|Born||15 March 1830|
|Died||4 July 1905 75) (aged|
|Occupation||Geographer, anarchist revolutionary, and writer|
|Part of a series on|
Jacques Élisée Reclus (French: [ʁəkly] ; 15 March 1830 – 4 July 1905) was a renowned French geographer, writer and anarchist. He produced his 19-volume masterwork, La Nouvelle Géographie universelle, la terre et les hommes ("Universal Geography"), over a period of nearly 20 years (1875–1894). In 1892 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Paris Geographical Society for this work, despite having been banished from France because of his political activism.
The French are an ethnic group and nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be ethnic, legal, historical, or cultural.
A geographer is a scientist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society. The Greek prefix, "geo," means "earth" and the Greek suffix, "graphy," meaning "description," so a geographer is someone who studies the earth. The word "geography" is a Middle French word that is believed to have been first used in 1540.
Reclus was born at Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (Gironde). He was the second son of a Protestant pastor and his wife. From the family of fourteen children, several brothers, including fellow geographers Onésime and Élie Reclus, went on to achieve renown either as men of letters, politicians or members of the learned professions.
Sainte-Foy-la-Grande is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France.
Gironde is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France. It is named after the Gironde estuary, a major waterway. The Bordeaux wine region is in the Gironde.
Onésime Reclus was a French geographer who specialized in the relations between France and its colonies.
Reclus began his education in Rhenish Prussia, and continued higher studies at the Protestant college of Montauban. He completed his studies at University of Berlin, where he followed a long course of geography under Carl Ritter.
Montauban is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. It is the capital of the department and lies 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Toulouse. Montauban is the most populated town in Tarn-et-Garonne, and the sixth most populated of Occitanie behind Toulouse, Montpellier, Nîmes, Perpignan and Béziers. In 2013, there were 57,921 inhabitants, called "Montalbanais". The town has been classified "Ville d’art et d’histoire" since 2015.
Carl Ritter was a German geographer. Along with Alexander von Humboldt, he is considered one of the founders of modern geography. From 1825 until his death, he occupied the first chair in geography at the University of Berlin.
Withdrawing from France due to the political events of December 1851, as a young man he spent the next six years (1852–1857) traveling and working in Great Britain, the United States, Central America, and Colombia. Arriving in Louisiana in 1853, Reclus worked for about two and a half years as a tutor to the children of cousin Septime and Félicité Fortier at their plantation Félicité, located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) upriver from New Orleans. He recounted his passage through the Mississippi River Delta and impressions of antebellum New Orleans and the state in Fragment d'un voyage á Louisiane, published in 1855.
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
On his return to Paris, Reclus contributed to the Revue des deux mondes , the Tour du monde and other periodicals, a large number of articles embodying the results of his geographical work. Among other works of this period was the short book Histoire d'un ruisseau, in which he traced the development of a great river from source to mouth. During 1867 and 1868, he published La Terre; description des phénomènes de la vie du globe in two volumes.
During the Siege of Paris (1870–1871), Reclus shared in the aerostatic operations conducted by Félix Nadar, and also served in the National Guard. As a member of the Association Nationale des Travailleurs, he published a hostile manifesto against the government of Versailles in support of the Paris Commune of 1871 in the Cri du Peuple .
An aerostat is a lighter than air aircraft that gains its lift through the use of a buoyant gas. Aerostats include unpowered balloons and powered airships. A balloon may be free-flying or tethered. The average density of the craft is lower than the density of atmospheric air, because its main component is one or more gasbags, a lightweight skin containing a lifting gas to provide buoyancy, to which other components such as a gondola containing equipment or people are attached. Especially with airships, the gasbags are often protected by an outer envelope.
The National Guard is a French military, gendarmerie, and police reserve force, active in its current form since 2016 but originally founded in 1789 after the French Revolution.
The Paris Commune was a radical socialist and revolutionary government that ruled Paris from 18 March to 28 May 1871. The Franco-Prussian War had led to the capture of Emperor Napoleon III in September 1870, the collapse of the Second French Empire, and the beginning of the Third Republic. Because Paris was under siege for four months, the Third Republic moved its capital to Tours. A hotbed of working-class radicalism, Paris was primarily defended during this time by the often politicised and radical troops of the National Guard rather than regular Army troops. Paris surrendered to the Prussians on 28 January 1871, and in February Adolphe Thiers, the new chief executive of the French national government, signed an armistice with Prussia that disarmed the Army but not the National Guard.
