NADAR (1820-1910). Portrait de François Guizot. Photographie. Collection particulière.

NADAR (1820-1910). Portrait de François Guizot. Photographie. Collection particulière.

François Guizot, born in 1787 during the reign of Louis XVI, was one of the most prominent figures in France and in Europe for over half a century until his death in 1874, when Mac Mahon was President of the newly established Third Republic. A Protestant bourgeois, he was considered to be the greatest historian of his time, introducing the notion of civilization as a new topic to be studied. A philosopher, he initiated the French version of political liberalism and was considerably influenced by England, having written a history of the English Revolution. Elected as a member for Calvados in the Chamber of Deputies in 1830, he endeavoured to adapt the representative system to France, both in the Chamber and in government. As a statesman, his famous law of 1833 laid the foundations of primary school education in France and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1840 to 1848, he established the first Entente Cordiale with England. He was also the instigator of a genuine policy of heritage and memory. The fall of the July monarchy in February 1848 brought about the end of his political career, but he continued to have considerable intellectual and moral influence over society until the end of his life. Tocqueville, Marx and Renan all recognised how much they owed to his works. His Memoirs, and especially his vast and magnificent correspondence, the fullness of his family life and friendships, as well as his affectionate relationships with women, reveal a man far different from the caricatures that he endured but also provoked. For having either neglected or failed to recognise the democratic aspirations that his own policies had in many ways encouraged, he was seen as a defeated figure in political history. When France became a Republic, a regime he had always fought against, he was for a long time relegated to the category of a conservative blinded by his bourgeois background. However, over the last thirty years, his life and works have been reconsidered and replaced in their rightful context.

The aim of the François Guizot Association is to publicize the intellectual and political work of François Guizot and his family.


The purpose of this website is to make available to researchers and the general public a collection of unpublished archives and articles on François Guizot, as well as to centralize all works on his subject.


The horizontal navigation bar covers the whole of Guizot’s family, political and intellectual life. The side navigation bar provides access to additional documentation. The biographical and thematic documentation was produced by historian Laurent Theis, a specialist in Guizot’s work.


The side navigation bar provides access to additional resources. Since 2019, the François Guizot Association has been working on a digital editorial project for the Guizot archives: the Guizot epistolier project provides access to the digitized correspondence of François Guizot.


From 1993 to 2012, the association organized the Prix Guizot du Conseil général du Calvados, followed by the Prix François Guizot-Institut de France, created in 2013 under the patronage of the three academies of which Guizot was a member.