Robert R. Palmer exemplified the best that historians have to offer. He wrote with conviction, empathy, and at times passion, yet he always managed to maintain balance and portray both the good and the bad in the people and events he brought to life for his readers. Because he wrote with conviction, he also wrote with exceptional clarity. He never displayed the impulse to hide behind highfalutin language, contorted prose, or excessively specialized topics. He believed that democracy was an absolute good, that it had its origins in European history, and that its rise provided one of, or even perhaps the principal theme of all of modern history. As a consequence, he never lost his sympathy for the French revolutionaries of 1789–1794, however terrible their actions, however much they fell short of living up to their ideals.
Against Functional and Global Solutions to the Boundary Problem in Democratic Theory
despotism (as the saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”). This is the position that Immanuel Kant takes: The idea of international right presupposes the separate existence of many independent adjoining states. And such a
Its Innovative Thrust and Transnational Semantic Transfers during the Sattelzeit (Eighteenth to Nineteenth Centuries)
Samuel Hayat and José María Rosales
restore absolute autocracies. The individual rational bourgeois citizen, already at the center of the public sphere since the eighteenth century, 19 became the ubiquitous legitimizing figure on which any modern government, even a conservative one, should