Family tree of Benjamin CONSTANT

Author, French Deputy, Senator, Constitutional Council member


Swiss-born French politician, and writer on politics and on religion

Born on October 25, 1767 in Lausanne, Suisse , United States

Died on December 08, 1830 in Paris, France

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Henri-Benjamin Constant was born in Lausanne to descendants of Huguenot Protestants, who had fled from Artois to Switzerland during the Huguenot Wars in the 16th century. His father, Samuel Constant de Rebecque, was a high-ranking officer in the Dutch States Army, like his grandfather, his uncle and his cousin Jean Victor de Constant Rebecque. When Constant's mother died soon after his birth, both his grandmothers took care of him. He was educated by private tutors in Brussels (1779), the Netherlands (1780), and at the Protestant University of Erlangen (1783), where he got appointed at the court of Duchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Because of an affair with a girl he had to leave, and he moved to the University of Edinburgh, where he lived at Andrew Duncan, the elder and became friends with James Mackintosh , and Malcolm Laing. In Paris, at Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Suard he became acquainted with Belle van Zuylen, a 26-year older Dutch woman and writer, who knew his uncle well through their correspondance. She acted as a mother until Constant got appointed at the court of Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and moved to the north.

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Geographical origins

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