The Journal des Économistes. Revue Mensuelle de l’Economie Politique, des Questions Agricoles, Manufacturieres et Commerciales (Paris: Guillaumin, 1841-1940).

Created: June 28, 2010
[Updated: January 13, 2013]

 

The Founder of the JDE: Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin (1801-64)

The Journal des Économistes was founded in 1841 by the book publisher and classical liberal activist Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin (1801-64). Guillaumin was a mid-19th century French classical liberal publisher who founded a publishing dynasty which lasted from 1835 to around 1910 and became the focal point for the classical liberal movement in France.

Guillaumin was orphaned at the age of five and was brought up by his uncle. He came to Paris in 1819 and worked in a bookstore before eventually founding his own publishing firm in 1835. He became active in liberal politics during the July Monarchy after the revolution of 1830 and made contact with a number of free market economists. He became a publisher in 1835 in order to popularize and promote classical liberal economic ideas, and the firm of Guillaumin eventually became the major publishing house for classical liberal ideas in 19th century France. Guillaumin helped found the Journal des économistes in 1841 and the following year he helped found the Société d’économie politique which became the main organization which brought like-minded classical liberals together for discussion and debate.

His firm "Guillaumin" published hundreds of books on economic issues, making its catalog a virtual who’s who of the liberal movement in France. Their 1866 catalog listed 166 separate book titles, not counting journals and other periodicals. For example, he published the works of Jean-Baptiste Say, Charles Dunoyer, Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari and many others, including translations of works by Hugo Grotius, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Charles Darwin.

 

By the mid-1840s Guillaumin's home and business had become the focal point of the classical liberal lobby in Paris which debated and published material opposed to a number of causes which they believed threatened liberty in France: statism, protectionism, socialism, militarism, and colonialism. After his death in 1864 the firm’s activities were continued by his oldest daughter Félicité, and after her death it was handed over to his youngest daughter Pauline. The firm of Guillaumin continued in one form or another from 1835 to 1910 when it was merged with the publisher Félix Alcan.

The business was located in the Rue Richelieu, no. 14, in a very central part of Paris not far from the River Seine, the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre Museum, the Palais Royal, the Comédie Française theatre, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The following picture postcard shows the Molière fountain at the intersection of the Rue Richelieu (left) and the Rue Moliére (right) near the Théâtre du Palais Royal. The fountain was built in 1844 opposite the building, 40 Rue Richelieu, where Molière had once lived. The office which housed the Librairie de Guillaumin et Cie would have been about half way down the Rue Richelieu from the fountain.

The Journal des Économistes

The first issue of the JDE appeared in December 1841 and then roughly every month until it was forced to close following the occupation of Paris by the Nazis in 1940. The pattern the editors settled upon was to publish a numberd monthly issue of about 120 pages and then bind the issues into a quarterly volume or tome which was consecutively numbered with about 500 pages. Every so often a volume would include an anlaytical index of the previous years issues, the most useful being the analytical index for the first two series (1841-1853, and 1854-1865) which was pubished separately in 1883 and which is included below. Another useful index was published in 1891 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the JDE, which is also included below. It is a summary listing of the major authors, articles by topic, topics discussed at the monthly meetings of the Société d'économie politique, and key obituaries.

The editors of the JDE were as follows:

  • founding editor and publisher Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin (1801-64) - December 1841
  • Adolphe Blanqui (1798-1854): Editor (1842-43) - who used the pseudonym "Adolphus"
  • Hippolyte Dussard (1798-1876): Editor (1843-45)
  • Joseph Garnier (1813-1881): Editor (1845-55)
  • Henri Baudrillart (1821-1892): Editor (1855-65)
  • Joseph Garnier (1813-1881): Editor (1866-81)
  • Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912): Editor (October 1881-1909)
  • Yves Guyot (1843-1928): Editor (1910-1913?)
Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin (1801-64)
Founding Editor Dec. 1841
Adolphe Blanqui (1798-1854)
Editor (1842-43)
Hippolyte Dussard (1798-1876)
Editor (1843-45)
Joseph Garnier (1813-1881)
Editor (1845-55)
Henri Baudrillart (1821-1892)
Editor (1855-65)
Joseph Garnier (1813-1881)
Editor (1866-81)
Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)
Editor (1881-1909)
Yves Guyot (1843-1928)
Editor (1910-1913?)
First issue of the Journal des Économistes 1841

 

I plan to create a full Table of Contents in HTML format which is divided into calendar years. Within each cialendar year are the individual Tomes which were issued in that year. I have also provided links to PDF versions of the table of contents for each Tome, as well as to the actual text of the Tome.

The JdE was published in "series" and I have folowed this pattern here as well. I want to provide a complete set of the Journal des Économistes in PDF format. This has been a very difficult and time consuming task for a number of reasons. The collection of the JDE at Gallica, whilst acurately scanned, is incomplete. Turning to Google to fill the gaps has been a nightmare because of the poor quality of the scanning. About 1 in 5 volumes has missing pages (two pages turned together by the operator), fingers abscure the page (I have a nice collection of pictures of the operators' fingers, even shoes), incomplete pages because the operator did not place the book in the correct postion, and so on. Fortunately, because Google is now using multiple sources for its texts, there are sometime alternative copies to use, but every volume has to be manually checked for correct pagination. This is something a reputable library would do. I suppose Google's philosophy is "quantity not quality".

The link will take you to detailed table of contents and the individual volumes for that series:

Additional Texts

1. Journal des Économistes (fondé en Décembre 1841). Table de cinquantenaire (1841-1891). Résumé des quinze tables du journal. (Paris Guillaumin, 1892). [PDF external file].

2. Analytical Table of Contents for the First and Second Series (1841-1865) - [PDF external file]. The analytical ToC is especially useful for locating essays by a particular author, such as Frédéric Bastiat and Gustave de Molinari.

  • Table alphabétique générale des matières contenues dans les deux premières séries (Années 1841-1865) du Journal des Économistes (Paris: Guillaumin, 1883).