Economic and Social Articles 1840–1848

  • Andrè Liebich
Part of the Sovietica book series (SOVA, volume 39)


The 1840’s were years of intense activity for Cieszkowski. He continued his travels throughout Europe; lived semi-permanently in France, Warsaw, Posen; visited Italy and Germany frequently and at length. Thus, Cieszkowski might well have numbered among the cosmopolitan aristocrats who changed their residence every season if not for the fact that the goals of Cieszkowski’s travels were quite different. He saw Europe not as a playground but as a laboratory where social ills could be observed and their remedies tested. In his curiosity, Cieszkowski sought out industrial establishments, charitable institutions, agricultural colonies1. He visited areas of poverty as well as those where misery had been mitigated.


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  1. 1.
    For the details of Cieszkowski’s travels see above all his Diary II. See also the following correspondence of Zygmunt Krasińki: Listy do Augusta Cieszkowskiego; Listy do Konstanego Gaszyńskiego, Z. Sudolski, ed., Warsaw, 1971;Google Scholar
  2. 1a.
    Zygmunt Krasińki: spivn Listy do Jerzego Lubomirskiego, Sudolski, ed., Warsaw, 1965.Google Scholar
  3. 1b.
    Zygmunt Krasińki: Listy do Delfiny, J. Kallenbach, ed., Poznan, 1935.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    Quoted by August Cieszkowski, Jr., in his introduction to Ojcze Nasz, vol. I, Posen, 1905.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    The confusion regarding the principles of land credit is perhaps reflected in the fact that Cieszkowski’s article appeared under different titles. In the Journal des Économistes, XVII, May 1847, pp. 263ff, it was entitled Du Crédit foncier as it was in the third edition of Du Crédit et de la Circulation, Paris, 1884, where it appeared as an appendix. In the Bibliothèque Nationale, however, the same article appears as a separate pamphlet under the title Du crédit immobilier with pages headed “du crédit agricole”, and “mobilier et immobilier”. It is the pamphlet edition which I quote below.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    ‘Chronique’, Journal des Économistes, XVII, 16 March 1847. It is clear from the contemporary account quoted here that the Congrès central d’agriculture was not a body convened by the government as Marcel Planiol writes in ‘Crédit foncier’, Grande Encyclopédie Larousse, vol. XIII, n.d., p. 303.Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    Cieszkowski made this point in the article under discussion, p. 6. See also André Liesse, Evolution of Credit and Banks in France, Washington, 1909, p. 54.Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    Betrand Gille, La Banque et le crédit en France de 1815–1848, Paris, 1959, p. 130Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    Henry Sagnier, Le crédit agricole en France, Paris, 1911, p. 2.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Wolowski’s ideas were first expressed in a paper presented to the Académie des sciences morales, which was published in the Revue de Jurisprudence et de Législation. See Planiol, op. cit.,Google Scholar
  11. as well as Wolowski’s later articles on the same subject in Coquelin and Guillaumin, eds., op. cit., pp. 497–508 and ‘L’organisation du crédit foncier’, in Journal des Économistes, XXI, 1848.Google Scholar
  12. 9.
    Quoted in Coquelin and Guillaumin, op. cit., p. 499.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    The origin of land credit in Central Europe was unambiguously aristocratic. See Joseph Virion, Le crédit agrìcole en Pologne, Paris, 1925, pp. 38–50.Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    ‘Chronique’, Journal des Économistes, op. cit. Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    Journal des Économistes, XVII, 1847, p. 263.Google Scholar
  16. 13.
  17. 14.
    The revolutionary legislation dated from the 9 Messidor and the 11 Brumaire of the year VII. For a detailed description of the changes wrought, see Besson, ‘Hypothèque’, in Grande Encyclopédie, vol. XX, p. 492, who points out that registration of mortgages had been in decline in France, in spite of occasional attempts at reform since the XII century.Google Scholar
  18. 15.
  19. 16.
    Virion, op. cit., p. 47. The Posen institution was dissolved in 1847.Google Scholar
  20. 16.
