And do you know why? Because in , the Soviet Union had its first atomic bomb test. And if until that moment, the Soviet Union was trying to reach agreement with [President Harry] Truman to ban nuclear weapons, and the Americans were not taking us seriously, in everything changed and they started talking to us on an equal footing. But a year after he made his remarks, it was clear to the U. After pioneering modern influence peddling, Manafort took his talents to Ukraine in the s to work for the Kremlin-backed politician Viktor Yanukovych and his party, the Party of Regions.
This in turn forced Yanukovych to flee the country for Russia—once again with help from the Kremlin—and Manafort to return to the United States, reportedly destitute after having lost his main patron. President Donald Trump has attempted to distance himself from allegations of collusion by asserting that he has no business interests in Russia.
It is just as important, if not more, to understand the many ways that Russia has business with Donald Trump. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, wealthy Russians have invested heavily in real estate in the West, while Americans were in turn encouraged to invest in Russia. What emerges is the story of a man indebted to Russia through the oligarchs that President Vladimir Putin helped create and now controls.
Upon taking office, Trump superficially distanced himself from the Trump Organization, ceding day-to-day control to his sons Donald Trump Jr. Individually and collectively, these relationships form the underpinning of the Russia scandal. The Kremlin has a long history of using compromising information, or kompromat, to exert leverage over businesspeople and politicians, both in Russia and abroad.
This is because Russian oligarchs, many of whom are former Soviet officials or hold positions of power in former Soviet states where the Russian government still holds significant influence, are widely considered an extension of the Russian state. In other words, if Trump has entered into a compromising financial relationship with Russian clients and partners—and overwhelming evidence documented below suggests he has—those relationships may have generated compromising material not just for the individuals involved but also for the Russian government.
Trump cannot be considered financially stable. I can give you almost percent assurance that Donald would not be on the list. With the collapse of the Russian economy in , Russian oligarchs who had made their fortunes buying up formerly state-held assets now sought to stash their money in international real estate. Russia also provided many of the buyers for Trump-branded real estate. And the Trump Organization reportedly welcomed the clientele. Trump SoHo, which broke ground in , typifies how the Trump Organization benefited from financing coming out of Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Some have also faced allegations of corrupt and criminal behavior, ranging from money laundering to smuggling to involvement in a prostitution ring. Perhaps the most notable connection emerging out of Trump SoHo involves the Russian American real estate developer Felix Sater, who formerly served as the managing director of the Bayrock Group. Sater has been involved in at least two attempts to develop a Trump Tower Moscow.
According to The Washington Post , the Trump Organization contracted with Bayrock to develop a high-rise in the Russian capital; it was reportedly far enough along in the process that a site was chosen before the deal ultimately fell through. Sater also provides an example of a business connection attempting to transition into the political realm. In January , Sater and Cohen reportedly worked with the Ukrainian politician Andriy sometimes transliterated Andrey or Andrii Artemenko to deliver a policy proposal to incoming national security adviser Lt.
Michael Flynn that would roll back sanctions against Russia. Trump SoHo is far from the only Trump Organization project to derive funding from questionable Russia-linked sources. Another example is the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto, which in June dropped its affiliation with the brand and is now simply the Adelaide Hotel Toronto. The Trump Organization has also pursued multiple projects in former Soviet states. His relationship with Deutsche Bank—which, as noted above, was by the late s the only major financial institution willing to lend to him—was remarkably contentious.
Moreover, in the mids, the Trump Organization made a radical shift in its business model. Trump not only did not deny this fact until he began running for president but actually spoke about it frequently, boasting of the amount of Russian money that flowed through his projects in numerous interviews. In , Trump Jr. We have all the funding we need out of Russia. As mentioned above, Trump is not the only real estate developer to have dealings with Russian individuals and entities.
Already, real estate is a popular vehicle for money laundering, as it provides numerous opportunities for the type of small-scale transactions frequently used to mask illicit flows of money. The Trump Organization has developed a reputation for skimping on the due diligence that is designed to avoid financing from illicit or questionable sources. Following its established playbook, Russia has increasingly interfered in the politics of traditional opponents throughout the West in the hopes of undermining democracy and stability from within.
Donald Trump was a political novice with a longstanding public admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a penchant for advancing conspiracy theories. He espoused isolationist policies and had potentially compromising financial relationships with Kremlin-aligned oligarchs. He also had few apparent scruples and was running against a woman Putin considers among his main adversaries. Trump was simply an ideal candidate for the Kremlin to back. There is also reason to suspect that Russia began cultivating Trump as an asset long before his campaign for president, a common tactic the Kremlin pursues with people it suspects may be useful in the future.
It is easy to forget that Trump initially supported Obama. By , however, Trump not only soured on Obama but was a leading proponent of the so-called birther movement. How—and even whether—Trump came to believe Obama was born in Kenya remains unknown. Given that Trump was at the time flirting with running for president, some have suggested that he began espousing birtherism as a matter of political expediency, evincing a recognition that racism was a key tool for appealing to large segments of the Republican base.
As described in Chapter 1, the Kremlin has a long and well-documented history of exploiting racial tensions in its efforts to influence politics abroad. Independence Party, and Alternative for Germany, employ thinly veiled or outright racist appeals. Trump rode birtherism to political prominence in the early s. He became an increasingly regular guest on Fox News and other conservative media outlets throughout the period, appearances that many analysts argue laid the groundwork for his presidential campaign. Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years.
It is on this trip, Steele alleges, that Russia obtained kompromat on Trump in the form of a compromising video. This allegation, among the more explosive in the dossier, has been neither conclusively corroborated nor conclusively disproven. It is not unlikely, in fact, that there may be many instances of kompromat on Trump based on years of doing business in the region. Whether or not Russia obtained kompromat on Trump during the weekend of the Miss Universe Pageant, the trip clearly left Trump with a high opinion of Russia and Putin.
Among their illegal actions was an attempt to recruit Carter Page, at the time the founder and head of a New York-based investment firm called Global Energy Capital. Page later became a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign. Two of the Russian nationals, who claimed innocence, avoided arrest thanks to diplomatic immunity; the third, who had entered the country as a private citizen, pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
NATURAL LAW AND ENLIGHTENMENT CLASSICS
As Page later described, the Russian operatives approached him with simple requests that did not set off any alarm bells, including asking for materials from a course on energy and politics he was teaching at the time. One of the spies also suggested he could help Page land contracts through his connections with Russian trade officials. It is now apparent that there was no bright line separating the two campaigns to elect Donald Trump. Though much about these contacts remains unknown, what is known provides strong evidence that the Kremlin and the Trump campaign were in continual communication.
From the day he entered the race, June 16, , Trump staked out a pro-Russia platform. Department of Justice later identified as an alleged Russian agent. Butina also allegedly infiltrated the National Rifle Association and other conservative groups on behalf of the Russian government. Butina has pleaded not guilty to the charges and, as of this writing, is in jail awaiting trial.
These remarks stood out because they directly contradicted decades of Republican sentiment. During his campaign, Trump was both famously heterodox for example, he repeatedly attacked free-trade agreements, long a linchpin of Republican economic policy and famously difficult to pin down on any one position for example, he promised he would both repeal the Affordable Care Act and protect Medicaid and Medicare, and frequently outright denied his own previous statements and policy positions.
By the time Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, , the U. Trump, including Mr. That Russia was in contact with Trump associates early on is especially notable considering that, at this point, the Trump campaign was reportedly largely a family affair. No people—and no desks or chairs or computers awaiting the arrival of staffers.
