State, and Other Political Writings, 1843-1850, Jacques de Guenin, General Editor. Translated from the French by Jane Willems and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Pascal Salin. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation Editor Dennis O’Keeffe. Academic Editor, David M. Hart (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2012).
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Glossary of Subjects and Terms
Anti–Corn Law League (Corn League, or League). Founded in 1838 by Richard Cobden and John Bright in Manchester. The initial aim of the League was to repeal the law restricting the import of grain (Corn Laws), but it 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 (Free Trade Association). Group 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.
Le Bien public. Journal founded by Lamartine at the end of 1843 “to serve as the organ of the serious but not radical opposition,” as he stated in his Récapitulation. Extrait du bien public (1844), which was taken from Le Bien public, 21 November 1844.
Collège de France. Institution created under François I in 1529 to deliver advanced teaching not yet available at the universities. It grants diplomas, chiefly in engineering.
Conservatoire national des arts et métiers. Public institution of higher education created by Abbé Grégoire in 1794. It is intended for people already engaged in professional life and grants diplomas, chiefly in engineering.
Constituent Assembly. After the overthrow of Louis Philippe on 24 February 1848, an election was held on 23 April to elect a Constituent Assembly which would draw up a new constitution. The election was by universal male suffrage and involved nearly eight million Frenchmen. Bastiat was successful in this election, representing the département of the Landes. A Constitution Committee of Twelve was appointed to draw up the constitution, which was approved 739 to 30 on 4 November 1848.
La Démocratie pacifique: Journal des intérêts des gouvernements et des peuples. Fourrierist journal, launched and edited by Victor Considérant. The journal advocated the creation of “harmonious communities.” It ran from 1843 to 1851.
Département. French administrative division. Départements are the equivalent of counties and enjoy a certain administrative autonomy.
Doctrinaires. Group of liberal constitutional monarchists who emerged during the restoration of the French monarchy, between 1815 and 1830. They included such people as Pierre Paul Royer-Collard, François Guizot, Élie Decazes, and Maine de Biran, and the journals in which they wrote included Le Constitutionnel and Le Journal des débats. The aim of the Doctrinaires was to steer a middle course between an outright return to the pre-1789 status quo (supported by the Legitimists) and a republic based on full adult suffrage (supported by the socialists and the radical liberals). The Doctrinaires supported King Louis XVIII, the constitution of 1814, and a severely restricted electorate of wealthy property owners and taxpayers who numbered barely one hundred thousand people. Their main principles were articulated by François Guizot in Du gouvernement représentatif et de l’état actuel de la France (1816).
Les Économistes (The Economists). Self-named group of liberal, free-trade political economists. Bastiat and his colleagues believed that, because their doctrine was founded on natural law and a scientific study of the way markets and economies worked in reality, there could be only one school of economics (just as there could be only one school of mechanics or optics). On the other hand, the opponents of free markets (such as the followers of Fourier, Robert Owen, Étienne Cabet, Louis Blanc, Pierre Proudhon, and Pierre Leroux) had as many schools of socialist thought as they could imagine different ways in which society might be restructured or reorganized according to their utopian visions.
February Revolution. See the entry for “Revolution of 1848” in this glossary.
Fourierism. See the entry for “Fourier, François-Marie Charles,” in the Glossary of Persons.
Fourierist. See the entry for “Fourier, François-Marie Charles,” in the Glossary of Persons.
General Council. Chamber in each French département that deliberates on subjects concerning that département. It has one representative per county (twenty-eight at the time for the Landes département, thirty-one today), elected for nine years (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.
General Council on Agriculture, Industry, and Trade. Created by a decree of 1 February 1850, the Council resulted from the merger of three councils (respectively agriculture, industry, and commerce) that were separate up to then. It had 236 members: 96 for agriculture, 59 for industry, 73 for commerce, and 8 for Algeria and the colonies. Its role was to enlighten the government on economic matters. The first session took place from 7 April to 11 May 1850 in the Luxembourg Palace and was opened by the president of the Republic.
Girondins. Group of liberal-minded and moderate republican deputies and their supporters within the Legislative Assembly (1791–92) and National Convention (1792–95) in the early phase of the French Revolution. They got their name from the fact that many of the deputies came from the Gironde region in southwest France, near the major port city of Bordeaux. An important meeting place for the Girondins, where they discussed their ideas and strategies, was the salon of Madame Roland (1754–93). Other members of the group included Jean Pierre Brissot, Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud, Charles Barbaroux, Thomas Paine, and the marquis de Condorcet.
In their bitter rivalry with other groups within the Jacobin group (in particular Robespierre and the Montagnard faction), they disputed the proper treatment and punishment of the deposed king, the war against Austria, and the other monarchical powers that threatened France with invasion, and how far the radical policies of the Revolution needed to be pushed. Eventually they lost out to the radical Jacobins around Robespierre, and many of them were imprisoned and executed during the Terror.
