Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sieyès, Emmanuel Joseph (1748–1836)
Henry C. Clark
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, known as Abbé Sieyès, was one of the leading propagandists and constitutional theorists of the French Revolution. Born in southern France in 1748, he was placed by his father (a government official) in a religious career. He enrolled in the Sorbonne in Paris in 1765, where he would remain for the next decade. In 1772, he was ordained a priest and in 1775 was attached as a secretary to a bishop in Brittany. In the 1780s, though lacking a true religious calling, Sieyès made his way up the administrative ladder, becoming a vicar-general in Chartres, a canon of its cathedral (1783), a councilor in the sovereign church chamber (1786), representative of the clergy in the Provincial Assembly of Orléans (1787), and a chancellor in the cathedral chapter of Chartres (1788). Until he was 40, Sieyès published nothing but read widely and left voluminous manuscripts that have only ...