Just campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, spokesperson Hope Hicks and a strategy that centered on Trump making headline-grabbing statements. Around the same time, Russia reportedly began the cyberattacks that would prove central to its influence campaign. According to the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, that summer the Russian hacking group Cozy Bear began its first phishing operation targeting the Democratic National Committee. This period was marked by three major concurrent developments.
First, Trump began to win in Republican primary contests, increasingly staking a claim as the prohibitive favorite for the nomination. Second, Russia became significantly more aggressive in implementing its influence campaign. As Trump won primaries, Russia significantly escalated its hacking campaign. Having already penetrated the DNC, Russian hackers launched another phishing expedition on March 10, , targeting Democratic operatives.
Hacking was not the only measure Russian agents took to support their candidate. According to the U. In February, Reuters reported that the retired Lt. Between March and the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July , at least five individuals from the Trump campaign reportedly communicated with Kremlin officials or allies. According to the October guilty plea he signed, on March 14, , George Papadopoulos met for the first of at least three meetings with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor and reported Russian intelligence asset.
Prior to the speech, then-Sen. Sessions met with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In late May, Trump Jr. The most famous meeting between the two campaigns took place on June 9, The roots of the meeting go back to July , one month after Trump announced his candidacy. Goldstone had more success when, on June 3, , he sent an email to Trump Jr. The meeting occurred on June 9, , at 4 p. Attending on behalf of the Trump campaign were Trump Jr.
Taken together, these contacts demonstrate the overlap between the two campaigns to elect Donald Trump. By the end of June, at least eight individuals involved with the Trump campaign—George Papadopoulos, then-Sen. At least eight countries reportedly passed information to U. According to The New York Times , the FBI launched its investigation into the matter after Papadopoulos drunkenly mentioned his meetings with Mifsud to the Australian ambassador to the United Kingdom, who passed the information back to his government, which passed it to the U.
July saw more meetings and contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia and marked a turning point not only because Trump officially secured the Republican nomination for president but also because Russia began to implement its digital strategy. Sessions, Gordon, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and spokeswoman Hope Hicks, to receive approval.
Prior to the election, Republican politicians had almost universally attacked the Obama administration for refusing to provide lethal weapons assistance to Ukraine. Initially, the Trump campaign dissembled about the change. Since then, it has become clearer that the Trump campaign was behind the change. Page, who had just returned from Moscow, reportedly emailed Gordon and other campaign advisers praising their work on changing the amendment, and several other Republican operatives involved in the platform committee have since corroborated reports that Gordon led the effort to change the platform.
After the RNC, Russia began implementing one of the major planks of its digital strategy. On July 26, U. Individuals associated with the Trump campaign reportedly continued to interact with Kremlin-linked individuals throughout the final months of the campaign. It is now known as of October 29, that there were at least 71 contacts and 21 meetings between the two groups, involving at least 11 Trump officials and 20 Russians. Trump eagerly embraced WikiLeaks during the campaign, publicly mentioning the website times in the final month of the campaign alone. In emails between Stone and his longtime associate, the conservative radio host Randy Credico, Stone appears to allude to emails that have not yet been released, and even suggests rollout strategies for future releases.
Reporting since the election has revealed that others associated with the Trump campaign also communicated with WikiLeaks or Russian hackers during the campaign. The closest to Trump was his son Donald Trump Jr. The two exchanged several messages during the final month of the campaign, including one in which WikiLeaks suggested Trump contest the results of the election if he lost. Both sides have confirmed that the outreach occurred.
Assange has said that WikiLeaks received, but rejected, the offer. That afternoon, at p. Second, the Kremlin provided communications support. To supplement its online campaign, the Kremlin also reportedly purchased advertisements on social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. The Russian companies purchasing advertisements reportedly used targeting techniques that strongly resemble those that Cambridge Analytica frequently touts.
These similarities raise the possibility that the campaigns shared not only a superficial strategy but also underlying data behind the decisions. A February indictment of 13 Russian operatives and three Russian companies that allegedly carried out the online propaganda campaign indicated a much broader and more sophisticated operation than was initially revealed. They also reportedly conducted outreach with other pro-Trump groups, including one local field office, although the indictment does not mention if there was additional coordination with higher-level members of the Trump campaign.
Under the constitution of the Fifth Republic , as subsequently amended, the president of the republic is elected for a five-year term changed from a seven-year term following a referendum on 24 September by direct universal suffrage. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes cast, a runoff election is held between the two candidates having received the most votes.
If the presidency falls vacant, the president of the Senate assumes the office until a new election can be held within 20 — 35 days. The president appoints the prime minister and, on the prime minister's recommendation, the other members of the cabinet. The president has the power to dissolve the National Assembly, in which event new elections must be held in 20 — 40 days. When the national sovereignty is gravely menaced, the president is empowered to take special measures after consultation with the premier and other appropriate officials.
The National Assembly, however, may not be dissolved during the exercise of exceptional powers. The president promulgates laws approved by the legislature, has the right of pardon, and is commander of the armed forces. The bicameral parliament consists of two houses, the National Assembly and the Senate.
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Under a system enacted in , the National Assembly is composed of deputies, each representing an electoral district. If no candidate receives a clear majority, there is a runoff among those receiving at least All citizens aged 18 or over are eligible to vote. The deputies' term of office, unless the Assembly is dissolved, is five years. The Senate consisted, as of , of members indirectly elected to nine-year terms, one-third being chosen every three years.
Of the total, represented metropolitan France, 13, overseas departments and territories, and 12, French citizens residing abroad; all are chosen by electoral colleges. In addition, European elections are held to choose 87 French deputies out of in the European Parliament every five years, with proportional representation. To become law, a measure must be passed by parliament. Parliament also has the right to develop in detail and amplify the list of matters on which it may legislate by passing an organic law to that effect.
Regular parliamentary sessions occur once a year, lasting nine months each amended in from two shorter sessions a year. A special session may be called by the prime minister or at the request of a majority of the National Assembly. Bills, which may be initiated by the executive, are introduced in either house, except finance bills, which must be introduced in the Assembly.
These proceedings are open to the public, aired on television, and reported. The prime minister and the cabinet formulate national policy and execute the laws. No one may serve concurrently as a member of parliament and a member of the executive. Under certain circumstances, an absolute majority in the National Assembly may force the executive to resign by voting a motion of censure.
Under the new law of , members of the government are liable for actions performed in office deemed to be crimes or misdemeanors, and tried by the Court of Justice. French political life has long been ruled both by considerations of political theory and by the demands of political expediency. Traditional issues such as the separation of church and state help to distinguish between right and left, but otherwise the lines separating all but the extremist political parties are diffi cult to draw. One result of this has been the proliferation of political parties; another, the assumption by political parties of labels that seldom indicate any clear-cut platform or policy.
Broadly, since the late s, French politics has been dominated by four political groups: the Gaullists, an independent center-right coalition, the Socialists, and the Communists. After the parliamentary elections of 23 and 30 November , the first to be held under the constitution of the Fifth Republic, the largest single group in the Assembly was the Union for the New Republic UNR , which stood for the policies of Gen.
Only 16 members were elected by the center groups and only 10 were Communists. In the first presidential elections held by direct universal suffrage in December , President de Gaulle was reelected on the second ballot with Following nationwide strikes and civil disturbances by workers and students in the spring of , new parliamentary elections were held in June, in which de Gaulle's supporters won a sweeping victory.
