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Social and Political Thought of the French Revolution, 1788-1797

An Anthology of Original Texts- Abridged Edition

Marc A. Goldstein

This anthology traces contemporary responses to some of the fundamental questions raised during the French Revolution concerning the world of social and political humankind. What is a constitution? What is the nature of sovereignty? Who are the people? What is the nation? What is the meaning of popular sovereignty, of national sovereignty? What is the origin and meaning of rights? Given differences in the abilities of individuals, is economic equality in society possible? Is it desirable? Is it really in the interest of the poor? What is their interest? What is the general interest, the common interest of society? Do commoners and the privileged share a common interest? Do the rich and the poor? If so, what is it? If not, how – to paraphrase Rousseau – is a moral society possible?