Continuing to serve in the National Guard, which was then in open revolt, Reclus was taken prisoner on 5 April. On 16 November he was sentenced to deportation for life. Because of intervention by supporters from England, the sentence was commuted in January 1872 to perpetual banishment from France.
After a short visit to Italy, Reclus settled at Clarens, Switzerland, where he resumed his literary labours and produced Histoire d'une montagne, a companion to Histoire d'un ruisseau. There he wrote nearly the whole of his work, La Nouvelle Géographie universelle, la terre et les hommes, "an examination of every continent and country in terms of the effects that geographic features like rivers and mountains had on human populations—and vice versa,"This compilation was profusely illustrated with maps, plans, and engravings. It was awarded the gold medal of the Paris Geographical Society in 1892. An English edition was published simultaneously, also in 19 volumes, the first four by translated E. G. Ravenstein, the rest by A. H. Keane. Reclus's writings were characterized by extreme accuracy and brilliant exposition, which gave them permanent literary and scientific value.
According to Kirkpatrick Sale:
His geographical work, thoroughly researched and unflinchingly scientific, laid out a picture of human-nature interaction that we today would call bioregionalism. It showed, with more detail than anyone but a dedicated geographer could possibly absorb, how the ecology of a place determined the kinds of lives and livelihoods its denizens would have and thus how people could properly live in self-regarding and self-determined bioregions without the interference of large and centralized governments that always try to homogenize diverse geographical areas.
In 1882, Reclus initiated the Anti-Marriage Movement. In accordance with these beliefs and the practice of union libre ("free unions"), which was common among working-class French in the mid-to-late 1800s, Reclus allowed his two daughters to "marry" their male partners without any civil or religious ceremonies, an action causing embarrassment to many of his well-wishers. Reclus had himself entered a free union in 1872, after the death of his first wife. In 1882 he also wrote Unions Libres, a pamphlet which detailed his anarchist and feminist objections to marriage. The French government initiated prosecution from the High Court of Lyon, arrested him and Peter Kropotkin as the International Association's organizers, and sentenced the latter to five years' imprisonment. Reclus escaped punishment as he remained in Switzerland.
Reclus had strong views on naturism and the benefits of nudity. He argued that living naked was more hygienic than wearing clothes; he believed that it was healthier for skin to be fully exposed to light and air so that it could resume its "natural vitality and activity" and become more flexible and firm at the same time. He also argued that from an aesthetic point of view, nudity was better: naked people were more beautiful. His principal objection to clothing was, however, a moral one; he felt that a fixation with clothing caused excessive focus on what was covered. 485:
In 1894, Reclus was appointed chair of comparative geography at the University of Brussels, and moved with his family to Belgium. His brother Élie Reclus was at the university already, teaching religion.Élisée Reclus continued to write, contributing several important articles and essays to French, German and English scientific journals. He was awarded the 1894 Patron's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.
In 1905, shortly before his death, Reclus completed L'Homme et la terre, in which he rounded out his previous works by considering humanity's development relative to its geographical environment.
Reclus married and had a family, including two daughters.
He died at Torhout, near Bruges, Belgium.
Reclus was admired by many prominent 19th century thinkers, including Alfred Russel Wallace,George Perkins Marsh and Patrick Geddes, Henry Stephens Salt, and Octave Mirbeau. James Joyce was influenced by Reclus' book La civilisation et les grands fleuves historiques.
Reclus advocated nature conservation and opposed meat-eating and cruelty to animals. He was a vegetarian.As a result, his ideas are seen by some historians and writers as anticipating the modern social ecology and animal rights movements.
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L'Homme et la terre ("The Earth and its Inhabitants"), 6 volumes:
Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was a Russian activist, revolutionary, scientist, geographer and philosopher who advocated anarcho-communism.
The Conquest of Bread is an 1892 book by the Russian anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin. Originally written in French, it first appeared as a series of articles in the anarchist journal Le Révolté. It was first published in Paris with a preface by Élisée Reclus, who also suggested the title. Between 1892 and 1894, it was serialized in part in the London journal Freedom, of which Kropotkin was a co-founder. In the work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the defects of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism and why he believes they thrive on and maintain poverty and scarcity. He goes on to propose a more decentralized economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organization already exist, both in evolution and in human society.