On 28 April , following the defeat in a national referendum of a Gaullist plan to reorganize the Senate and regional government, President de Gaulle resigned. During the Pompidou administration, Gaullist control was weakened by an alliance between the Communist and Socialist parties. The Communists and Socialists increased their representation to 72 and , respectively. The remaining seats were won by the RI 55 and by centrists, reformists, and unaffiliated candidates On 2 April , President Pompidou died. However, as neither had won a majority, a run-off election was held on 19 May.
Giscard, with the help of Gaullist votes, defeated Mitterrand by a margin of The Socialists and Communists, who ran on a common platform as the Union of the Left, together won seats Socialists , Communists 86 and Independents, with the remaining 3. In the presidential elections of 26 April and 10 May , Mitterrand received Within weeks, Mitterrand called new legislative elections: that June, the Socialists and their allies won In return for concessions on various political matters, four Communists received cabinet portfolios, none relating directly to foreign affairs or national security.
The sweeping victory of the left was, however, eroded in March when Socialist and Communist officeholders lost their seats in about 30 cities in municipal balloting. Meanwhile, the Communists had become disaffected by government policies and did not seek appointments in the cabinet named when a new Socialist prime minister, Laurent Fabius, was appointed in July The National Assembly elections held in March represented a major defeat for the Socialist Party and their allies. The Communists also suffered losses, securing only 24 seats. Minor parties and independents won 26 seats. The Socialists lost of the Socialist seats that were at stake.
As a result, the Socialists introduced a new system of proportional voting aimed at reducing their losses in the forthcoming general election of 16 March The Communists, suffering a historic defeat, split the remaining 70 seats evenly with the far-right National Front, which won representation for the first time. Following his defeat by Mitterand in the May presidential election, Chirac resigned and a minority Socialist government was formed.
In , one year before they were scheduled, Chirac called for new parliamentary elections, hoping to achieve a mandate to inaugurate his policy of fiscal austerity. Instead, the Gaullists suffered a stunning defeat by the Socialists and Communists, leading to the appointment of Jospin as prime minister. In those elections, held 25 May and 1 June , the Gaullists saw their parliamentary presence decline from seats to ; the Socialists and related splinter groups went from 75 seats to ; the Communists from 24 to 38; the Greens from no seats to 8; and the far-right National Front maintained its single seat.
The Greens held only three seats. Its first test occurred in March , during the cantonal and regional elections. While suffering a devastating loss, it managed, through alliances, to secure a relative majority of the votes. Its second test was the European elections, also held in The UDF's relative success was largely caused by the attractive alternative that it offered voters that were unhappy with the government's take on social and European issues. The relative slump of the right can also be explained by the rise of popularity of the National Front and the unpopularity generated by the Raffarin governments.
In , parliament approved a code of regional reforms that had been rejected when proposed previously by President de Gaulle in Under this law, the 96 departments of metropolitan France were grouped into 22 regions. Regional councils composed of local deputies, senators, and delegates were formed and prefects appointed; in addition, regional economic and social committees, made up of labor and management representatives, were created.
This system was superseded by the decentralization law of 2 March , providing for the transfer of administrative and financial authority from the prefect to the general council, which elects its own president; the national government's representative in the department is appointed by the cabinet. The law like-wise replaced the system of regional prefects with regional councils, elected by universal direct suffrage, and, for each region, an economic and social committee that serves in an advisory role; the national government's representative in each region, named by the cabinet, exercises administrative powers.
The first regional assembly to be elected was that of Corsica in August ; the first direct assembly elections in all 22 regions were held in March Each of the 96 departments and four overseas: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Reunion and French Guiana is further subdivided for administrative purposes into arrondissements , cantons, and communes municipalities. The basic unit of local government is the commune, governed by a municipal council and presided over by a mayor. A commune may be an Alpine village with no more than a dozen inhabitants, or it may be a large city, such as Lyon or Marseille.
The majority, however, are small. As of , France had 36, communes. Most recently the trend has been for the smallest communes to merge and create larger urban communities, or to come together as communal syndicates to share responsibilities. Municipal councilors are elected by universal suffrage for six-year terms.
Each council elects a mayor who also serves as a representative of the central government. Several communes are grouped into a canton, and cantons are grouped into arrondissements, which have little administrative significance. As of 1 January , France had 36, communes of them overseas. There are two types of lower judicial courts in France, the civil courts tribunaux d'instance and tribunaux de grande instance in , including overseas departments and the criminal courts tribunaux de police for petty offenses such as parking violations, tribunaux correctionnels for criminal misdemeanors.
The most serious crimes, for which the penalties may range to life imprisonment, are tried in assize courts cours d'assises ; these do not sit regularly but are called into session when necessary. They are presided over by judges from the appeals courts. In addition, there are special commercial courts tribunaux de commerce , composed of judges elected among themselves by tradesmen and manufacturers, to decide commercial cases; conciliation boards conseils de prud'hommes , made up of employees and employers, to decide their disputes; and professional courts with disciplinary powers within the professions.
Special administrative courts tribunaux administratifs deal with disputes between individuals and government agencies. From the lower civil and criminal courts alike, appeals may be taken to appeals courts cours d'Appel , of which there were 27 in Judgments of the appeals courts and the courts of assize are final, except that appeals on the interpretation of the law or points of procedure may be taken to the highest of the judicial courts, the Court of Cassation in Paris.
If it finds that either the letter or spirit of the law has been misapplied, it may annual a judgment and return a case for retrial by the lower courts. The High Court of Justice Haute Cour de Justice , consisting of judges and members of parliament, is convened to pass judgment on the president and cabinet members if a formal accusation of treason or criminal behavior has been voted by an absolute majority of both the National Assembly and the Senate. The death penalty was abolished in The Conseil Constitutionnel, created by the constitution, is now the only French forum available for constitutional review of legislation.
Challenges to legislation may be raised by the president of the republic, the prime minister, the president of the Senate, the president of the National Assembly, 60 senators, or 60 deputies of the National Assembly during the period between passage and promulgation signature of president.
Once promulgated, French legislation is not subject to judicial review. The French judiciary is fully independent from the executive and legislative branches. The judiciary is subject to European Union mandates, which guide national law. This has been the case in the Court of Cassation since , in the Council of State since , and now even in the civil courts. In there were , active personnel in the French armed services.
An additional , served in the Gendarmerie Nationale, which is heavily armed. Reserves totaled 21, from all services. France's strategic nuclear forces in had 4, active personnel, of which 2, were Navy personnel, 1, Air Force, and 41 Gendarmarie Nationale. The French have the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world with a suspected total of weapons. The Army in numbered , military and 28, civilian personnel. Included were 7, members of the Foreign Legion, a 14, member marine force and an estimated 2, Special Operations Forces, as part of the French Army. Equipment included main battle tanks, 1, reconnaissance vehicles, armored infantry fighting vehicles, 4, armored personnel carriers, and artillery pieces towed.
The French Navy numbered 46, active personnel and 10, civilians in For that year, the Navy was equipped with 10 modern submarines 4 SSBNs and 6 SSNs , 34 principal surface combatants including one CVN and one CVH or helicopter carrier , and 85 other ships for mine warfare, amphibious operations, and logistics and support. France had 6, naval aviation personnel. There were also 2, naval marines, including commandos. The Navy also provided coast guard services and fishery protection.
The French Air Force numbered 65, active members, plus 5, civilians, and operated combat capable aircraft. France maintains substantial forces abroad in a number of countries, current and former possessions, and protectorates. These forces are supported by aircraft and naval ships in the Indian and Pacific oceans, and in the Carribean. Troops are also deployed on peacekeeping missions in several different regions and countries.
