Francois Guizot

Guizot, François

François Guizot (fräNswä´ gēzō´), 1787–1874, French statesman and historian. The son of a Protestant family of Nîmes, he was educated at Geneva. He began a legal career in Paris in 1805, but soon took up literary work and later became a professor of modern history at the Univ. of Paris. His lectures there formed a center of political opposition to the Restoration. His friendship with Royer-Collard and his sympathy with the moderate royalists soon drew him into minor political office. As an opposition deputy he was involved in the July Revolution of 1830 and became one of the leading intellectual exponents of the bourgeois July Monarchy of Louis Philippe. As minister of public instruction (1832–37), Guizot introduced (1833) a new system of primary education. Turning more and more to conservatism, he became (1840) the chief power in the ministry nominally headed by Soult, who had displaced the more liberal Thiers as premier. In 1847, Guizot became premier. His leadership provided a stable government, but his complacent acceptance of the established order led to his overthrow in the February Revolution of 1848, which forced the abdication of Louis Philippe. Guizot devoted the rest of his life to writing. The best known of his many works, Histoire de la révolution d'Angleterre [history of the revolution in England] (6 vol., 1826–56), illustrates his critical approach and his devotion to original sources as well as his admiration for middle-of-the-road British revolutionism. He also wrote Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de mon temps [memoirs to serve as a history of my time] (8 vol., 1858–67) and the brilliant General History of Civilization in Modern Europe (6 vol., 1829–32; tr. by William Hazlitt, 3 vol., 1846). The last work, never completed, covers principally the civilization of France up to the 14th cent. See his memoirs (8 vol., tr. 1974).

See study by D. W. Johnson (1963).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Francois Guizot: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! Memoirs of Sir Robert Peel By M. Guizot Richard Bentley, 1857
French Royalist Doctrines since the Revolution By Charlotte Touzalin Muret Columbia University Press, 1933
Librarian's tip: Chap. VI "Theory of the July Monarchy: Guizot" and Chap. VII "Liberal Monarchists after Guizot"
FREE! A Political History of Europe, since 1814 By Charles Seignobos; S. M. Macvane H. Holt and Company, 1900
Librarian's tip: "The Guizot Ministry (1840-48)" begins on p. 145
History of Modern France, 1815-1913 By Emile Bourgeois University Press, vol.1, 1919
Librarian's tip: Chap. VIII "Louis Philippe and Guizot"
French Political Thought in the 19th Century By Roger Henry Soltau Russell & Russell, 1959
Librarian's tip: "Guizot and the 'Doctrinaires'" begins on p. 43
Political Thought in France from the Revolution to the Fourth Republic By J. Mayer P Routledge & Paul, 1949 (Revised edition)
Librarian's tip: "Royer-Collard and Guizot" begins on p. 9
Lord Palmerston By Herbert C. F. Bell Archon Books, vol.1, 1966
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Francois Guizot begins on p. 300
French Historians and Romanticism: Thierry, Guizot, the Saint-Simonians, Quinet, Michelet By Ceri Crossley Routledge, 1993
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Francois Guizot (1787-1874) and Liberal History: The Concept of Civilisation"
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