Pierre Louis, Comte Roederer - Encyclopedia

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PIERRE LOUIS ROEDERER, Comte (75435), French politician and economist, was born at Metz on the 15th of February 1754, the son of a magistrate. At the age of twentyfive he became councillor at the parlement of Metz, and was commissioned in 1787 to draw up a list of remonstrances. His work advocating the suppression of internal customs houses (Suppression des douanes interieures), published the same year, is an elaborate treatise on the laws of commerce and on the theory of customs imposts. In 1788 he published Deputation aux Etats generaux, a pamphlet remarkable for its bold exposition of liberal principles, and partly on the strength of this he was elected deputy to the states-general by the Third Estate of the bailliage of Metz. In the Constituent Assembly he was a member of the committee of taxes (comité des contributions), prepared a scheme for a new system of taxation, drew up a law on patents, occupied himself with the laws relating to stamps and assignats, and was successful in opposing the introduction of an income tax. After the close of the Constituent Assembly he was elected, on the i rth of November 1791, procureur general syndic of the department of Paris. The directory of the department, of which the duc de la Rochefoucauld was president, was at this time in pronounced opposition to the advanced views that dominated the Legislative Assembly and the Jacobin Club, and Roederer was not altogether in touch with his colleagues. Thus he took no share in signing their protest against the law against the non-juring clergy, as a violation of religious liberty. But the directory did not long survive. With the growing anarchy of the capital many of its members resigned and fled, and their places could not be filled up. Roederer himself has left in his Chronique des cinquante jours (1832) an account of the pitiable part played by the directory of the department in the critical period between the 10th of June and the 10th of August 1792. Seeing the perilous drift of things, he had tried to get into touch with the king; and it was on his advice that Louis, on the fatal loth, took refuge in the Assembly. His conduct arousing suspicion, he went into hiding, and did not emerge again until after the fall of Robespierre. In 1796 he was made a member of the Institute, was appointed to a professorship of political economy, and founded tin Journal d'economie publique, de morale et de legislation. Having escaped deportation at the time of the coup d'etat of 18 Fructidor, he took part in the revolution of 18 Brumaire, and was appointed by Napoleon member of the council of state and senator. Under the Empire, Roederer, whose public influence was very considerable, was Joseph Bonaparte's minister of finance at Naples (1806),(1806), administrator of the grand duchy of Berg (181o), and imperial commissary in the south of France. During the Hundred Days he was created a peer of France. The Restoration government stripped him of his offices and dignities, but he recovered the title of peer of France in 1832. He died on the 17th of December 1835. His son, Baron Antoine Marie Roederer (1782-1865), was also a politician of some note in his day.

Among P. L. Roederer's writings may be mentioned Louis XII. (1820); Francois I. (1825); Comedies historiques (1827-30); L'Esprit de la revolution de 1789 (1831); La Premiere et la deuxieme annee du consulat de Bonaparte (1802); Chronique des cinquante jours, an account of the events of the 10th of August 1792; and Memoire pour servir a l'histoire de la societe polie en France (1835).

See his Ouvres, edited by his son (Paris, 1853 seq.); SainteBeuve, Causeries du lundi, vol. viii.; M. Mignet, Notices historiques (Paris, 1853).

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