    A letter already mentioned addressed to August Cieszkowski’s father informing him that he has been elected to the presidency of the society of land credit of Warsaw is signed on behalf of the society in A. Cieszkowski’s hand, with the signature ‘Cieszkowski’. Letter dated 19th June 1832, document nr. 8, file nr. 6380, titled ‘Cieszkowski family’, in Archiwum Państowe w Poznaniu. Poznan.Google Scholar
  21. 19.
    Cieszkowski argued primarily that the Polish and German experience is sufficient guarantee of the general feasibility of the project. Du Crédit immobilier, p. 13. He also shows, basing himself partially on H. Passy, that contrary to general opinion, it is not property which is highly fragmented in France but the soil, i.e., the same landowners possess scattered strips of land. Thus, conditions of land-holding in France are not as different as might appear. Moreover, Cieszkowski suggests, small landowners might obtain collective mortgages as Bavarian farmers were doing. In general, however, Cieszkowski’s attempt to extend land credit’s applicability to the peasantry is unconvincing. He says nothing about agricultural credit which would have been more relevant to their needs.Google Scholar
  22. 20.
    Jules Duval was the author of ‘l’accord de l’Evangile et de la théorie de Fourier’ and ‘Jésus Christ et Fourier’ in Démocratie Pacifique, 1846. In 1862, he participated with Wołowski in organizing a congrès de bienfaisance in London. During the Vatican council he argued for the primacy of the pope over councils which he saw as simply aristocratic assemblies. See Duroselle, op. cit., pp. 375, 670.Google Scholar
  23. 21.
    Coquelin and Guillaumin, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 497–508.Google Scholar
  24. 22.
    The paper in question was given by Dr. Alexis Schmidt at a meeting of the Philosophische Gesellschaft on February 16, 1848, and discussed on March 1. It was reported in Der Gedanke, vol. I, p. 175 and published in Noacks Jahrbücher, 1848, pp. 534–542. Cieszkowski’s letter was apparently not intended for publication. This may explain its intimate and self-justifying tone. It first appeared in Kühne, op. cit., pp. 237–245.Google Scholar
  25. 23.
    Ibid., p. 243. It is interesting to compare Cieszkowski on free trade with a brief comment of Marx also on differential tariffe: “... It is precisely in England that the evil consequences of a system (i.e., of differential tariffs — AL) appear which is no longer the system of our time, which… is based on division and not unity, which imparts to each separate sphere a separate protection because the general protection, a rational state or a system is lacking in each individual state. Trade and manufacture should be protected but that is precisely the disputed point, whether protective duties really protect”. ‘Über Schutzzolle’ MEGA, I, 1, drawn from Rheinische Zeitung, 22 November 1842, where this appeared as an editorial footnote.Google Scholar
  26. 24.
    Kühne, op. cit., p. 242.Google Scholar
  27. 24a.
    The reference is to Louis Blanc’s Organisation du travail, Paris, 1839, which enjoyed huge popularity. See Lichtheim, passim.Google Scholar
  28. 25.
    August Cieszkowski, ‘Organizacja handlu drzewem i przemysłu leśnego’ Biblioteka Warszawska, II, part 1, 1843, pp. 112–143.Google Scholar
  29. 26.
    Ibid., p. 129. Henceforth (H.D). Google Scholar
  30. 28.
    The odd spelling is Cieszkowski’s.Google Scholar
  31. 29.
    N. Wróblewski, ‘Przeglad pierwszego półrocza Biblioteki Warszawskiej z roku 1843’, Przeglad Naukowy, II, 1843, nr. 28, p. 7. It is interesting that this organ of the radical camp should have adopted a so thoroughly liberal position.Google Scholar
  32. 30.