Octave Mirbeau was a French journalist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, novelist, and playwright, who achieved celebrity in Europe and great success among the public, while still appealing to the literary and artistic avant-garde. His work has been translated into thirty languages.
Jean Grave was an important activist in the French anarchist and the international anarchist communism movements. He was the editor of three major anarchist periodicals, Le Révolté, La Révolte and Les Temps Nouveaux, and wrote dozens of pamphlets and a number of important anarchist books.
Gustave Adolphe Lefrançais was a revolutionary anarchist militant, member of International Workingmen's Association (IWMA), the Paris Commune, and the Jura Federation.
Émile Masson (1869–1923) was a Breton writer and thinker. He also used the pseudonyms Brenn, Ewan Gweznou, and Ion Prigent.
Anarchism is a small minority political movement in Iceland, defined by its relationship with other progressive social movements, and its involvement in primarily ideological work.
Le Révolté was an anarcho-communist journal started by Peter Kropotkin, along with François Dumartheray and Georg Herzig, in February 1879. The journal was partially funded by Elisée Reclus, Kropotkin's mentor. At the time of the journal's founding, Reclus and Kropotkin were living in the village of Clarens on Lake Geneva. The journal itself was published in Geneva. After Kropotkin was expelled from Switzerland and convicted in the Lyon trial of 1883, Le Révolté needed a new editor. Elisée Reclus, who had become quite friendly with Jean Grave, recommended Grave for the editorship and, after some hesitation, Grave accepted and moved to Geneva in 1883. Due to difficulties in getting the journal into France as well as Swiss police harassment, in 1885 Grave moved back to France with the journal. The last issue of Le Révolté was 14 March 1885. In 1887 the journal became La Révolte. The switch to La Révolte resulted from a desperate and ineffective effort to avoid legal responsibility for a fine assessed the journal for participating in an illegal lottery in support of military desertion. Le Révolté was issued semimonthly before May 1886 and afterwards was a four page weekly. The journal’s circulation in 1886 was about 4,000 and by 1889 had grown to 6,000. After 1895, the journal was named Les Temps Nouveaux; it ceased publication in 1914.
Armand-Emile-Jean-Baptiste Kohl,, was a French illustrator and prolific engraver, a student of Alexandre Falguière and Laplaute, and who exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1869.
Jean Jacques Paul Reclus was a French physician specializing in surgery. The Reclus' disease is named after him. He was the son of pastor Jacques Reclus and brother of Élie, Élisée, Onésime and Armand Reclus.
Jacqueline Beaujeu-Garnier was a French geographer. She was president of the Société de Géographie from 1983 to 1995 and led the scientific publication L'Information géographique. With Philippe Pinchemel she founded the geographical periodical Hommes et Terres du Nord in 1963.
Élie Reclus was a French ethnographer who studied what were then called primitive cultures, and an anarchist.
Jean Daniel François Schrader, better known as Franz Schrader, was a French mountaineer, geographer, cartographer and landscape painter, born in Bordeaux. He made an important contribution to the mapping of the Pyrenees and was highly considered among the pyreneists.
Xin Shiji, translated to English as both New Century and New Era, was a periodical published by the "Paris Group", a movement of radical Chinese intellectuals who subscribed to the ideology of anarchism. Unlike the contemporary "Tokyo Group", who focused more on indigenous Asian traditions, the Paris-based revolutionaries instead favoured more Western thought – such as anarcho-syndicalist and anarcho-communist tactics, the study of the constructed language Esperanto, and the works of thinkers like Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin.
Édouard Muller Ardaillon was a French historian, archaeologist and geographer.
Paul Reclus (1871–1877) was a French anarchist.
Albert Demangeon was a Professor of social geography at the Sorbonne in Paris for many years. He was an educator, a prolific author, and in the 1930s was the leading French academic in the field of human geography. He was a pioneer in the use of surveys to collect information on social questions.
The Reclus family, largely known as the progeny and extended family of pastor Jacques Reclus, became known for their distinctive careers in geography, anarchism, journalism, medicine, and other fields during the 19th and 20th centuries.
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