Renonciations et possession tranquille: L’abbé de Saint-Pierre, la paix d’Utrecht et la diplomatie de la Régence

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Abbot Saint-Pierre (1658-1743) is one of the most studied early 18th century political thinkers. His “utopian” project of perpetual peace was published during the Utrecht Peace Congress (1712-1713), where plenipotentiaries from various European powers ended the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). As Merle Perkins demonstrated, Saint-Pierre’s conceptions on the state of nature and man’s violent instinct were similar to Hobbes’. Saint-Pierre, by contrast, believed in the possibility to overcome the violent state of nature. The key element here was the freezing of reciprocal legal claims by monarchs, which were always a source of conflict. Leaving quarrels behind, the “European Union” would be able to ensure the “tranquil possession” of sovereigns. The diplomatic context after the Peace of Utrecht was more compatible with his position than his first version (1712), wherein he castigated balance of power-politics. The peace was based on the mutual renunciations by the most prominent pretenders to the Spanish Succession. Saint-Pierre redacted the 1717 edition of his Projet to convince the Regent’s diplomats. Their efforts focused on finding a solution for the duchies of Parma and Piacenza, and the Grand-Duchy of Tuscany. The context of Regency diplomacy explains the attempts of Saint-Pierre to deliver a credible message, able to convince the actors of French foreign policy.
Vertaalde titel van de bijdrageRenunciations and tranquill possession: Abbot Saint-Pierre, the Peace of Utrecht and Regency Diplomacy
Originele taal-2French
Aantal pagina's23
TijdschriftClio @ Themis
Nummer van het tijdschrift18
Vroegere onlinedatum3 jun 2020
StatusPublished - 20 jun 2020

Bibliografische nota

Part of a special issue coordinated with Raphaël Cahen (VUB) and Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina (Zürich)


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