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The Cynosure

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Proudhon's Biographical Information



  • Born: January 15, 1809; Besançon, France
  • 1825 enters college in Besançon
  • 1828 becomes working compositor in town
  • 1832 Back in Besançon by the Fall, Proudhon was offered a job as an editor of a Fouriériste newspaper.
  • 1833, after receiving news of his brother's mysterious death during military training after having threatened to expose his captain for misuse of army funds, Proudhon became an implacable enemy of the existing order
  • 1838 obtained pension Suard working as corrector of the press
  • 1839 wrote treatise, 'Utilité de la célébration du dimanche, this year moved to paris
  • 1840 published first work- Qu'est-ce que la propriété
  • 1846 published greatest work Système des contradictions économiques ou Philosophie de la misère (system of economic contradictions or the philosophy of Poverty). He became connected as a kind of manager with commercial firm in Lyon, France.
  • 1847 left Lyon and business and finally settled in Paris, joined freemasonry
  • 1848 Proudhon failed to get elected to the constituent assembly in April 1848, though his name appeared on the ballots in Paris, Lyon, Besançon, and Lille.
  • 1848 participated in February uprising
  • (1848-1852) During the Second French Republic Proudhon was writing for Le Représentant du Peuple (February 1848 - August 1848); Le Peuple (September 1848 - June 1849); La Voix du Peuple (September 1849 - May 1850); Le Peuple de 1850 (June 1850 - October 1850) Proudhon stood for the constituent assembly in April 1848, but failed to get elected
  • June 4 1848-, and served as a deputy during the debates over the National Workshops, created by the February 25, 1848 decree passed by Republican Louis Blanc
  • 1849 he attempted to establish a popular bank (Banque du peuple)
  • 1854 Proudhon contracted cholera. He survived but he never fully recovered his health
  • 1858 published two more important books, Justice in the Revolution and in the Church
  • 1863 published Principle of Federation
  • Died: January 19, 1865; Passy, France




Proudhon by D.W. Brogan

Biography by Dana Ward

Role in 1848 Revolution




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