The Cordeliers Club and the democratisation of English republican ideas<sup>1</sup>

Rachel Hammersley

in The English Republican tradition and eighteenth-century France

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780719079320
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702345 | DOI:
The Cordeliers Club and the democratisation of English republican ideas1

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The Cordeliers Club, which was established in the spring of 1790, grew out of the Cordeliers District—one of the sixty electoral districts of Paris that had been created to facilitate the elections to the Estates-General. It was one of the most radical of the revolutionary political clubs. Certain members of the Cordeliers Club were calling for a French Republic from as early as 1789, and in 1791, the Club was directly involved in the republican movement that emerged in the aftermath of the King's flight to Varennes. Moreover, the particular version of republicanism favoured by Club members was unusually democratic. In their pamphlets and speeches, they combined Rousseau's political theory with ideas drawn from the English republican tradition in order to create one of the first theories of modern democratic government in the Western world.

Keywords: Cordeliers District; Paris; revolutionary political clubs; French Republic; republicanism; Rousseau's political theory; democratic theories

Chapter.  6165 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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