France joined the WTO in France is also a founding member of the European Union. In December , the country announced an intention to increase participation in the NATO military wing once again. France is one of the most richly endowed countries of Europe. The favorable climate, extensive areas of rich soil, and long-established tradition of skilled agriculture have created ideal conditions for a thriving farm economy. Agriculture and the agro-food industries account for a larger share of economic activity than in many other west European nations.
Large deposits of iron ore, a wellintegrated network of power plants, important domestic reserves of natural gas , good transport, and high standards of industrial workmanship have made the French industrial complex one of the most modern in Europe. After World War II , France's economy was stronger than it had been in the period between the two world wars. But on the debit side were the extremely high costs of France's colonial campaigns in Indochina and North Africa; the periodic lack of confidence of French investors in the nation's economy, resulting in the largescale flight of funds; and the successive devaluations of the franc.
Through most of the s and early s, the French economy expanded steadily, with GDP more than doubling between and Further oil price increases in — 80 marked the beginning of a prolonged recession, with high inflation, high unemployment, balance-of-payments deficits, declining private investment, and shortages in foreign exchange reserves.
However, GDP grew by an annual average of 2. By the late s, however, the economy began to record higher growth rates. In the French economy grew by 3. Unemployment, however, remained high at To combat this, the Socialist-led coalition of Lionel Jospin enacted legislation cutting the work week to 35 hours in However, France's exports increased at a greater rate than imports, fueling the economy.
France in fell from being the world's fourth-largest industrialized economy to fifth, being replaced by the United Kingdom. In , real GDP growth was 1. In , real GDP growth was expected to slow to 1. France and the United States are the world's top two exporting countries in defense products, agricultural goods, and services. Taxes remain the highest in the G-8 industrialized countries, and the tax structure is seen as a hindrance to business activity. The fastest-growing sectors of the economy have been telecommunications, aerospace, consulting services, meat and milk products, public works, insurance and financial services, and recreation, culture, and sports.
Although the government has privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, it still controls large sectors of the economy, including energy, transportation, and the defense industry. The French social model, characterized by heavy state involvement in the economy, a tax on wealth, and generous benefits for workers, has proved to be a strong disincentive to growth and job creation.
Unemployment, at 9. The pension system and rising healthcare costs strain public finances. Attempts to liberalize the economy have met strong resistance from labor unions and the left. Pension reforms proposed by the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin in early were met by huge protests and strikes in France. Discontent with the economy played a large role in France's rejection of the EU constitution in May Violent unrest in hundreds of towns erupted in the fall of , triggered by frustration over high unemployment among urban youth.
The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity PPP rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 1. The average inflation rate in was 1. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 2. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings.
It was estimated that for the period to household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 1. It was estimated that in about 6. In , the French workforce was estimated at In the latest year for which data was available , Workers freely exercise their right to strike unless it is prohibited due to public safety. Many unions are members of international labor organizations. Collective bargaining is prevalent. It is illegal to discriminate against union activity.
This amount provides a decent standard of living for a family. The standard legal workweek is set at 35 hours with restrictions on overtime. Children under age 16 are not permitted to work, and there are restrictions pertaining to employment of those under Child labor laws are strictly enforced. The labor code and other laws provide for work, safety, and health standards. Agriculture remains a vital sector of the French economy, even though it engages only about 3. In , France's fulltime farm labor force of , was still the second-highest in the EU. France is one of the leaders in Europe in the value of agricultural exports — chiefly wheat, sugar, wine, and beef.
Tropical commodities, cotton, tobacco, and vegetable oils are among the chief agricultural imports. About There were , farms in France in , of which only , were managed by full-time farmers. Since the s, the number of farms has declined and the size of individual holdings has increased. By there were about 1. Average farm size had grown to around 50 hectares acres in Because French law provides for equal rights of inheritance, traditionally much of the farmland came to be split up into small, scattered fragments.
One of the major aims of postwar plans for rural improvement has been the consolidation of these through reallotment. Such consolidation also fosters the growth of mechanization. In there were 1,, tractors fourth in the world after the United States, Japan , and Italy compared with , in , and 1,, in The most productive farms are in northern France, but specialized areas, such as the vegetable farms of Brittany, the great commercial vineyards of the Languedoc, Burgundy, and Bordeaux districts, and the flower gardens, olive groves, and orchards of Provence, also contribute heavily to the farm economy.
Among agricultural products, cereals wheat, barley, oats, corn, and sorghum , industrial crops sugar beets, flax , root crops potatoes , and wine are by far the most important. In , the wheat crop totaled 39,, tons and barley, 11,, tons. Other totals in tons included oats, ,; corn, 16,,; sugar beets, 30,,; rapeseed, 3,, tons; and sunflower seed, 1,, tons. Wine production in totaled million liters from 7,, tons of grapes. There is large-scale production of fruits, chiefly apples, pears, peaches, and cherries.
In , farm animals included Poultry and rabbits are raised in large numbers, both for farm families and for city markets. Meat production in included 1,, tons of beef and veal, 2,, tons of pork, 1,, tons of poultry, and , tons of mutton. Dairy farming flourishes in the rich grasslands of Normandy.
Total cows' milk production in was 25,, tons. France produces some kinds of cheese; in , production totaled about 1,, tons. Butter and egg production were , and 1,, tons, respectively. France's 4, km 2, mi of coastline, dotted with numerous small harbors, has long supported a flourishing coastal and highseas fishing industry. French aquaculture consists mainly of oyster and mussel production; most of the facilities are located along the English Channel and the Atlantic coasts. Herring, skate, whiting, sole, mackerel, tuna, sardines, lobsters, and mussels make up the principal seafood catch, along with cod, mostly from the fishing banks off northern North America , where French fishing vessels have sailed for centuries.
Production of canned seafood products in totaled 80, tons, mostly tuna, mackerel, and sardines. The United Kingdom and Norway are France's leading seafood suppliers. Forestry production in France has been encouraged by the government since the 16th century, when wood was a strategic resource in building warships. Although much of the original forest cover was cut in the course of centuries, strict forest management practices and sizable reforestation projects during the last years have restored French forests considerably.
Since , the government has subsidized the afforestation and replanting of 2. The reforestation project in the Landes region of southwestern France has been particularly successful. During — , the forested area increased by an annual average of 0. There were some 16 million hectares The forestry and wood products sector employed , persons in 35, companies in Production of roundwood in was Hardwood log production reached 6.
Softwood log production totaled 13 million cu m million cu ft in In December , a hurricane hit France and damaged an estimated 50 million cu m 1. France was a major European mineral producer, despite significant declines in the production of traditional minerals in recent years. France was among the leading producers of coal, was Europe's only producer of andalusite, and counted iron among its top export commodities in France was also self-suffi cient in salt, potash, fluorspar, and talc. Talc de Luzenac, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, was the leading producer of talc in the world.
In addition, France had sizable deposits of antimony, bauxite, magnesium, pyrites, tungsten, and certain radioactive minerals. One of the world's most developed economies, France had to make considerable changes in the structure of its industries, particularly those mineral industries controlled by the state.
Prior to , the state's heavy economic and political involvement was a main element of national mineral policy. Cessation of government subsidies to unprofitable operations, cheaper foreign sources, and depletion of mineral reserves have greatly affected the industry, particularly bauxite, coal, iron ore, lead, uranium, and zinc. The government has made efforts to promote the private sector, to proceed with a program of privatization, and to reduce the dependence of state-owned companies on subsidies. To encourage exploration, the government in passed a law expediting the granting of surveying and mining licenses.
