Who first wrote 'Eat the Rich'?
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: sethw-ga
List Price: $5.00
15 Jun 2005 09:22 PDT
Expires: 15 Jul 2005 09:22 PDT
Question ID: 533550
I'm looking for as close to the original source as possible of the phrase or concept 'Eat the Rich'; the first pamphlet, book, newspaper article, or first reported demonstration where it was chanted, whatever the earliest source of this was. I'm looking for the Thomas Paine type that came up with this, so I can read whatever else he or she wrote.
Re: Who first wrote 'Eat the Rich'?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 15 Jun 2005 09:43 PDT
Thomas Paine was an awfully good guess. A contemporary of Paine's, Jean-Jacques Rousseau -- whose philosophical writings provided the underpinnings for much of ideals of the French Revolution -- was the originator of the phrase, "eat the rich": "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich..." The phrase has been cited by others as originating at a speech given by Rousseau. You can see an example of this in this book published in the 1800's, "The history of the French revolution", by M. A. Thiers: http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moa;cc=moa;xc=1;xg=1;sid=60a3bc8c6a824fc15ff48b8d920e5ca2;q1=eat%20the%20rich;rgn=full%20text;idno=ACP8713.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000811 You'll find Rousseau's eat-the-rich excerpt at the end of the next to last paragraph. You can read a bit more about Rousseau himself here: http://www.philosophypages.com/ph/rous.htm I trust this information fully answers your question. However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you need. If you would like any additional information, just post a Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further, and I'm at your service. All the best, pafalafa-ga search strategy -- searched the Making of America site for [ "eat the rich" ]
rated this answer:
Fast, exact, and even more than I asked for, Thanks!
Don't Forget Poor Old Jonathon Swift
From: badger75-ga on 18 Jun 2005 16:42 PDT
In 1729 Irish satirist Jonathon Swift had already written Gulliver's Travels mocking human frailty and the British in particular. He then took aim at the British indifference to the Irish poor with "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden". Swift satirically suggested that the English rulers of Ireland should simply eat Irish children. The irony of his work was lost on Queen Anne and the British aristocracy who were not amused. Possibly Tom Paine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were borrowing from Swift?
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