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Frédéric César de La Harpe

La Harpe, Frédéric César de (frādārēkˈ sāzärˈ də lä ärp) [key], 1754–1838, Swiss statesman. He went (1782) to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he became the tutor of the future Czar Alexander I, in whom he attempted to instill liberal and democratic ideals. After the outbreak of the French Revolution, La Harpe returned to Switzerland. Failing initially to stir up a revolution in his native Vaud against the Bernese authorities, he went to Paris and obtained the intervention of the Directory. After the establishment (1798) of the Helvetic Republic with the help of French arms, La Harpe was one of its directors, but in 1800 the conservatives, backed by Napoleon Bonaparte, ousted him as a Jacobin. La Harpe retired to Paris. When the allies entered Paris in 1814, Czar Alexander gave him the rank of a Russian general. La Harpe represented Vaud and Ticino at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), where with the help of the czar he secured recognition of the two cantons as sovereign members of the Swiss Confederation.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Swiss History: Biographies


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