Jacobites. Supporters of James II, overthrown in 1688, of his son James III, and of his grandson Charles Edward. The 1688 revolution had organized the succession to the throne in such a way as to prevent any return of the Stuarts, that is, of a Catholic monarchy. Many Tories, though, were suspected of Jacobite sympathies.
Jacques Bonhomme. Short-lived biweekly paper in June 1848, written by Bastiat. See also “Bastiat’s Political Writings: Anecdotes and Reflections,” pp. 402–3.
Le Journal des débats. 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 supported the liberal stance espoused by the Doctrinaires. It ceased publication in 1944.
Le Journal des économistes. Journal of the Société d’économie politique, which appeared from December 1841 until the fall of France in 1940. It was published by the firm of Guillaumin (1841–42), 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 (1842–43), Hippolyte Dussard (1843–45), Joseph Garnier (1845–55), Henri Baudrillart (1855–65), Joseph Garnier (1866–81), Gustave de Molinari (1881–1909), and Yves Guyot (from 1910). Bastiat published many articles in the journal, many of which 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.
July Monarchy. See the entry for “Revolution of 1848” in this glossary.
July revolution. See the entry for “Revolution of 1848” in this glossary.
June Days. See the entry for “Revolution of 1848” in this glossary.
Mimerel Committee. See the entry for “Mimerel de Roubaix, Pierre,” in the Glossary of Persons.
Le Moniteur. See the entry for “Le Moniteur industriel” in this glossary.
Le Moniteur industriel. Periodical created in July 1835. It became the stronghold of protectionists and Bastiat’s bête noire.
Les Montagnards. See the entry for “La Montagne” in this glossary.
La Montagne (The Mountain). Comprising a group of deputies (Montagnards) favorable to a “democratic and social republic.” The Manifesto of the Montagnards, issued on 8 November 1848, presented the program of Ledru-Rollin and in general expressed the ideas of the Montagnards. 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 duc de Polignac (ultraroyalist politician who served in various capacities, such as prime minister, during the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy). Le National 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).
Phalanstery. Self-sustaining community of the followers of the utopian socialist Charles Fourier. He envisaged that new communities of people would spring up in order to escape the injustices of free-market societies and industrialism. He called his new self-supporting communities “phalanxes,” which would consist of about sixteen hundred people who would live in a specially designed building called a “phalanstère,” or “phalanstery.” A number of communities modeled on his ideas were set up in North America—in Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, and New York. Fourier’s ideas had some influence in French politics during the revolution of 1848 through the activities of Victor Considérant and his “right to work” movement. See also the entry for “Fourier, François-Marie Charles,” in the Glossary of Persons.
Physiocrats. Group of French economists, bureaucrats, and legislators who came to prominence in the 1760s and included such figures as François Quesnay (1694–1774), Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–81), Mercier de la Rivière (1720–94), Vincent de Gournay (1712–59), Mirabeau (1715–89), and Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739–1817). They are best known for coining the expression “laissez-faire” as a summary statement of their policy prescriptions. (See also the discussion of laissez-faire in “Bastiat’s Political Writings: Anecdotes and Reflections,” pp. 408–9.)
As the word physiocracy suggests (the rule of nature or natural law), the physiocrats believed that natural laws governed the operation of economic events and that rulers should acknowledge this fact in their legislation. They further believed that agricultural production was the source of wealth and that all barriers to its expansion and improvement (such as internal tariffs, government regulation, and high taxes) should be removed. The strategy of the physiocrats was to educate others through their scholarly and journalistic writings as well as to influence monarchs to adopt rational economic policies via a process of so-called “enlightened despotism.” This strategy met with very mixed results, as Turgot’s failed effort to deregulate the French grain trade in the 1770s attests.
Le Populaire. Newspaper propagating the communist ideas of Étienne Cabet.
La Presse. Widely distributed daily newspaper, created in 1836 by 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.
Republican calendar. New calendar adopted by the National Convention in October 1793 as part of a reorganization of all aspects of French society. The calendar would be based on months with three tenday weeks and a renaming of the days and months of the year. Thus 3 Nivôse Year III is 23 December 1794, and 23 Nivôse Year III is 12 January 1795. Many of the names of the months are quite poetic and have become associated with significant historical events: Brumaire, or “fog” (October–November); Nivôse, or “snowy” (December–January); Ventôse, or “windy” (February–March); Germinal, or “germination” (March–April); and Thermidor, or “summer heat” (July–August). The calendar was scrapped by Napoléon in 1805, soon after he became emperor.
Revolution of 1848 (also “February revolution”). Because France went through so many revolutions between 1789 and 1870, they are oft en distinguished by reference to the month in which they occurred. Thus we have the “July Monarchy” (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 some workers in Paris who were protesting the closure of the government-subsidized National Workshops work-relief program was bloodily put down by General Cavaignac; the “18th 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 that 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.
