Abstract and Keywords
The era of the French Revolution, and specifically the later 1780s and 1790s, saw the modern meanings first of “diplomatic” and then “diplomacy” become established in the political lexicon. A century before, when the Maurist monk Jean Mabillon wrote De re diplomatica (1681), his masterpiece devoted to the science of documents and the historical method, the term still retained its traditional meaning: relating to the study of diplomas or other documents. At this period the peaceful conduct of relations between states was known as “negotiations” (négociations ), a term which long continued to be employed. During the later eighteenth century, however, the terms “diplomatic” and “diplomacy” took on their present-day meaning both in French and in English. The Irish political journalist and British MP, Edmund Burke, did most to make the word familiar to Anglophone readers. In the Annual Register for 1787 he wrote of “civil, diplomatique [sic] and military affairs,” while a decade later, in one of his celebrated Letters on a Regicide Peace, he spoke of the French regime's “double diplomacy.” By shortly after 1800, the term was becoming established.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.