Culture as Colonizer Raynal's "colonialisme éclairé" in the Histoire des deux Indes Monica Michaud The Histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes first appeared in 1770 and soon caused a great deal of controversy. With successive editions, the collaborative text took on an increasingly combative tone due, it is believed, to the sizeable contributions of Diderot. In fact, Hans Wolpe famously referred to Raynal's work as a "machine de guerre"1 for its strong influence in the years preceding the French Revolution. The Histoire was eventually ordered to be burned before the Parliament of Paris in 1781, as a work "impie, blasphématoire, séditieux, tendant à soulever les peuples contre l'autorité souveraine et à renverser les principes fondamentaux de l'ordre civil."2 The very complicated question of the nature and extent of Diderot's contributions to the Histoire is one that has already been meticulously researched, most notably by Duchet, Wolpe, Dieckmann, Lüsebrink, and Feugère. In keeping with the growing trend of a more global approach to French literary history,3 an increasing amount of scholarship has come to recognize the Histoire as a valuable document that encapsulates the major historical, political, philosophical, and economic
French Forum – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jan 9, 2014
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