Censorship Of The Press : Motives Of 18th Century France

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Censorship of the Press: Motives of 18th Century French Governments Actions of the Ancien Régime to prevent the democratization of ideas, the spread of radical ideals, and the publication of social slander caused fluctuations in the censorship of press, which contributed to a festering discontent within the people of France. This discontent eventually resulted in the French Revolution. Despite the actions of the French Revolution to prevent censorship of the press, and allow for freedom of speech for man, the liberal and radical phases of the revolution and the reign of terror, under Robespierre reverted back to censorship of the press.
Censorship of the press in France intensified during the end of the seventeenth century, starting
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Despite this belief, he also called for censorship. Due to his role in government, Malesherbes was able to observe the monopoly that parlements held over France’s speech, which led him to believe that censorship was necessary. However, he was able to take upon a laissez-faire attitude--around the middle of the eighteenth-century--towards censorship as long as there was a lack of social slander or objectionable arguments. In addition to this laissez-faire attitude, the implementation of “permission tacite” allowed Malesherbes to publish forbidden texts illicitly in France, as well as send them abroad and re-import them due to economic gain. This laissez-faire attitude towards censorship allowed for the spread of Enlightenment ideals throughout France, ultimately leading to the onset of the French Revolution.
Malesherbes was a key figure in ensuring the publication of Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie. Malesherbes was able to convince the court of the importance of Diderot’s works in which the authorities agreed to “turn a blind eye” on Diderot’s works on the Encyclopédie in order to allow him to complete his works. After the resignation of Malesherbes in 1776--due to his disapproval of the suspension of multiple parlements in 1771 by chancellor René-Nicolas de Maupeou, leading to his banishment to his

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