In the spring of 1814, while the Senate was hard at work writing the constitutional Charter, Bonald wrote a little-known pamphlet: after having a few copies printed, he decided not to publish it. Nor was the text published at a later date. The proof copy of it that was found, however, constitutes a precious document as much for Bonaldian studies as for the study of this pivotal moment characterised by the early stages of the First Restoration and its institutional debates. This unpublished opuscule, which was both theoretical and controversial, drew on the fundamental concepts the author had been developing ever since his Theory of Power—in which he had already excoriated any idea of constitutionalism—to present a paradoxical vision of monarchical rule, as a duty for the monarchs and a right for the subjects. At variance with the Rousseauian Social Contract, we find a collective Social Pact, independent of the wills of men and of the effects of historical events, thus rethinking the very concept of legitimacy. (In French)


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pp. 196-214
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