3. Etienne Clavière et l’affirmation d’un républicanisme cosmopolite dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle

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Mathieu Chaptal


An unknown figure in the history of the second half of the 18th century, Etienne Clavière (1735-1793) nonetheless occupies a major place in the political and legal circulation of the republican ideal. Indeed, from Geneva to France, via Ireland and the United States, its intellectual and political trajectory wonderfully symbolizes the intensity of the European circulation of republican ideas, and its transatlantic dimension in the second half of the 18th century. Leader of the Republican Party in Geneva before becoming nearly thirty years later the first Finance Minister of the Republic in France, Clavière has the intention to implement a cosmopolitan Republican ideal of freedom in several States. In order to achieve this, he developed over the course of his political career a constitutional doctrine with a universalist vocation against the conceptual weight of national legal and political traditions. From this perspective, his doctrine refers less to the form than to the nature of the republican regime. Already with a solid political experience during the French Revolution, Clavière’s cosmopolitan Republican vision acts like a bridge between the political culture of the Late Enlightenment and the radicalization of the republican rhetoric in France in 1792.

English title: Etienne Clavière and the affirmation of a cosmopolitan republicanism in the second half of the 18th century

Keywords: Etienne Clavière, Republicanism, Cosmopolitan ideals, Legal History, History of Political Ideas


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