April 27, 1792: Malouet, a Conservative View of the Revolution

  • Paul H. Beik
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


Pierre Victor Malouet at the outbreak of the revolution was a veteran administrator approaching fifty, Intendant of the Navy at Toulon, in charge of the nonmilitary management of the naval base, a post he had held since 1781. Prior to that he had served in the administration of the colony of Saint-Domingue and had acquired property there. In 1789 he became a deputy of the Third Estate to the Estates General. He supported the revolution to the point advocated by Mounier and the Anglophiles but no further; nevertheless, he remained in the National Assembly to the end, spoke out courageously as often as he was able, and only emigrated when his life was in danger after the insurrection of August 10, 1792. Besides many speeches and pamphlets, he published books on slavery and on colonial administration. Malouet until his forced emigration maintained social relations with the court—he insisted on calling on the king and queen immediately after Varennes—and with a number of the king’s ministers; but in the emigration his closest friends were conservative liberals such as Mounier, and liberal conservatives such as Mallet du Pan, men who were regarded, as he was, as reactionaries by the republicans and as dangerous radicals by most of the émigrés. Malouet returned to France under the Consulate and once more took up his administrative career, but he was disgraced for opposing Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. He died in 1814 as Minister of the Navy under Louis XVIII. The document below is a pamphlet, Réponse de M. Malouet à M… (s.l.n.d., 16 pp.). The first three paragraphs and the postscript have been omitted.


Conservative View Colonial Administration False Premise Administrative Career Naval Base 
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© Paul H. Beik 1970

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  • Paul H. Beik

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