Production figures for were: agricultural and industrial limestone, 12, metric tons; hydraulic cement, 20 million tons; salt rock, refined brine, marine, and in solution , 6. In France also produced copper; gold; silver; powder tungsten; uranium; elemental bromine; refractory clays; diatomite; lime; nitrogen; mineral, natural, and iron oxide pigments; Thomas slag phosphates; pozzolan and lapilli; and soda ash and sodium sulfate.
No iron ore was produced in ; the iron ore basin, stretching from Lorraine northward, used to produce more than 50 million tons per year, but its high phosphorus and low iron content limited its desirability. Terres Rouges Mine, the last to operate in Lorraine, closed in France ceased producing bauxite named after Les Baux, in southern France in Mining of lead and zinc has completely ceased.
France's energy and power sector is marked by modest reserves of oil, natural gas and coal, and a heavy reliance upon nuclear energy to meet its energy needs. As of 1 January , France had estimated proven oil reserves of 0. In , crude oil production was 28, barrels per day, but declined to 23, barrels per day in In , domestic demand for oil came to an estimated 1, As a result of the disparity between consumption and production, France has had to import crude oil.
In , net imports of crude oil came to 1. Like its oil resources, France's coal and natural gas reserves are very limited. As of 1 January , the country had an estimated billion cu ft of proven natural gas reserves. Production and consumption of natural gas in totaled an estimated billion cu ft and 1, France's recoverable coal reserves, production, and consumption in were estimated at In April , France closed its last operating coal mine and has since relied on coal imports to meet its demand for coal. During the s France became increasingly dependent on outside sources for petroleum.
Although petroleum and natural gas continued to be produced in France itself as they are today , the nation came to rely almost entirely on imports from oil fields of the Middle East , putting a heavy strain on the country's foreign exchange reserves. Discoveries of large supplies of natural gas and petroleum in the Sahara Desert changed the outlook radically; in France was able to meet almost half its fuel needs from countries within the franc zone.
Petroleum production from the Saharan fields rose spectacularly from 8. Although France lost title to the Saharan deposits after Algerian independence, arrangements were made with the Algerian government to keep up the flow of oil to France. Developments in the s exposed the limitations of this strategy. Algeria took controlling interest in French oil company subsidiaries in The oil shocks of the mid-and late s drove France's fuel and energy imports up; in , fuel imports accounted for In response, France began an energy conservation program, but oil consumption continued to increase between and , when fuel imports made up Mergers involving France's top oil companies in and created the fourth-largest oil company in the world, TotalFinaElf.
France's electric power sector is marked by a heavy reliance upon nuclear power. France has become the world's leading producer of nuclear power per capita, with the world's second-greatest nuclear power capacity exceeded only by the United States. Nuclear power accounts for In , France had an installed generating capacity estimated at GW, with production and consumption estimated at All electric power generation and distribution is controlled by the state-owned monopoly, Electricite de France EdF.
However, France has slowly begun to deregulate its electricity sector and to privatize EdF. France is also Europe's second-largest power market, exceeded only by Germany. Industry has expanded considerably since World War II, with particularly significant progress in the electronics, transport, processing, and construction industries. France is the world's fourth-leading industrial power, after the United States, Japan, and Germany although France was surpassed by the United Kingdom in as the world's fourth-largest economy.
In , the industrial sector accounted for The state has long played an active role in French industry, but government involvement was greatly accelerated by a series of nationalization measures enacted by the Socialists in By , about one-third of French industry — 3, companies in all — was under state control. However, there was some privatization during — 88, later resumed in , with 21 state-owned industries, banks, and insurance companies scheduled to be sold.
Although substantial progress had been made in privatization in the early s, the government still held a majority stake in such industries as aeronautics, defense, automobiles, energy, and telecommunications. Although France's industrial output has quadrupled since , by nearly 1. Th is shrinkage reflects not only steadily rising productivity, but also the major restructuring of industry due to globalization and the instability of oil markets.
In this respect, French industry has seen a rapid concentration of its firms and a sharp rise in direct investment abroad. As of , French companies controlled some 15, subsidiaries outside France, employing 2. France is the third-largest destination of inward investment in the world, after the United States and the United Kingdom, above all in the fields of information technology, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, and precision instruments.
The steel industry has suffered because of international competition and a general shift away from steel to aluminum and plastics. The French aluminum industry is dominated by a factory in Dunkirk owned by Pechiney, which was privatized at the end of The French automotive industry ranks third in world exports. The domestic market, however, has fallen prey to foreign competitors, especially from Germany and Japan, forcing the French auto makers to make greater use of robots, lay off workers, and open plants abroad.
The French aircraft industry, not primarily a mass producer, specializes in sophisticated design and experimental development. Some of its models, such as the Caravelle and the Mirage IV, have been used in over 50 countries. Airbus was incorporated in under French law as a simplified joint stock company. The Airbus A will seat passengers and be the world's largest commercial passenger jet when it enters service in The chemical industry, although not as strong as its rivals in Germany and the United States, ranks fourth in the world.
The pharmaceuticals, perfume, and cosmetics industry is highly significant. France is the world's largest exporter of perfumes.
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The textile industry is also important: France is the world's fourth-largest exporter of women's clothing. However, foreign competition has cut into the French textile industry. The agreement runs until , and was designed to give European textile manufacturers time to adjust to a world of unfettered competition. The spirit of resistance to uncivic commands broke forth at once in every part of the empire.
The garrisons of the cities of Rennes, Bourdeaux, Lyons, and Grenoble, refused, almost at the same moment, to resist the virtuous insurrection of their fellow citizens. No largesses could have seduced, no intrigues could have reached so vast and divided a body. Nothing but sympathy with the national spirit could have produced their Edition: ed; Page: [ 55 ] noble disobedience. The remark of Mr. Hume is here most applicable, that what depends on a few may be often attributed to chance secret circumstances but that the actions of great bodies must be ever ascribed to general causes.
A domestic army cannot be increased without increasing the number of its ties with the people, and of the channels by which popular sentiment may enter. Every man who is added to the army is a new link that unites it to the nation. If all citizens were compelled to become soldiers, all soldiers must of necessity adopt the feelings of citizens, and the despots cannot increase their Edition: ed; Page: [ 56 ] army without admitting into it a greater number of men interested to destroy them. A small army may have sentiments different from the great body of the people, and no interest in common with them, but a numerous soldiery cannot.
This is the barrier which Nature has opposed to the increase of armies. They cannot be numerous enough to enslave the people, without becoming the people itself. The effects of this truth have been hitherto conspicuous only Edition: current; Page: [ 28 ] in the military defection of France, because the enlightened sense of general interest has been so much more diffused in that nation than in any other despotic monarchy of Europe. But they must be felt by all. An elaborate discipline may for a while in Germany debase and brutalize soldiers too much to receive any impressions from their fellow men—artificial and local institutions are, however, too feeble to resist the energy of natural causes.
The constitution of man survives the transient fashions of des- Edition: ed; Page: [ 57 ] potism, and the history of the next century will probably evince on how frail and tottering a basis the military tyrannies of Europe stand. The pretended seduction of the French troops by the promise of the increased pay, is in every view contradicted by facts.
This increase of pay did not originate in the Assembly. It was not therefore any part of their policy—It was prescribed to them by the instructions of their constituents, before the meeting of the States. What had the demagogues Edition: ed; Page: [ 58 ] to offer. The soldiery knew that the States must, in obedience to their instructions, increase their pay.