    August Cieszkowski, ‘Uwagi nad obecnym stanem finansów angielskich’, Biblioteka Warszawska, II, 1842, pp. 377–418. Henceforth (RA.). Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    For a very interesting analysis of the transformation of the Pöbel, see Conze’s article in Vierteljahresschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, already cited.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    I have relied here on Theodore S. Hamerow, Restoration, Revolution, Reaction: Economics and Politics in Germany 1815–1871, Princeton, 1966; 1st ed., 1958 whose analysis essentially confirms Conze’s. Although Hamerow speaks only of Germany, inasmuch as the two Cieszkowski articles to be discussed in the following sections were intended for a German-Polish audience, Hamerow’s book is valuable and relevant here.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    A. E. Cherbuliez, ‘Pauperisme’, in Coquelin & Guillaumin, op. cit., vol. II, p. 1854.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Bechard, De Vétat du pauperisme en France et des moyens d’y remédier, Paris, 1853.Google Scholar
  37. 36a.
    Cited in Hans Stein, ‘Pauperismus und Assoziation’, International Review for Social History, I, 1936, pp. 12–13.Google Scholar
  38. 37.
    Stein, Hamerow, Conze, op. cit.; also the bibliographical article by P. Mombert, “Aus der Literatur über die soziale Frage und über die Arbeiterbewegung in Deutschland in der erste Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts” Archiv für die Geschichte des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung, IX, 1921, pp. 168–235.Google Scholar
  39. 38.
    Diary, II, p. 1, 6–14, 14 September 1837, lists Économie politique chrétienne as one of the books in category III, i.e., looked at but not read thoroughly. Consistently with Cieszkowski’s increasing absorption in social and economic matters, the book appears again, however, in Diary II, p. 5, under the readings for 10–24 January 1838. Following the second entry is a set of notes on agriculture undoubtedly inspired by his reading of Villeneuve-Bargemont.Google Scholar
  40. 39.
    Alban de Villeneuve-Bargemont. Économie politique chrétienne, vol. I, p. 280 and vol. III, pp. 3–4, Paris, 1834.Google Scholar
  41. 39a.
    See the rather simplistic study by M. Ring, Villeneuve-Bargemont, precursor of modern Social Catholicism, Milwaukee, 1935.Google Scholar
  42. 39b.
    Gide op. cit., mentions Villeneuve-Bargemont as one of the few disciples of Sismondi. Otherwise, history has accepted Marx’s harsh judgement in Poverty of Philosophy.Google Scholar
  43. 40.
    Ibid., vol. I, p. 101: “Let us recognize the fact. All the efforts of philosophy, all the results of science, all the inquiries undertaken with a pure and true heart, have never been able to and will never be able to show the impossibility of assigning to poverty, as to all other ills which afflict humanity, any other cause than that irrevocable and supreme decree which brought man down from the almost divine status which he originally possessed, condemned him to labour, to unhappiness, to sickness and to death...”Google Scholar
  44. 41.
    See Swart, op. cit., p. 66; Villeneuve-Bargemont shared this distaste for England with a good many contemporary socialists. As a former Napoleonic prefect and as a good Catholic he had additional reasons for this antipathy.Google Scholar
  45. 42.
    Villeneuve-Bargemont, op. cit., vol. III, book III.Google Scholar
  46. 42a.
    See also Duroselle, op. cit. Google Scholar
  47. 43.
    Diary, II, p. 6, readings for 1–23 January 1838, lists Blanqui’s Cours d’économie industrielle, from which Cieszkowski drew figures on the budget devoted to pauperism in France.Google Scholar
  48. 44.
    Further on the same page Cieszkowski noted: “Common tables and social tables set up by Minos in Crete... At the cradle of society, communism existed but there was no cultivation. Virgil says: ‘Ante Jovem nulli subigebant arva coloni etc. Georgics I’.” In contrast to this, Cieszkowski also noted on the same page: “Competition must be eliminated by competition”. All this would seem to suggest that Cieszkowski had no fixed opinions as yet and was considering various alternatives to present economic organization...Google Scholar
  49. 45.
