By William H Sewell Jr.
This ebook experiences the robust rhetoric of the good pamphlet and the bright yet enigmatic considered its writer. William H. Sewell’s insightful research unearths the basic position performed by means of the hot discourse of political economic system in Sieyes’s proposal and uncovers the ideas in which this proficient rhetorician received the assent of his meant readers—educated and filthy rich bourgeois who felt excluded by way of the the Aristocracy within the hierarchical social order of the previous regime. He additionally probes the contradictions and incoherencies of the pamphlet’s hugely polished textual content to bare fissures that extend to the middle of Sieyes’s thought—and to the center of the innovative venture itself.
Combining innovations of highbrow background and literary research with a deep knowing of French social and political heritage, Sewell not just models an illuminating portrait of an important political record, yet outlines a clean standpoint at the background of innovative political culture.
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Additional info for A Rhetoric of Bourgeois Revolution: The Abbé Sieyes and What is the Third Estate?
He disagreed sharply with Bastid's claim that Sieyes's ideas were intellectually consistent. Lefebvre asserted that they were in fact utterly inconsistent, that over the course of the revolution he had moved from advocating unlimited popular sovereignty located in a unified legislature to supporting a minutely subdivided government with a strong executive and a legislative authority scattered among several distinct bodies. "32 He elaborated: Sieyes is the man of that bourgeoisie which, in 1789, overturned the aristocracy to replace it purely and simply with its own political and social authority: liberal in 1789; supporting democracy in the year II only impatiently and momentarily 30.
Cesarge, who began his ecclesiastical career as the vicar general of Frejus and became almoner of the king's oratory in Versailles in 1769, was the younger son of a marquis. Cesarge eventually arranged for Sieyes to become the secretary of de Lubersac, a fellow royal almoner, also of noble parentage, who in 1775 was named bishop of Treguier in Brittany. That same year, de Lubersac obtained for Sieyes the expectative of a position as canon of Treguier-meaning that he would only assume the benefice when its current occupant died.
In 1765, at the age of eighteen, he entered the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris; while at the seminary, he studied theology at the Sorbonne. He was at best an indifferent student: after five years he received his first diploma in theology but was ranked at the bottom of the list of passing candidates. In 1772, at the age of twenty-four, he was ordained as a priest, and in 1774 he obtained his licence in theology, ranked fifty-fourth in a class of eighty-eight. 6 Sieyes made up for his lack of zeal in theological studies by becoming an insatiable reader of the philosophes.