An increase of pay, therefore, was no temptation to sell their King, for of that they felt themselves already secure, as the national voice had prescribed it. It was in fact a necessary part of the system which was to raise the army to a body of respectable citizens, from a gang of mendicant ruffians.
It must infallibly operate to limit the increase of armies in the north. This influence has been already felt in the Netherlands, which fortune seems to have restored to Leopold, that they might furnish a school of revolt to German soldiers. The Austrian troops have there murmured at their comparative indigence, and supported their plea for increase of pay by the example of France.
The same example must operate on the other armies of Europe. The solicitations of armed petitioners must be heard. The indigent Edition: current; Page: [ 29 ] de- Edition: ed; Page: [ 59 ] spots of Germany and the North will feel a limit to their military rage, in the scantiness of their Exchequer. They will be compelled to reduce the number, and increase the pay of their armies, and a new barrier will be opposed to the progress of that depopulation and barbarism, which philosophers had dreaded from the rapid increase of military force.
These remarks on the spirit which actuated the French army in their unexampled, misconceived, and calumniated conduct, are peculiarly important, as they serve to illustrate a principle, which cannot too frequently be presented to view, that in the French Revolution all is to be attributed to general causes influencing the whole body of the people, and almost nothing to the schemes and the ascendant of individuals. But to return to our rapid sketch. It was at the moment of the Parisian revolt, and of the defection of the army, that the whole Edition: ed; Page: [ 60 ] power of France devolved on the National Assembly.
It is at that moment, therefore, that the discussion commences, whether that body ought to have re-established and re-formed the Government which events had subverted, or to have proceeded to the establishment of a new Constitution, on the general principles of reason and freedom. The arm of the ancient Government had been palsied, and its power reduced to formality, by events over which the Assembly possessed no controul. It was theirs to decide, not whether the monarchy was to be subverted, for that had been already effected, but whether, from its ruins, fragments were to be collected for the re-construction of the political edifice.
They had been assembled as an ordinary Legislature under existing laws. They were transformed by these events into a National Convention, and vested with powers to organize a Government. It is in vain that Edition: ed; Page: [ 61 ] their adversaries contest this assertion, by appealing to the deficiency of forms. Accurate forms in the conveyance of power are prescribed by the wisdom of law, in the regular administration of States. But great Revolutions are too immense for technical formality.
All the sanction that can be hoped for in such events, is the voice of the people, however informally and irregularly expressed. This cannot be Edition: ed; Page: [ 62 ] pretended to have been wanting in France.
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Every other species of authority was annihilated by popular acts, but that of the States General. Their enemies have, even in their invectives, confessed the subsequent adherence of the people, for they have inveighed against it as the infatuation of a dire fanaticism. The authority of the Assembly was then first conferred on it by public confidence, and its acts have been since ratified by public approbation. Nothing can betray a disposition to puny and technical sophistry more strongly, than to observe with M.
Calonne, that this ratification, to be valid, ought to have been made by France, not in her new organization of municipalities, but in her ancient division of bailliages and provinces. The same individuals act in both forms. The approbation of the men legitimates the Government. It is of no importance, whether they are assembled as bailliages, or as municipalities. If this latitude of informality, this subjection of laws to their principle, and of Government to its source, are not permitted in Revolutions, Edition: ed; Page: [ 64 ] how are we to justify the assumed authority Edition: current; Page: [ 31 ] of the English Convention of ?
An evident though irregular ratification by the people, alone legitimated their acts. Yet they possessed, by the confession of Mr. Burke, an authority only limited by prudence and virtue. Had the people of England given instructions to the Members of that Convention, its ultimate measures would probably have departed as much from them as the French Assembly have deviated from those of their constituents, and the public acquiescence in the deviation would, in all likelihood, have been the same.
It will be confessed by any man who has considered the public temper of England at the landing of William, that the majority of those instructions would not have proceeded Edition: ed; Page: [ 65 ] to the deposition of James. The first aspect of these great changes perplexes and intimidates men too much for just views and bold resolutions. It is by the progress of events that their hopes are emboldened, and their views enlarged. This influence was felt in France. The people, in an advanced period of the Revolution, virtually recalled the instructions by which the feebleness of their political infancy had limited the power of their Representatives; for they sanctioned acts by which those instructions were contradicted.
The formality of instructions was indeed wanting in England, but the change of public sentiment, from the opening of the Convention to its ultimate decision, was as remarkable as the contrast which has been so ostentatiously displayed by M. Calonne, between the decrees of the National Assembly and the first instructions of their constituents. Edition: ed; Page: [ 66 ]. We now resume the consideration of its exercise, and proceed to enquire, whether they ought to have reformed, or destroyed their Government?
The general question of innovation is an exhausted common-place, to which the genius of Mr. Burke has been able to add nothing but splendor of eloquence and felicity of illustration. It has long been so notoriously of this nature, that it is placed by Lord Bacon among the sportive contests which Edition: current; Page: [ 32 ] are to exercise rhetorical skill. No man will support the extreme on either side. Perpetual change and immutable establishment are equally indefensible. To descend therefore from these barren generalities to a more near view of the question, let us state it more precisely.
Was the Civil Order in France corrigible, or was it necessary to destroy it? Not to mention the extirpation of the feudal system, and Edition: ed; Page: [ 67 ] the abrogation of the civil and criminal code, we have first to consider the destruction of the three great corporations, of the Nobility, the Church, and the Parliaments. These three Aristocracies were the pillars which in fact formed the Government of France. The question then of forming or destroying these bodies is fundamental.
There is one general principle applicable to them all adopted by the French Legislators— that the existence of Orders is repugnant to the principles of the social union. An Order is a legal rank, a body of men combined and endowed with privileges by law. But though it be necessary, yet, in its excess it is the great malady Edition: ed; Page: [ 68 ] of civil society.
The accumulation of that power which is conferred by wealth in the hands of the few, is the perpetual source of oppression and neglect to the mass of mankind. The power of the wealthy is farther concentrated by their tendency to combination, from which, number, dispersion, indigence and ignorance equally preclude the poor.
The wealthy are formed into bodies by their professions, their different degrees of opulence called ranks , their knowledge, and their small number. Thus circumstanced, nothing can be more evident than their inevitable preponderance in the political scale. The preference of partial to general interests is however the greatest of all public evils. It should therefore have been the object of all laws to repress this malady, but it has been their perpetual tendency to aggravate it.
Not content with the inevit- Edition: ed; Page: [ 69 ] able inequality of fortune, they have superadded to it honorary and political distinctions. Not content with the inevitable tendency of the wealthy to combine, they have embodied them in classes. They have fortified Edition: current; Page: [ 33 ] those conspiracies against the general interest, which they ought to have resisted, though they could not disarm.
Laws, it is said, cannot equalize men. But ought they for that reason to aggravate the inequality which they cannot cure? Laws cannot inspire unmixed Patriotism—But ought they for that reason to foment that corporation spirit which is its most fatal enemy? All professional combinations, said Mr. Burke, in one of his late speeches in Parliament, are dangerous in a free State. They have conceived that the laws ought to create no inequality of combination, to recognize all only in their capacity of citizens, and Edition: ed; Page: [ 70 ] to offer no assistance to the natural preponderance of partial over general interest.
But besides the general source of hostility to Orders, the particular circumstances of France presented other objections, which it is necessary to consider more in detail. It is in the first place to be remarked, that all the bodies and institutions of the kingdom participated the spirit of the ancient Government, and in that view were incapable of alliance with a free Constitution. They were tainted by the despotism of which they were members or instruments.
