Philosophy

Only in a free political society, declared Lamennais and his followers, could nineteenth-century Catholics hope to evangelize the new age. Complete religious liberty, with disestablishment of the Church, freedom of education and of the press, and the decentralization of governmental authority, writes J.B. Morrall, were among the aims they advocated. His views having been condemned by the Vatican and himself denounced by conservative critics as “Robespierre in a surpliceLamennais at length abandoned the faith to which he had devoted so much talent and energy.

Suspicion and persecution fell upon the lively Philosophical Societies of the late eighteenth century because of their international sympathy with Revolution, writes Eric Robinson.

“What is the American, this new man?,” Franklin seemed to provide the answer to this question first asked in 1784.

Gifted; energetic; passionate; unruly: Hamilton was perhaps the most creative figure thrown up by the American Revolution.

The legend that Babeuf had created and the doctrines of Babouvism became a powerful force in nineteenth-century Europe. W.J. Fishman writes how, among those whom it inspired, were the authors of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Michael D. Biddiss describes one of the chief originators of the pernicious racist doctrines that have played so malevolent a part in the history of modern Germany. Gobineau was a French historian whom a nineteenth-century German professor once described as a ‘God-inspired hero’.

E.E.Y. Hales describes Europe's premier revolutionary between the years 1835 and 1860, who was inspired by patriotism, belief in democracy, and lofty religious ideals.

In his youth hailed by Carlyle as a “new Mystic,” later acclaimed by his contemporaries as the “saint of rationalism,” John Stuart Mill was an extraordinarily versatile writer. Maurice Cranston profiles a man of very wide interests, who became the personification of Victorian liberal democracy and “the agnostic’s equivalent of a godfather” to the infant Bertrand Russell.

As it has fallen to the lot of our generation to relive the experiences of a Jeremiah and Josephus, writes Martin Braun, it is not surprising that a literature of historical self-analysis has sprung up in post-war Europe—most notably in Germany.

‘Human society must be begun again’, wrote Chamfort, who, after delighting the Court and the fashionable world, became an eloquent prophet of the Revolution. By Alaric Jacob.