World Literature

The French Revolution and the Birth of Electoral Democracy by Melvin Edelstein

By Melvin Edelstein

Democracy is likely to be the defining attribute of recent Western society, yet at the same time overdue because the 19th century it was once frequently seen with suspicion via many that observed it as reminiscent of anarchy and mob rule. It used to be now not till the French and American revolutions of the eighteenth century that electoral democracy started to achieve momentum as a major strength, which was once finally to form political discourse on a extensive, overseas scale. Taking as its concentration the French Revolution, this publication explores how the adventure in France encouraged the emergence of electoral democracy, arguing - opposite to contemporary revisionist reports - that it was once certainly the progenitor of contemporary consultant democracy. Rejecting the revisionist semiotic method of political tradition; it in its place adopts a definition emphasising the shared values that govern political behaviour, arguing that the Revolution's crucial contribution to fashionable political tradition is its proposal of citizenship, embracing common political participation.In a broader feel, the ebook reports the grass-roots democracy, targeting participation within the fundamental and secondary electoral assemblies. it really is basically taken with electoral habit and practices: how do we clarify the electoral procedure and its effects? It analyzes electoral approaches and practices, and voter turnout, in keeping with vast quantitative information. whereas taken with political heritage, this paintings additionally examines political sociology, giving cautious recognition to the occupational composition of elected officials.Whilst acknowledging the democratic shortcomings of the French Revolution (the absence of political events, electoral campaigns, and declared candidates), the book's accomplished examine of progressive elections concludes that, including its American counterpart, the French Revolution did certainly supply beginning to fashionable electoral democracy. As such, this publication is vital examining for historians, political scientists, sociologists and readers drawn to the beginning of recent liberal democracy.

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Champion, 1925), vol. 1, pp. 448 and 454. 51 Le Gall, “Les consultations générales en Loire-Inférieure,” pp. 96–8. The Elections to the Estates General 31 of preliminary negotiations. The president simply presented to the voters the members who had already agreed to carry out that mission. That is why they were elected so easily, often by acclamation. 52 The consensual approach was not universally accepted. At Villiers-lesHauts, a laboureur and a manouvrier were elected as deputies to the secondary bailliage of Avallon.

In a second stage, all the deputies elected in the different assemblies gathered at the City Hall under the presidency of the municipal officers to form the general assembly of the Third Estate. It fused the individual cahiers into a cahier for the city and elected a number of deputies indicated in a table annexed to the electoral regulation. Those cities not listed in the Annex were only allowed to elect four deputies. Initially, 141 cities were included on the list, but eventually over 260 cities received the right to elect from six to 150 deputies to the bailliage assembly.

They eliminated their opponents at the sénéchaussée assembly. During the reduction to one-quarter of the deputation, pre-arranged lists of names were circulated and approved. As a result, the patriots dominated the assembly of the principal sénéchausée. Out of nine deputies, Rennes alone had five. Cochin asserts that this was a victory of masonry. 50 However, the composition of the deputation poses several problems for Cochin’s interpretation: only four out of eight deputies were masons; only six belonged to the Cottin committee; and Cottin himself was only elected as seventh deputy.

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