Talk:Marquis de Condorcet

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Girondists and Montagnards[edit]

"Girondists who favored a peaceful reconstruction of France" hmmmm.... this phrase is embarrrassing to say the least : Ok the Girondist were less radical than the Montagnards but the Girondists voted for war while Robespierre was opposed... Is war a peaceful reconstruction ? Ericd 23:37, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I think even "the moderate Girondists, and the more radical Montagnards" is problematic. Ultimately the Montagnards moved in a more radical direction, and certainly the government embrace of terror was a Montagnard invention, but in terms of policies, and especially early in the Convention, I would not say that the Montagnards were at all clearly more radical. I'm going to stick the {{expert}} tag on this one, because I don't think I'll have time to do much work on it myself.

In short, the biographical details seem fine, but we could use some work on the political background. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:27, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

This has still not been addressed. - Jmabel | Talk 07:12, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I gave it a try. Here is the background :
I. From May 1789 till September 1791, there has been an Assemblée constituante, with the intention to write the Constitution, and then go to business as usual, with an elected Assemblée législative. In this Assemblée constituante, heir of the États généraux, nobility had its place, with clergy, and the Third Estate, divided in many clubs, monarchists and a group of Jacobines. The Jacobines quarreled by the end, and broke up in two major parts, Girondists and Jacobines "new style".
II. In September 1791, when the Constitution was ready, the Assemblée législative was elected (by about 5% of the population, hardly more democratic than the Ancien Régime). This is the Assembly meant in the article - Condorcet was elected in it, and was its secretary. In this Assemblée législative, there were 3 major factions: Feuillants, Girondists and Jacobines/Montagnards/Sansculottes. Nobility had been wiped out by the elections. The Feuillants accepted the Constitution and considered the revolution as accomplished - time to repair the damage. The republican Girondists and Jacobines wanted to reopen the discussion on the Constitution and sought ways to get rid of the King - who, in spite of his flight to Montmédy, was basically in favor of the Constitution (upon his return, he negotiated modifications to it, and finally, agreed and swore allegiance).
Girondists and Jacobines differed by their approach and the nature of their iniquity. The Jacobines worked on the public opinion (lies, slander, riots) and waited for a favorable moment to seize power violently. The Girondists sought war to divert public attention from the financial problems, and hoped that, during a war with Austria, they could accuse the King of treason - easy, as the King would (by his character) seek peace.
When the enemy threatened Paris, the slander campaign against the King and the Queen had its effect and the Jacobines managed to emprison the King after an assault on the Tuileries (August 10, 1792).
The violence of the Jacobine/Sansculottes forced new elections, under pretext that the King had been destituted (illegally).
III. A Convention nationale was elected. Under constant intimidation (elections were not secret), Jacobines wiped out the Feuillants. There were only Girondists (again with Condorcet) and Jacobines left over as recognisable parties, and a lot of undecided, which eventually were convinced or put under pressure to choose one side or the other. The trial of the King by the Convention was no more than a mockery of justice: none of the accusations was substantial, proven, true, or legal. After the death of the King, lacking an enemy, the bloodthirsty representatives turned first against the old enemies, the Feuillants, soon after against each other - the Jacobine party won. A restricted committee was elected to exert the Terror and commit the many murders needed to reach the Jacobine ideal state.
I believe that the difficulties in describing the political background of France, as Ericd and Jmabel have already indicated, stem from an attempt to represent Condorcet as either belonging to the moderates, or as undecided. Drop all illusions: our hero was part of it - warmongery, intimidation, demagogy and regicide - and, in spite of his intellect, he condemned the King on basis of ludicrous charges. There are words to describe such people.
Riyadi (talk) 13:29, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Disambiguation[edit]

I changed Condorcet into redirect, and moved the text there to the Condorcet (disambiguation) page.

--Thorsen 19:27, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Unusually for French noblewomen?[edit]

"Unusually for French noblewomen, she was erudite, intelligent, and well-educated". It was actually part of the education of a young girl of noble birth to learn foreign languages, especially italian, in order to sing some operas tunes. Also they were often erudite, as the example of Mme De Stael, or even Mme de Maintenon a century before shows it. It is a "cliché" to portrait the noblewomen as illiterate. They enjoyed litterature and arts as much as the men did. PaulOgier 22:27, 28 October 2007 (UTC)



"Ahead of his time"?[edit]

The article currently says, "Ahead of his time in many respects as an 18th century thinker...". Born and dead in the 18th century, I'd think he was exactly in his time as an 18th-century thinker. Maybe this should be "Ahead of his time as a philosopher"? --ESP 21:00, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think you understand what that sentence is saying. It is stating explicitely that, although his dates ARE in the 18th century, he was ahead of his time (... in whatever aspect follows that ellipse, at least). It is not saying that he lived in a prior century but somehow obtained a status as an 18th century thinker as you have interpreted. MarcelB612 (talk) 04:49, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Please don't use the standard 1911 template[edit]

As it turns out, it's inaccurate to use the 1911 template on this article. when I wrote the bulk of this article, I used the 1911 Encyclopedia as a reference, but was careful to take notes from a variety of sources, and wrote the article from that. No literal text was copied. I still sucked at citing sources in here, but was fantastic by 2002 WP standards ;-) -- RobLa 04:57, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

OK, but then shouldn't the EB article at least be listed as a reference? - Jmabel | Talk 05:40, 30 July 2006 (UTC) I see, it is. I'll add a convenience link to an online copy. - Jmabel | Talk 05:42, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Arrest and Death[edit]

The commentary at the end of the Arrest and Death section seems highly speculatory. Which historians say this? Is the parenthetical material verifiable? If it is, this feels like it should be sourced. If it isn't, it shouldn't be there. 146.243.4.157 13:49, 28 August 2006 (UTC)


"perhaps because he was too loved and respected to be executed" Given that prominent, feared and popular men, like Danton and Desmoulins, have been beheaded, the death of a nobleman belonging to a much-suspected elite wouldn't have stirred a lot of troubles,if any. The judges wouldn't have had any problem in condemning him. 22:21, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Paul Ogier


1911 Britannica[edit]

The 1911 Britannica entry on Condorcet is considerably better and more extensive than the current one. Maybe uniting the two would be a good idea? -- Palthrow (talk) 17:58, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Early Life section.[edit]

The last paragraph seems to lack specifics and doesn't really seem in place.

71.123.93.195 (talk) 01:24, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Name[edit]

How is his name pronounced? --Explodicle (T/C) 18:32, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

There's a pronounciation guide (and audio sample) at http://m-w.com/dictionary/condorcet , I'll add an IPA to the article. Gabbe (talk) 19:02, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! --Explodicle (T/C) 19:42, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Where's that IPA? ⇔ ChristTrekker 20:10, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Inquiry[edit]

Is there an authoritative work on Condorcet's Outline - particularly something which treats the parts that Malthus objected to in his Essay in depth? Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:05, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Also, for the references and inline citations, could someone provide the relevant page numbers? Some of the text reads like someone's getting really fancy in their interpretation of what Condorcet said, or rather what some source said that Condorcet said. Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:14, 7 November 2010 (UTC)