François Pierre Guillaume Guizot

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Guizot, François Pierre Guillaume


Born Oct. 4, 1787, in Nîmes; died Sept. 12, 1874, in Val Richer. French statesman and historian. Member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1832) and of the French Academy (1836).

Guizot held the posts of minister of internal affairs (August-November 1830), education (1832-36, 1836-37), and foreign affairs (1840-48) and was prime minister from 1847 to 1848. After 1840 he was the actual director of the overall policy of the July monarchy. Guizot’s domestic policy was based on struggle against the workers’ movement. (On Guizot’s order, K. Marx was expelled from France in 1845.) The 1848 revolution put an end to his political career.

Guizot was an ideologist of the big bourgeoisie. He was one of the originators of the theory of the class struggle as a central motive force of historical events. However, Guizot’s understanding of the class struggle was notable for its bourgeois narrow-mindedness: he reduced the essence of class differences simply to property relations, without considering the question of the real origin of property. He refused to see the exploitation of one class by another at the base of the relationship of antagonistic classes. He denied the class nature of the bourgeois state and was hostile toward the struggle of the popular masses. Guizot portrayed the history of France as a history of the struggle first between the conquerors of Gaul—the Teutons—and the Gallo-Romans enslaved by them, and later as a struggle between the descendants of the Teutons, the nobility, and the descendants of the Gallo-Romans, the third estate. Guizot’s views underwent a significant evolution; after the 1848 revolution, he renounced the theory of the class struggle.


Du Gouvernement de la France depuis la Restauration et du ministère actuel Paris, 1820.
Essais sur l’histoire de France …, 12th ed. Paris, 1868.
Histoire de la révolution d’Angleterre …, vols. 1-6, 1854-56.
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Histoire de la civilisation en France, 15th ed., vols. 1-4. Paris, 1884.
De la Démocratic en France …. Paris, 1849.


Marx, K. “Klassovaia bor’ba vo Frantsii.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 7.
Marx, K. “Grazhdanskaia voina vo Frantsii.” Ibid., vol. 17.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. “Gizo ….” Ibid., vol. 7.
Plekhanov, G. V. “K voprosu o razvitii monisticheskogo vzgliada na istoriiu.” Izbr. filosofskie proizvedeniia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1956. Chapter 2.
Alpatov, M. A. Politicheskie idei frantsuzskoi burzhuaznoi istoriografii 19 v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Reizov, B. G. Frantsuzskaia romanticheskaia istoriografiia (1815-1830). Leningrad, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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