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More Moderate Side of Joseph de Maistre

More Moderate Side of Joseph de Maistre: Views on Political Liberty and Political Economy

Cara Camcastle
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    More Moderate Side of Joseph de Maistre
    Book Description:

    The More Moderate Side of Joseph de Maistre expertly contextualizes his work within the historical events and intellectual debates that emerged in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Camcastle sheds new light on Maistre's conception of government as being made up of groups in dynamic counterbalance and on the system of inconvertible paper money that he developed a century before a similar system was universally adopted in the twentieth century. Camcastle provides a more complete and balanced picture of Maistre's political writings through original interpretations of his published works and translations from French and Italian into English of previously unpublished writings that substantiate key points.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7322-2
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. 1 Maistre’s Lodestars: Authority, Equilibrium, and Justice
    (pp. 3-69)

    WHEN MAISTRE WAS WRITING what was to become his most famous political work,Considérations, in 1796, political power had fallen into the hands of moderate republicans, property-owners, and some constitutional royalists who were interested in political stability and economic prosperity. Theémigréswere beginning to return to France. Maistre realizes that the new regime of the Directory could promise to be an ideal conjuncture for the restoration of the monarchy. On the other hand, manyémigréshad suffered enough during the Revolution to make them susceptible to the pleas of republicans such as Benjamin Constant and Madame de Stael that...

  6. II Maistre on Inconvertibility, Inflation, and Taxes
    (pp. 70-128)

    MAISTRE HAD ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATE LIBRARIES in the province of Savoy. Thirty libraries maintained by the representatives of the socio-economic elite of Savoy, including the aristocracy, the merchant class, and magistrates, were examined in one study. Maistre’s library was distinguished from them all by a better balance between different areas of knowledge and was much larger than those of other magistrates.¹ A catalogue of the books in his library reveals that he read many of the well-known works on public finance, banking, and political economy. Fortunately, since some of his notebooks have been preserved, we also have an...

  7. III Maistre on Commerce
    (pp. 129-167)

    SPECIALISTS IN MAISTREAN STUDIES have stated that one of the outstanding qualities of Maistre’s thought is that it is not narrowly focused, as it ranges over European social, political, and religious development. Interpreters of his thought have, however, largely ignored the writings on political economy. Maistre writes at a time when the European economies are being industrialized; his great interest in commerce is revealed in this chapter. An examination of Maistre’s notebooks containing commentaries and notes on the books that he is reading shows that much of this reading is in the field of political economy. He also formulates his...

  8. IV The Balance of Power
    (pp. 168-220)

    WHEN MAISTRE ARRIVED in Russia in 1803, the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia was struggling to survive as an independent state, since the French revolutionary army had taken Savoy and Nice in 1793. In 1798 the King of Piedmont, Carlo-Emanuéle IV, was forced to relinquish to Bonaparte the remaining areas of Piedmont on the mainland. As a result, the Kingdom was diminished to only the island of Sardinia. The behaviour of the Russian government indicated that it valued the continued existence of the House of Savoy. Paul I, the previous Czar, was the only European sovereign who had attempted, during...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 221-226)

    THE PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED WORKS of Joseph de Maistre considered in this study reveal a thinker who was in tune with his time and who makes a significant beneficent contribution to European thought. Maistre’s commentaries in his notebooks and the observations in his memoirs show that he is conversant with the ideas and leading questions of his day, produces a capable assessment of them, and adds an outstanding, original, constructive contribution. His understanding of the mechanisms of the economy and the political system is excellent and in some instances goes beyond what was achieved by his contemporaries. Policy recommendations similar...

  10. APPENDIX 1 Report on the commerce of grain between Carouge and Geneva
    (pp. 229-237)
  11. APPENDIX 2 Letter to the King of Piedmont regarding the export of grain
    (pp. 238-239)
  12. APPENDIX 3 Regarding paper money in the State of Piedmont
    (pp. 240-256)
  13. APPENDIX 4 Memoir on the project for a bank
    (pp. 257-260)
  14. APPENDIX 5 Letter to Galleni Napione
    (pp. 261-262)
  15. APPENDIX 6 Letter on the Pala case
    (pp. 263-264)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 265-276)
  17. Index
    (pp. 277-279)