    Diary I, p. 110, 14 November 1838. This curious passage deserves to be quoted more extensively: “An example of homeopathic medicine in social weaknesses may be the creation of the lombards. The church forbade the lending of money for interest most severely. The result was that only the Jews gained and the whole of society suffered from their usury. Instead of solving the problem the prohibitive law had only made it worse. Concessions had to be made and abnormal loans had to be evened out by normal ones — and the Church itself saw itself obliged to support the lombards, called for their lofty purpose, monts de piéte... In the present illness the institution of marriage will also be unable to do without a homeopathic medicine...”Google Scholar
  50. 46.
    For a general treatment of Owen, see Lichtheim, op. cit., and for an economic treatment,Google Scholar
  51. 46a.
    Gide, op. cit. Google Scholar
  52. 46b.
    For more specialized treatment of Owen and education, see Utopianism and Education: Robert Owen and the Owenites, John Harrison, ed. & Intro., New York, 1968,Google Scholar
  53. 46c.
    as well as the volume Robert Owen: Prophet of the Poor, S. Pollard and J. Salt, eds., London 1971, where the article by R. G. Garnett, ‘Robert Owen and the Community Experiments’ is particularly interesting.Google Scholar
  54. 47.
    Duroselle, op. cit. Google Scholar
  55. 47a.
    There seems to be some historiographical question as to whether German Catholics were as active socially as the French with Conze arguing that they were: Conze, ‘Das Spannungsfeld von Staat und Gesellschaft im Vormärz’, in Conze, ed., Staat und Gesellschaft im deutschen Vormärz, Stuttgart, 1962.Google Scholar
  56. 47b.
    See Stein, op. cit., for contemporary views.Google Scholar
  57. 48.
    Fourier had nothing but disdain for moralizing, attributing to his own system supra-moral or scientific qualities. He wrote to Enfantin that “reform must begin with the physical and not with the moral” and declared his own method superior to the Saint-Simonians’ because “without conniving around ministers or priests, without seizing the finances of France, without the persecution of employers, without irritating the court or the guard”. Louvancour, op. cit., p. 101. The Saint-Simonians responded by belittling the Fourierists as small-scale industrial rather than moral thinkers. Ibid., p. 125.Google Scholar
  58. 49.
    This is the interpretation most effectively argued by Conze in his Staat und Gesellschaft..., pp. 260 and 360. “The magic word ‘association’ was the expression of the yearning for a new organization of a society caught in dissolution. It was used for the solution of the ‘social question’ in a corporative-conservative, liberal-social and socialist-revolutionary sense... It was an age of new combinations and associations as traditional groups fell apart. There was no area of life where the new spirit of association did not penetrate... hiding behind all the new unions were the more or less strong remainders of the older guilds and corporations... the early organizations of the workers’ movement all were linked to old guild ties”.Google Scholar
  59. 50.
    Stein, op. cit., pp. 12ff.Google Scholar
  60. 51.
    Fourier MSS, cited in Louvancour, op. cit., p. 387.Google Scholar
  61. 52.
    Duroselle, op. cit., pp. 122ff.Google Scholar
  62. 53.
    Ibid., p. 676. Among the members of Le Play’s founding committee were Wołowski, Aug. Cochin, M. Chevalier, Armand de Melun as well as E. Pereire and James de Rothschild.Google Scholar
  63. 54.
    See Hamerow, op. cit., passim. Huber was the editor of Janus and the founder of the conservative party in Germany.Google Scholar
  64. 55.
    L. Buhl, Andeutungen über die Noth der arbeitenden Klassen und über die Aufgabe der Vereine zum Wohl derselben, Berlin, 1845, p. 26. The cabinet order cited had been preceded by another one dated 13 November 1843 calling for the creation of unions to diminish or eliminate the ever more deeply penetrating physical, social and ethical corruption (Verderben) of the lower popular classes stemming from pauperism or from moral coarseness. Cited in Conze, Vierteljahresschrift..., p. 356.Google Scholar
  65. 56.
    Buhl, op. cit. Apparently provincial, county and local Vereine followed quickly. Often, these became a battleground where liberals and other progressives sought to introduce their own programmes. In Bielefeld, the spinners and handworkers came to the Verein meetings and threatened to set off a popular movement.Google Scholar
  66. 56a.
