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A Virtue for Courageous MindsModeration in French Political Thought, 1748-1830$
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Aurelian Craiutu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691146768

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691146768.001.0001

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Moderation and the “Intertwining of Powers”

Moderation and the “Intertwining of Powers”

Jacques Necker’s Constitutionalism

Chapter:
(p.113) Four Moderation and the “Intertwining of Powers”
Source:
A Virtue for Courageous Minds
Author(s):

Aurelian Craiutu

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691146768.003.0005

This chapter examines political moderation in the writings of Jacques Necker, with particular emphasis on his views on constitutionalism. Necker occupies a special place in the history of political moderation. He defended the principles of constitutional monarchy successively against the king, the nobility, and the representatives of the people. Necker's works, composed at different stages of the French Revolution, articulated a political agenda revolving around the idea of moderation in opposition to arbitrary power and violence. The chapter first provides an overview of Necker's ideas before discussing his theoretical statements on reforming the Old Regime. It then explains Necker's trimming agenda and the consequences of immoderation before turning to the French constitution of 1791 and Necker's critique of the constitutions of 1795 and 1799. It also explores Necker's arguments regarding complex sovereignty, equality, and separation of powers.

Keywords:   moderation, Jacques Necker, constitutionalism, Old Regime, trimming, immoderation, French constitution, complex sovereignty, equality, separation of powers

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