The Vaudois Spirit of Legislation

Auguste BERTHOLET's paper will uncover the history of one of the most important publications of the Economic Society of Bern, the Essais sur l’esprit de la législation (1765). This text arose from a prize-essay competition established by the Polish counts Mniszech, who, on the recommendation of Emer de Vattel, had been sent to Bern to be educated by the secretary of the Vaudois chapter of the Economic Society, Elie Bertrand. Of the 25 essays submitted, four were chosen for publication, by Jean Bertrand, Benjamin Carrard, Gabriel Seigneux de Correvon and Michel Pagan. These thinkers were responsible for disseminating economic theory internationally through translation projects (including Mandeville's Fable of the Bees) and in their own original analyses of global commerce and agrarian and political reform.