La Harpe, Frédéric César de

La Harpe, Frédéric César de

(frādārēk` sāzär` də lä ärp), 1754–1838, Swiss statesman. He went (1782) to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he became the tutor of the future Czar Alexander I, in whom he attempted to instill liberal and democratic ideals. After the outbreak of the French Revolution, La Harpe returned to Switzerland. Failing initially to stir up a revolution in his native VaudVaud
, Ger. Waadt, canton (1993 pop. 593,000), 1,239 sq mi (3,209 sq km), W Switzerland. Lausanne is the capital. Bordering on France in the west, it lies roughly between the Lake of Geneva, the Lake of Neuchâtel, the Jura Mts., and the Bernese Alps.
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 against the Bernese authorities, he went to Paris and obtained the intervention of the Directory. After the establishment (1798) of the Helvetic RepublicHelvetic Republic
, 1798–1803, Swiss state established under French auspices. In Sept., 1797, several exiled Swiss leaders in France (notably Frédéric César de La Harpe) formally urged the French Revolutionary government (the Directory) to help in
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 with the help of French arms, La Harpe was one of its directors, but in 1800 the conservatives, backed by Napoleon Bonaparte, ousted him as a Jacobin. La Harpe retired to Paris. When the allies entered Paris in 1814, Czar Alexander gave him the rank of a Russian general. La Harpe represented Vaud and Ticino at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), where with the help of the czar he secured recognition of the two cantons as sovereign members of the Swiss Confederation.
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La Harpe, Frederic Cesar de


Born Apr. 6, 1754, in Rolle, canton of Vaud; died Mar. 30, 1838, in Lausanne. Swiss political figure; lawyer.

In the 1780’s, La Harpe was invited to Russia by Catherine II as tutor for her grandson, the future Alexander I. La Harpe’s liberalism and his defense of the canton of Vaud (where revolutionary manifestations had emerged under the influence of the Great French Revolution) against the encroachments of the government of the canton of Bern led to his dismissal from the post of tutor in 1795. From 1798 to 1800 he and P. Ochs headed the Directory of the Helvetic Republic. During the Congress of Vienna of 1814–15, he strove, with the aid of Alexander I, to reestablish the Swiss Confederation and maintain the independence of Vaud and Aargau from Bern.

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