    This was quickly repressed as might be expected. Conze, Ibid. Google Scholar
  67. 57.
    Buhl, op. cit. It is interesting to observe that in Villeneuve-Bargemont’s tables Prussia still had one of the lowest pauper counts in Europe. Whereas the relation of paupers to population in England was 1:6, in France 1:20, in Germany it was 1:20 and in Prussia 1:30. Lower ratios were to be found only in European Turkey 1:40 and European Russia and Poland 1:100.Google Scholar
  68. 58.
    August Cieszkowski, ‘O wystawie berlinskiej’, Biblioteka Warszawska, IV, 1844, pp. 704–709. In his article ‘Neue Einblicke...’, op. cit., Kühne suggests that Cieszkowski was active in the Verein as well as in the Pestalozzi Stiftung (see following section). He also reproduces a letter from Agathon Benary to Cieszkowski dated 24 June 1844, where the former announces that he has been taken into the directorate of the Verein and asks Cieszkowski about his suggestions and advice “concerning the principles and point of view from which to operate”. ‘Neue Einblicke...’, op. cit. Google Scholar
  69. 59.
    Notes his Diary, II, p. 34: “Government should begin as the association of all associations of the country — a general association completing details — the work of the individual associations will remain precisely there where the individual (?..) is needed”.Google Scholar
  70. 60.
    August Cieszkowski, ‘O ochronach wiejskich’, Biblioteka Warszawska, II, pt. 1, 1842, pp. 367–411;Google Scholar
  71. 60a.
    2nd Polish ed. as separate brochure, Lwow, 1845; 3rd Polish ed., Poznan, 1849; translated into German as Antrag zu Gunsten der Kleinkinderbewahranstalten als Grundlage der Volkserziehung. Beitrag zur Bestimmung und Feststellung der Aufgabe des Staates in Beziehung auf Volkswohlfarth im Kultur, Berlin bei W. Moeser, 1855–56. The subtitle here leads one to think that this might be a revised edition. I abbreviate references to the 1st Polish edition as (V.S.).Google Scholar
  72. 61.
    Gide, Lichtheim, op., cit. Google Scholar
  73. 62.
    See Huber’s Selbsthilfe der arbeitenden Klassen, 1848.Google Scholar
  74. 62a.
    A recent study and bibliography is Helmut Faust, Victor Aimé Huber: ein Bahnbrecher der Genossenschaftsidee, Hamburg, 1952.Google Scholar
  75. 63.
    E. Hasselmann, ‘The Impact of Owen’s Ideas on German Social and Co-operative thought during the Nineteenth Century’, in Pollard, ed., op. cit. Although this article contributes much to an understanding of Owen in Germany, it is mistaken in considering the Communist Manifesto as the first German critique of Owen. Marx and Engels had undertaken this task earlier in The Holy Family, The Poverty of Philosophy, and The Condition of the Working Class in England.Google Scholar
  76. 64.
    H. Desroche, ‘Images and Echoes of Owenism in 19th Century France’, in Pollard, ed., op. cit. For Cabet, see Lichtheim, op. cit. Google Scholar
  77. 65.
    Cieszkowski had previously mentioned the charitable institutions of Rome including the Pestalozzi Stiftung in ‘Kilka wrażen z Rzymu’, op. cit. Here, he remarks that travel accounts discuss such socially important institutions all too rarely.Google Scholar
  78. 66.
    For a representative sampling, see Pestalozzi’s Educational Writings, J. A. Green, ed., New York, 1912.Google Scholar
  79. 67.
    The status of the Polish peasant differed considerably depending on the legal régime of the partitioning power. Cieszkowski does not specify which part of the country he is referring to, in all probability it is German Poland, where serfdom no longer existed. See S. Kiniewicz, The Emancipation of the Polish Peasantry, Chicago, 1969.Google Scholar
  80. 68.
    Cieszkowski adds in a footnote: “The combination of common blessings and the advantages of both a private and a public education which constitute one of the main principles of Pestalozzi’s method and one of its advantages was applied by him artificially to the possessing classes. Here it is the natural consequence of the institution of infant schools of the whole mass of the population” (VS., p. 382).Google Scholar
  81. 69.
