, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 19–32

Relations Économiques et Rapports Sociaux: Établir Une Cohérence Nationale au Pays D’utopie



The topic of this article is the relationship between utopias – fictitious travel narratives including descriptions of societies perceived as sensibly better than the world of reference – and the various political and social examples offered by France between 1600 and 1715. This presentation examines the solution offered by 17th-century utopias to the various problems known in the Kingdom of France during the reign of Henri IV, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV, in particular in the field of economy and politics. The goal of this article is to expose the solutions offered by several utopias to the employment and production problems, particularly acute in an exceptionally populated pre-industrial France. My most recent research shows that four archetypes can be identified. All these archetypes are at the base of many utopias of 18th century, a century especially prolific in this genre. In order to better present this classification, I illustrate each archetype with one example: Republican Slave Utopias (Fontenelle (?), La République des Philosophes); Monarchical Slave Utopias (Denis Veiras, L’Histoire des Sévarambes); Republican Free Utopias (Campanella, la Cité du Soleil); and finally Monarchical Free Utopias (Lesconvel, Voyage du prince de Montberaud).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of FrenchWellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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