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Constant de Rebecque, Henri-Benjamin, 1767-1830



  • Existence: 1767 - 1830


Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (25 October 1767 – 8 December 1830), or simply Benjamin Constant, was a Swiss French political activist and writer on political theory and religion.

A committed republican from 1795, he backed the coup d'état of 18 Fructidor, (4 September 1797) and the following one on 18 brumaire, (9 November 1799). During the Consulat, in 1800 he became the leader of the Liberal Opposition. Having upset Napoleon and left France to go to Switzerland then to the Kingdom of Saxony, he nonetheless sided with Napoleon during the Hundred Days and became politically active again during the French Restoration. He was elected Député in 1818 and remained in post until his death in 1830. Head of the Liberal opposition, known as Indépendants, he was one of the most notable orators of the Chamber of Deputies of France, as a proponent of the parliamentary system. During the July Revolution, he was a supporter of Louis Philippe I ascending the throne.

He was the author of numerous essays on political and religious themes, and also wrote on romantic love, such as the autobiographical Le Cahier rouge (1807) which gives an account of his love for Madame de Staël, whose protégé and collaborator he became, especially in the Coppet circle, and a successful novella, Adolphe (1816).

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Henry Benjamin Constant de Rebecque letter

Identifier: Mss 817316
Mss 817316
Date(s): 1817-05-16

In English.

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