By Roberto Romani
In a piece of surprising ambition and rigorous comparability, Roberto Romani considers the idea that of "national personality" within the highbrow histories of england and France. Perceptions of collective mentalities stimulated numerous political and monetary debates, starting from anti-absolutist polemic in eighteenth-century France to value determinations of socialism in Edwardian Britain. Romani argues that the eighteenth-century concept of "national character", with its tension on weather and govt, developed right into a problem with the virtues of "public spirit" without reference to nationwide features, in parallel with the institution of consultant associations at the Continent.
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Additional resources for National Character and Public Spirit in Britain and France, 1750-1914
Miller, and H. S. Stone (Cambridge, 1989), p. 310). While book XVI relates the condition of women to climate, book VII shows its connections with political principles; the whole of book IV explains the inner relationship that links education to forms of government; and the spirit of commerce has no relation whatsoever with climate (book XX). EDL, bk XIV, ch. 1, p. 373 (The Spirit of the Laws, p. 231); but see the whole bk XIV, pp. 373–88. Esprit g´en´eral, caract`ere national, and mœurs 27 legislators have to take into full account.
81, p. 53. See also ‘Remarques pour servir de suppl´ement a` l’Essai sur les mœurs et l’esprit des nations’ (1763), VOC, XXIV, pp. 543–7, and Le si`ecle de Louis XIV (1751), in Voltaire, OEuvres historiques, ed. R. Pomeau (Paris, 1987), pp. 616–20. ‘Remarques pour servir de suppl´ement’, pp. 547, 554, 569. Ceremonies, as well as belief, make up a religion, and whereas the former element can be accounted for on climatological grounds, the latter depends on ‘l’opinion, cette reine incostante du monde’: ‘Climat’ (1771), in Questions sur l’Encyclop´edie, VOC, XVIII, pp.
441. LP, XC, pp. 215–16, and LXIII, p. 163. 9 Montesquieu’s portrait of France is that of a country where virtue is mocked, where witty but empty ‘gens du bel-air’ triumph in the salons, and political intriguers dictate state policies from the halls of the powerful. Besides the ethical motifs which are inherent to the natural law philosophy, Montesquieu’s moral roots are firmly planted in classical models, in a nostalgic regret of the moral side of republican civic humanism. Classical examples provided him with the terms of comparison he needed in order to deal with ‘disorder’ in French manners.
National Character and Public Spirit in Britain and France, 1750-1914 by Roberto Romani