From Prairial to Pop Culture. Day Sixteen: Who declared that happiness was a “new idea” in Europe in 1794?

Young doomed deputyCamille-DesmoulinsGeorges_DantonRobespierre

In March 1794, when he was just 26 years old, this deputy gave hope to the working man by declaring: “Le bonheur est une idée neuve en Europe” [Happiness is a new idea in Europe]. By making it a common value, he suggested that the pursuit of happiness should apply in France as well as in the young United States, and he proposed a redistribution of wealth –by confiscating émigré property–to alleviate the suffering of the poor.

  1. Maximilien Robespierre
  2. Georges Danton
  3. Camille Desmoulins
  4. Louis-Antoine de Saint-Just

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