La Revue britannique. Monthly review that was founded in 1825 by Sébastien-Louis Saulnier (1790–1835). Its full title read Revue britannique. Receuil international. Choix d’articles extraits des meilleurs écrits périodiquesda la Grande-Bretagne et de l’Amérique, complété sur des articles originaux. It contained many articles on economic matters, such as the article in the 6th series, vol. 1, published in 1846, which was an unattributed piece on “La ligue anglaise” (Anti–Corn Law League), which might have been by Bastiat. It ceased publication in 1901.
Right of inspection. See the entry for “Slavery” in this glossary.
Saint Cyr. Leading French military academy (École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr). It was founded by Napoléon in 1803 in order to train officer cadets. During Bastiat’s lifetime there was some contention over the school’s motto. During Napoléon’s rule (1803–15) the motto was “ils s’instruirent pour vaincre” (they study in order to win [or conquer]). The restored monarch, Louis XVIII, changed the motto to “ils s’instruirent pour la défense de la patrie” (they study in order to defend the country). After the 1848 revolution and during the Second Empire (1852–70) the original wording used by Napoléon was reinstated.
Saint-Simonists (or Saint-Simonians). See the entry for “Saint-Simon, Claude Henri de Rouvroy,” in the Glossary of Persons.
Slavery (slave trade, right of inspection). Slavery did not have a strong presence within France, but it played a major role in the French Caribbean colonies, such as Saint-Dominique (Haiti). Under the influence of the ideas of the French Revolution, slavery was abolished in 1794 and a number of freed blacks were elected to various French legislative bodies. Napoléon reintroduced slavery in 1802 and fought a bloody but unsuccessful war in order to prevent a free black republic from emerging in Haiti.
In 1807, under pressure from such abolitionists as William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, Britain passed an act that abolished the slave trade, much of which was carried in British vessels. The United States followed suit in 1808 with a similar ban. This had significant implications for the southern states of the United States and the French Caribbean, where slavery remained firmly in place. The British Navy patroled the oceans, insisting upon a “right of inspection” to look for slaves being carried from Africa to the Caribbean and to punish those involved in the trade as pirates. This policy was a serious bone of contention between Britain and France, as the latter viewed the British policy as interference in their sovereign right to engage in trade and shipping. Slavery was abolished in the British Caribbean in 1833, again in the French colonies during the 1848 revolution, and in the United States in 1865 (the Thirteenth Amendment).
Société d’agriculture, commerce, arts, et sciences du département des Landes (Society for Agriculture, Trade, Arts, and Sciences of the Département of the Landes). Founded in 1798, the society, of which Bastiat was a member, included landowners with large holdings and people from the liberal professions.
Société d’économie politique (Society of Political Economy). Refounded in late 1842 after a false start in early 1842 and had its first monthly meeting at a restaurant in November 1842. It was attended by Joseph Garnier, Adolphe Blaise, Eugène Daire, Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin, and a fifth member who soon dropped out because he was a supporter of tariffs. Its first president was Charles Dunoyer, who served from 1845 to 1862, and Joseph Garnier was made permanent secretary in 1849. Its membership in 1847 was about fifty and grew to about eighty at the end of 1849. It is not known when Bastiat joined the society, but he is first mentioned in the minutes for August 1846, when the society hosted a banquet in honor of Richard Cobden, and Bastiat was one of several members of the society to make a formal toast to “the past and present defenders of free trade in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.” A summary of its monthly meetings was published in Le Journal des économistes.
Tory. See the entry for “Whig and Tory.”
Whig and Tory. Before the establishment of modern, organized, ideologically based political parties in the nineteenth century, there were less-formal groups or alliances that associated for short-term political benefit. In the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries there emerged in Britain groupings called Whigs and Tories.
The Whigs emerged in the late seventeenth century during the struggle of the Protestants, constitutional monarchists, and landed interests to prevent a newly invigorated Catholic Stuart monarchy from gaining power in 1678–81. This group was led by the Earl of Shaftesbury. By the 1830s and 1840s the Whigs had adopted the policies of free trade, the abolition of slavery, and Catholic emancipation. The origin of the name is probably from a term of abuse and criticism coined by their opponents—a “whiggamor” is a Scottish Gaelic word for cattle drover.
The Tories originally supported the Catholic Scottish claimant to the English throne in 1680 but later became staunch defenders of the established Anglican Church and the interests of the court. They opposed all forms of religious dissent and extension of the suffrage. Their name, too, probably came from their opponents—tóraidhe is an Irish word that means “outlaw.”
Wine and Spirits Tax. The wine and spirits tax was eliminated by the revolutionary parliament of 1789 but 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 such a law, which was very hard on the local farmers.
Zollverein. German customs union that emerged in 1834 when the southwestern German states of Baden and Württemberg joined the Prussian customs union. The Prussian state and its territories had created an internal customs union in 1818 following the economic turmoil of the Napoleonic wars and the increase in size of Prussian-controlled territory. It was based upon the relatively low Prussian customs rate, which meant that the expanded German customs union created a significant trading zone within the German-speaking part of Europe with a relatively low external tariffrate and the hope of increasing deregulation of trade within the trading zone.