1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mounier, Jean Joseph

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MOUNIER, JEAN JOSEPH (1758-1806), French politician, was born at Grenoble (Isère) on the 12th of November 1758. He studied law, and in 1783 obtained a judgeship at Grenoble. He took part in the struggle between the parlements and the court in 1788, and promoted the meeting of the estates of Dauphiné at Vizille (July 20, 1788), which on the eve of the Revolution created an immense stir. He was secretary of this assembly, and drafted the cahiers of grievances and remonstrances presented by it to the king. Thus brought into prominence, Mounier was unanimously elected deputy of the third estate to the states general of 1789. There, and in the Constituent Assembly, he was at first an upholder of the new ideas, pronouncing himself in favour of the union of the Third Estate with the two privileged orders, proposing the famous oath of the Tennis Court, assisting in the preparation of the new constitution, and demanding the return of Necker. On the 28th of September 1789 he was elected president of the Constituent Assembly. Being unable, however, to approve the proceedings which followed, Mounier withdrew to Dauphiné, gave in his resignation as deputy, and, becoming suspect, took refuge in Switzerland in 1790. He returned to France in 1801, was named by Bonaparte prefect of the department of Ille-et-Vilaine, which he reorganized, and in 1805 was appointed councillor of state. He died in Paris on the 28th of January 1806. His principal writings are Considerations sur les gouvernements (1789); Recherches sur les causes qui out empêché les Français de devenir libres (1792), and De l'Influence attribute aux philosophes, aux francs-maçons et aux illuminés sur la revolution de la France (1801).

See F. A. Aulard, Les Orateurs de l'assemblée constituante (2nd ed., Paris, 1905); De Lanzac de Laborie, Un Royaliste liberal en 1789; J. J. Mounier (Paris, 1887); A. Rochas, Biographie du Dauphiné (Paris, 1856); Berriat St Prix, Éloge historique de M. Mounier (1806); F. Boïanovski, “Quelques lettres inédites de J. J. Mounier,” in the Revue historique (1898).