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Bastiat and the French School of Laissez-Faire

  • Liggio Leonard

    (George Mason University)

Registered author(s):

    Federic Bastiat came on to the economic scene in 1844 and died in 1850. He filled the pages with his analyses of economic relations and the effects of government plunder, regulation and transfers. He fulfilled the first character of a scientist, he was unterrifed. Before his writings he had had a quarter century of study of economics. He immersed himself in the major economic writings of the discipline. The French economists, Cantillon, Quesnay, Turgot, Dupont, Condorcet, Condillac, Say, Destutt de Tracy, some of them precursors of Adam Smith, had been the leaders in the science of economics. The two leading disciples of Say, Charles Dunoyer and Charles Comte, had edited the major Liberal periodical, le Censeur europeen, from which Bastiat drew his thinking. Bastiat, like Say and Destutt de Tracy, was translated and published in the United States. Bastiat has had his greatest impact during the second half of the twentieth century on American public opinion.Frédéric Bastiat apparut sur la scène économique en 1844 et mourut en 1850. Parmi ses écrits figurent ses analyses des relations économiques et les effets du pillage, des régulations et des transferts étatiques. Il avait le tempérament essentiel d’un scientifique, celui de ne pas avoir peur. Avant d’écrire, il avait étudié l’économie pendant un quart de siècle. Il s’immergea dans les écrits des principaux auteurs de la théorie économique. Les économistes français, Cantillon, Quesnay, Turgot, Dupont, Condorcet, Condillac, Say, Destutt de Tracy, dont certains furent des précurseurs d’Adam Smith, avaient été les chefs de file de la science économique. Les deux principaux disciples de Say, Charles Dunoyer et Charles Comte, avaient édité le principal périodique libéral, le Censeur Européen, qui inspira les écrits de Bastiat. Tout comme Say et Destutt de Tracy, Bastiat fut traduit en Americain. L’impact majeur de Bastiat se fit sentir sur l’opinion publique aux Etats-Unis durant la seconde moitié du vingtième siècle.

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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 1-14

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:2:n:14
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