Absolute monarchies, like every other consistent and permanent government, assimilate every thing with which they are connected to their own genius. The Nobility, the Priesthood, the Judicial Aristocracy, were unfit to be members of a free government, because their corporate character had been formed under arbitrary estab- Edition: ed; Page: [ 71 ] lishments. To have preserved these great corporations, would be to have retained the seeds of reviving despotism in the bosom of freedom. This remark may merit the attention of Mr. Burke, as illustrating an important difference between the French and English Revolutions.
The Clergy, the Peerage, and Judicatures of England, had in some degree the sentiments inspired by a Government in which freedom had been eclipsed, but not extinguished—They were therefore qualified to partake of a more stable and improved liberty. But the case of France was different. These bodies had there imbibed every sentiment, and adopted every habit under arbitrary power.
Their preservation in England, and their destruction in France, may in this view be justified on similar grounds.
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It Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] is absurd to regard the Orders as remnants of that free constitution which France, in common with the other Gothic nations of Europe, once enjoyed. Nothing remained of these ancient Orders Edition: ed; Page: [ 72 ] but the name. The Nobility were no longer those haughty and powerful Barons, who enslaved the people and dictated to the King.
The Ecclesiastics were no longer that Priesthood, before whom, in a benighted and superstitious age, all civil power was impotent and mute. They have both dwindled into dependents on the crown. Still less do the opulent and enlightened Commons of France resemble its servile and beggared populace in the sixteenth century. Two hundred years of uninterrupted exercise had legitimated absolute authority as much as prescription can consecrate usurpation. The ancient French Constitution was therefore no farther a model than that of any foreign nation, which was to be judged of alone by its utility, and possessed in no respect the authority of establishment.
It had been succeeded by another Government, and if France were to recur to a period antecedent to her servitude for legislative models, she might as well ascend to the aera of Clovis Edition: ed; Page: [ 73 ] or Charlemagne, as be regulated by the precedents of Henry III. All these forms of government existed only historically. These observations include all the Orders. Let us consider each of them successively.
The devotion of the Nobility of France to the Monarch was inspired equally by their sentiments, their interests, and their habits. The majority of them had still no profession but war, no hope but in Royal favor. The youthful and indigent filled the camps; the more opulent and mature partook the splendor and bounty of the Court: But they were equally dependents on the Crown. To the plentitude of the Royal power were attached those immense and magnificent privileges, which di- Edition: ed; Page: [ 74 ] vided France into distinct nations; which exhibited a Nobility monopolizing the rewards and offices of the State, and a people Edition: current; Page: [ 35 ] degraded to political helotism.
The ostentatious sacrifice of pecuniary exemptions in a moment of general fermentation is a wretched criterion of their genuine feelings. They affected to bestow as a gift, what they would have been speedily compelled to abandon as an usurpation, and they hoped by the sacrifice of a part to purchase security for the rest. Whether any reform could have extracted from this body a portion which Edition: ed; Page: [ 75 ] might have entered into the new constitution is a question which we shall consider when that political system comes under our review.
Their existence, as a member of the Legislature, is a question distinct from their preservation as a separate Order, or great corporation, in the State. A senate of Nobles might have been established, though the Order of the Nobility had been destroyed, and England would then have been exactly copied. The union of the Orders in one Assembly was the first step towards the destruction of a legislative Nobility. The abolition of their feudal rights, in the memorable session of the 4th of August, , may be regarded as the second. They retained after these measures no distinction but what Edition: ed; Page: [ 76 ] was purely nominal, and it remained to be determined what place they were to occupy in the new Constitution.
That question was decided by the decree of the 22d of December, in the same year, which enacted, that the Electoral Assemblies were to be composed without any regard to rank, and that citizens of all Orders were to vote in them indiscriminately. The distinction of Orders was destroyed by this decree, the Nobility were to form no part of the new Constitution, and they were Edition: current; Page: [ 36 ] stripped of all that they had enjoyed under the old Government, but their titles. Hitherto all had passed unnoticed, but no sooner did the Assembly, faithful to their principles, proceed to extirpate the external signs of ranks, which they no longer tolerated, then all Europe resounded with clamours against their Utopian and levelling madness.
An untitled Nobility forming a member of the State, had been exemplified in some Commonwealths of antiquity. Such were the Patricians in Rome. But a titled Nobility, without legal privileges, or political existence, would have been a monster new in the annals of legislative absurdity. The power was possessed without the bauble by the Roman Aristocracy. The bauble would have been reverenced, while the power was trampled on, if titles had been spared in France. A titled Nobility, is the most undisputed progeny of feudal barbarism. Titles had in all nations denoted offices, it was reserved for Gothic Europe to attach them to ranks, yet this conduct of our remote ancestors admits explanation, for with them offices were hereditary, and hence the titles denoting them Edition: ed; Page: [ 78 ] became hereditary too.
But we, who have rejected hereditary office, retain an usage to which it gave rise, and which it alone could justify. So egregiously is this recent origin of titled Nobility misconceived, that it has been even pretended to be necessary to the order and existence of society: A narrow and arrogant bigotry, which would limit all political remark to the Gothic States of Europe, or establish general principles on events that occupy so short a period of history, and manners that have been adopted by so slender a portion of the human race.
A titled Nobility, was equally unknown to the splendid Monarchies of Asia, and to the manly simplicity of the ancient Commonwealths. The massy Doric that sustains it is Labour, and the splendid variety of arts and talents that solace and embellish life, form the decorations of its Corinthian and Ionic capitals. Other motives besides the extirpation of feudality, disposed the French Legislature to the suppression of titles. To give stability Edition: ed; Page: [ 80 ] to a popular Government, a democratic character must be formed, and democratic sentiments inspired.
The sentiment of equality which titular distinctions have, perhaps, more than any other cause, extinguished in Europe, and without which democratic forms are impotent and short-lived, was to be revived: a free Government was to be established, by carrying the spirit of equality and freedom into the feelings, the manners, the most familiar intercourse of men. The badges of inequality, which were perpetually inspiring sentiments adverse to the spirit of the Government, were therefore destroyed: Distinctions which only served to unfit the Nobility for obedience, and the people for freedom; to keep alive the discontent of the one, and to perpetuate the servility of the other; to deprive the one of the moderation that sinks them into citizens, and to rob the other of the spirit that exalts them into free men.
A single example can alone dispel inveterate pre- Edition: ed; Page: [ 81 ] judices. Thus thought our ancestors at the Revolution, when they deviated from the succession, to destroy the prejudice of its sanctity. Thus also did the Legislators of France feel, when by the abolition of titles, they gave a mortal blow to the slavish prejudices which unfitted their country for freedom. It was a practical assertion of that equality which had been consecrated in the Declaration of Rights, but which no abstract assertion could have conveyed into the spirits and the hearts of men.
It proceeded on the principle that Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] the security of a revolution of government can only arise from a revolution of character. To these reasonings it has been opposed, that hereditary distinctions are the moral treasure of a State, by which it excites and rewards public virtue and public service, which, without national injury or burden, operates with resistless force on generous minds. To this I answer, that of personal distinctions this de- Edition: ed; Page: [ 82 ] scription is most true, but that this moral treasury of honour is in fact impoverished by the improvident profusion that has made them hereditary.
