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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 after the Terror

Moderation after the Terror

Madame de Staël’s Elusive Center

(p.158) Five Moderation after the Terror
A Virtue for Courageous Minds

Aurelian Craiutu

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines political moderation in the writings of Germaine de Staël, with a particular focus on her attempt to create a center in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Madame de Staël's has established a reputation for her strong and sustained commitment to political moderation. It first considers Madame de Staël's contribution to the debates on the origins, nature, and legacy of the French Revolution before discussing the Constituent Assembly and the French constitution of 1791. It then explores Madame de Staël's views on political fanaticism and representative government, along with her proposed political center that could accommodate moderates from all camps. It also analyzes the defeat of the moderates and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte and concludes with an assessment of the French Charter of 1814 in comparison to the English constitution.

Keywords:   political moderation, Germaine de Staël, center, French Revolution, Constituent Assembly, French constitution, fanaticism, representative government, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charter of 1814

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