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2. Émeric Crucé’s “Nouveau Cynée” (1623), Universal Peace and Free Trade


Émeric Crucé’s Nouveau Cynée (1623) was the earliest work to call for both universal peace and global free trade. Anonymously published, the work endorsed a pacifistic international body that would replace war with diplomatic state cooperation. Crucé claimed that by eschewing belligerent aggrandisement people could not only live in peaceful co-existence, regardless of geography or religion, great material prosperity would also be engendered. But this notion of an end to war within a seventeenth century context of frequent conflict meant the work was largely ignored by contemporaries, who favoured the international law of jurists such as Grotius. As a consequence the Nouveau Cynée was largely forgotten. Instead, the abbé de Saint-Pierre’s Projet pour rendre la paix perpétuelle (1712) came to be acclaimed as the first plan to value the correlation between non-violent cooperative states and commercial prosperity. Building on the Duke of Sully’s call in the Grand Dessein (1638) for a European senate, Saint-Pierre envisaged a European political union enriched by trade. Yet these proposals were restricted to Christendom, thereby lacking the breadth and purpose of Crucé’s world vision. While the Nouveau Cynée’s contribution has been noted in international relations and economics, it has largely been neglected by historians of political thought. Through an interdisciplinary approach this article will discuss the significance of the Nouveau Cynée’s early advocacy of global peace and free trade to political thought, as well as its influence on Sully and Saint-Pierre.

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ISSN 2280-8574. Published by GISI - UniTO. Hosted by Reg. Trib. Torino n. 9, 24-01-2011. Direttore responsabile: Simone Mammola. Contact: The JIHI editors. Book reviews contact: Simone Mammola.

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