The possession of honours by the multitude, who have inherited but not acquired them, engrosses and depreciates these incentives and rewards of virtue. Were they purely personal, their value would be doubly enhanced, as the possessors would be fewer while the distinction was more honourable. The fate of the Church, the second great corporation that sustained the French despo- Edition: ed; Page: [ 83 ] tism, has peculiarly provoked the indignation of Mr. The dissolution of the Church as a body, the resumption of its territorial revenues, and the new organization of the Priesthood, appear to him to be dictated by the union of robbery and irreligion to glut the rapacity of Stock-jobbers, and to gratify the hostility of Atheists.
All the outrages and proscriptions of ancient or modern tyrants vanish, in his opinion, in the comparison with this confiscation of the property of the Gallican Church. Principles had, it is true, been on this subject explored, and reasons had been urged by men of genius, which vulgar men deemed irresistible. But with these reasons Mr. Burke will not deign to combat. The passage itself, however, demands a pause.
It alludes to an opinion of which I trust Mr. Burke did not know the origin. That the church-lands were national property was not first asserted among the Jacobins, or in the Palais Royal. Burke disdains to encounter, was one whom he might have combated with glory, with confidence of triumph in victory, and without fear or shame in defeat. The author of that opinion was Turgot! It was no doctrine contrived for the occasion by the agents of tyranny; it was a principle discovered in pure and harmless speculation, by one of the best and wisest of men.
I adduce the authority of Turgot, not to oppose the arguments if Edition: current; Page: [ 40 ] there had been any but to counteract the insinuations of Mr. The authority of his assertions forms a prejudice, which is thus to be removed before we can hope for a fair au- Edition: ed; Page: [ 86 ] dience at the bar of reason. If he insinuates the flagitiousness of these opinions by the supposed vileness of their origin, it cannot be unfit to pave the way for their reception, by assigning them a more illustrious pedigree. But dismissing the genealogy of doctrines, let us examine their intrinsic value, and listen to no voice but that of truth.
It has not hitherto been supposed that any class of Public servants are proprietors. Judges are paid for the distribution of justice; Kings for execution of the laws; Soldiers, where there is a mercenary army, for public defence; and Edition: ed; Page: [ 87 ] Priests, where there is an established religion, for public instruction. The mode of their payment is indifferent to the question. It is generally in rude ages by land, and in cultivated periods by money.
But a territorial pension is no more property than a pecuniary one. The right of the State to regulate the salaries of those servants whom it pays in money has not been disputed. But if it has chosen to provide the revenue of a certain portion of land for the salary of another class of servants, wherefore is its right more disputable, to resume that land, and to establish a new mode of payment? In the early history of Europe, before fiefs became hereditary, great landed estates were bestowed by the Sovereign, on condition of military service.
By a similar tenure did the Church hold its lands. No man can prove, that because the State has intrusted its ecclesiastical servants with a portion of land, as the source and security of their pensions, they are in any respect more the proprietors of Edition: ed; Page: [ 88 ] it, than the other servants of the State are of that portion of the revenue from which they are paid.
The lands of the Church possess not the most simple and indispensible requisites of property. They are not even pretended to be held for the Edition: current; Page: [ 41 ] benefit of those who enjoy them. This is the obvious criterion between private property and a pension for public service. The destination of the first is avowedly the comfort and happiness of the individual who enjoys it; as he is conceived to be the sole judge of this happiness, he possesses the most unlimited rights of enjoyment, alienation, and even abuse: But the lands of the Church, destined for the support of public servants, exhibited none of the characters of property—They were inalienable, because it would have been not less absurd for the Priesthood to have exercised such authority over these lands, than it would be for seamen to claim the property of a fleet Edition: ed; Page: [ 89 ] which they manned, or soldiers that of a fortress they garrisoned.
It is confessed that no individual Priest was a proprietor, and it is not denied that his utmost claim was limited to a possession for life of his stipend. If all the Priests, taken individually, were not proprietors, the Priesthood, as a body, cannot claim any such right. For what is a body, but an aggregate of individuals, and what new right can be conveyed by a mere change of name? They are voluntary associations of men for their own benefit. Every member of them is an absolute sharer in their property, it is therefore alienated and inherited.
Corporate property is here as sacred as individual, because in the ultimate analysis it is the same. But the Priesthood is a Corporation, endowed by the country, and destined for the benefit of other men. It is hence that the Edition: ed; Page: [ 90 ] members have no separate, nor the body any collective, right of property. They are only entrusted with the administration of the lands from which their salaries are paid. It is from this last circumstance that their legal semblance of property arises. In charters, bonds, and all other proceedings of law, they are treated with the same formalities as real property.
But the repugnance of these formalities to legal truth proceeded from a very obvious Edition: current; Page: [ 42 ] cause. If estates are vested in the Clergy, to them most unquestionably ought to be entrusted the protection of these estates Edition: ed; Page: [ 91 ] in all contests at law, and actions for that purpose can only be maintained with facility, simplicity, and effect, by the fiction of their being proprietors.
Scotland, where lands still are held by feudal tenures, will afford us a remarkable example. There, if we extend our views no further than legal forms, the superior is to be regarded as the proprietor, while the real proprietor appears to be only a tenant for life. Such is the language of the charter by which he obtains a legal right to his estate.
In this case, the vassal is formally stript of the property which he in fact enjoys. In the other, the Church is formally invested with a property, to which in reality it had no claim. The argument of prescription will appear to be altogether untenable, for prescription implies a certain period during which the rights of property had been exercised, but in the case before us they never were exercised, because they never could be supposed to exist.
Edition: ed; Page: [ 92 ] It must be proved that these possessions were of the nature of property, before it can follow that they are protected by prescription, and to plead it is to take for granted the question in dispute. If they never were property, no length of time can change their nature. When the British Islands, the Dutch Republic, the German and Scandinavian States, reformed their ecclesiastical establishments, the howl of sacrilege was the only armour by which the Church attempted to protect its pretended property.
The age was too tumultuous and unlettered for discussions of abstract jurisprudence. The clamour of sacrilege seems, however, to have fallen into early contempt. The Treaty of Westphalia 23 secularized many of the most opulent benefices of Germany, under the mediation and guarantee of the first Catholic Powers Edition: ed; Page: [ 94 ] of Europe. In our own island, on the abolition of episcopacy in Scotland at the Revolution, the revenues of the Church peaceably devolved on the Sovereign, and he devoted a portion of them to the support of the new establishment.
When, at a still later period, the Jesuits were suppressed in most Catholic Monarchies, the wealth of that formidable and opulent body was every where seized by the Sovereign. In all these memorable examples, no traces are to be discovered of the pretended property of the Church.
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- Conspiracy 365 S01E01 - January?
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It is in none of them recognized as property. That claim, now so forcibly urged by M. Calonne, was probably little respected by him, when he lent his agency to the destruction of the Jesuits with such peculiar activity and rancor. The sacredness of their property could not strongly impress him, Edition: ed; Page: [ 95 ] when he was instrumental in degrading the members of that accomplished Society, the glory of Catholic Europe, from their superb endowments to scanty and beggarly pensions.
In all these contests, the inviolability of Church possessions was a principle that never made its appearance. A murmur of sacrilege might, indeed, be heard among the fanatical or interested few: But the religious horror in which the Priesthood had enveloped its robberies, had long been dispelled, and it was reserved for Mr. Burke to renew that cry of sacrilege, which, in the darkness of the sixteenth century, had resounded in vain. No man can be expected to oppose arguments to epithets. When a definition of sacrilege is given, consistent with good logic Edition: current; Page: [ 44 ] and plain English, it will be time enough to discuss it.
Till that definition with the Greek Calends comes, I should as soon dispute about the meaning of sacrilege as about that of heresy or witchcraft. Edition: ed; Page: [ 96 ].