This project aims to analyse the political languages that are in dispute over the definition of authority and of sovereign body (its nature and limits). We approach this subject through pamphlets and brochures of certain "patriotes" - as were called those who defended the sovereignty of the Nation in pre-revolutionary France, such as: Claude Mey, Léon-Louis Brancas, André Blonde, Guy Target, Guillaume de Saige, Martin Morizot, Jean-Claude Marivaux. Written between the years of 1770 and 1780, and in its majority banished by Parliament, these works - still largely unknown and scarcely commented upon - are interpreted as a response to the problem of political legitimacy which was constituted during the last royal ordination, in Rheims. As trifling that a change in the liturgy of the ceremony of ordination may seem, the suppression of the moment in which the king demands the consent of the people to rule, that change reveals, on one side, the intention of Louis XVI to resort to the conventional monarchic rhetoric, dispensing with that consent of the people and, on the other side, the patriotic opposition, upheld by alternative languages of authority: the ancient constitutionalism, the contractualism and the republicanism. It is up to political philosophy to analyse these pamphlets and brochures, without abstaining from articulate them with the more systematic works of the eighteenth century France (such as the works of Rousseau and Montesquieu), in order to, first of all, constitute the "linguistic conventions" of the period, and second, to achieve a critical disposition concerning the past. That is to say, it is not the case of a reconstruction of the discourses of a specific historical period just for the sake of dilettantism, but precisely because the comprehension of the distance that separates us from that period sheds light upon the foundation of our own political languages.
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