    Towarzystwo Warszawskie Dobroczynności. This would lead one to suppose that Cieszkowski is thinking of Russian Poland.Google Scholar
  82. 70.
    N. Wróblewski, Przeglad Naukowy, I, nr 3, 1843, p. 195.Google Scholar
  83. 71.
    Philosophy of Right, p. 40 (paragraph 41).Google Scholar
  84. 72.
    Early Writings, Bottomore, ed., p. 153.Google Scholar
  85. 73.
    ‘O wystawie berlinskiej’, Biblioteka Warszawska, IV, 1844, pp. 704–709, abbreviated here and cited above (W.B.).Google Scholar
  86. 74.
    The full title of this article: Zur Verbesserung der Lage der Arbeiter auf dem Lande. Ein Vortrag gehalten in der zweiten General-Versammlung des landwirtschaftlichen Provinzial-Vereins für die Mark Brandenburg und die Niederlausitz am 17 Mai 1845. Cited here as (V.L.A.). It was published as a brochure by E. H. Schröder, Berlin, 1846, and translated into French in the Journal des Économistes, XV, October 1845. It was translated into Italian in 1891; see A. Popławski, ‘Z życia i zapomnianych dzieł Cieszkowskiego’, Sfinks, nr 1, 1916, p. 11.Google Scholar
  87. 75.
    Cieszkowski quotes the Zeitschrift des landwirtschaftlichen Zentral-Vereins zu Frankfurt a.d. Oder. Several of the articles here seem to have formed the basis for the Brandenburg-Niederlausitz Verein’s discussions: I, nr 2, ‘Über die Mittel zur Hebung der Diensttreue und der Moralität des Gesindes’, I, pp. 228–236. I, pp. 337–345: ‘Vorschläge wodurch sich der sittliche Zustand der geringern Klasse von Landbewohnern dauernd heben lässt’; I, pt. III, pp. 205–215: ‘Über die Wichtigkeit der Kleinkinder-bewahranstalten auf dem platten Lande’, II, pt. II, pp. 90–120: ‘Einfluss der Agricultur fortschritte auf die Sittlichkeit der Landgemeinden’. III, pt. II, ‘Vorschläge zur moralischen Verbesserung der Tagelohner und des Gesindes auf dem Lande’, pp. 169–174. I am citing the titles of these articles to show the sort of subjects which were treated in these Landwirtschaftliche Vereine in the absence of any further information about them.Google Scholar
  88. 76.
    Adam Müller is discussed in Mannheim, ‘Conservative Thought’, passim.Google Scholar
  89. 77.
    Karol Libelt, ‘O ulepszeniu stosunków roboczej klasy ludu po włościach wedle pomysłu Augusta Cieszkowskiego’, Pisma krytyczne; vol. V, pp. 43–57. Libelt’s review of Du Crédit et de la Circulation may be recalled.Google Scholar
  90. 78.
    Mannheim, ‘Conservative Thought’, pp. 145ff asks the question: “What became of vital relations characteristic of traditional society and their corresponding modes of thought which were suppressed by the rise of a consistent capitalist rationalization?” He concludes that they were redirected towards anti-bourgeois thought in both its conservative and its proletarian variation.Google Scholar
  91. 79.
    Marx, Communist Manifesto, p. 47.Google Scholar
  92. 80.
    Cuvillier, op. cit., p. 40.Google Scholar
  93. 81.
    Lamennais, Le Livre du Peuple, quoted in H. J. Hunt, Le socialisme et le romantisme en France, Oxford, 1933, p. 85.Google Scholar
  94. 82.
    Leroux, Démocratie Pacifique, 15 August 1846, quoted in Hunt, op. cit., appendix.Google Scholar
  95. 83.
    See Conze, ‘Das Spannungsfeld von Staat und Gesellschaft im Vormärz’, op. cit. Google Scholar
  96. 84.
    See Louvancour, op. cit., passim.Google Scholar

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© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

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