A Chronology of the Life and Works of Molinari
1819-1840: childhood and youth spent in Liège
- Born 3 March 1819 in Liège, Belgium
1840-1851: journalist, free trade activist, and economist in Paris
- 1840 comes to Paris from Belgium where he finds work as a journalist
- 1842-43 writes biographies for a magazine, publishes first book, a Biographe politique de M. A. de Lamartine (1843)
- 1843-46 works as a journalist writing for La Nation and Le Courrier français on economic topics such as railroads, workers' rights, labour exchanges and slavery. Meets Hippolyte Castille who also works for the Courrier français and attends Castille's soirées at his house in the rue Saint-Lazare.
- 1846 publishes his first book on economics, Études économiques. L'Organisation de la liberté industrielle et l'abolition de l'esclavage (Economic Studies on the Organization of Industrial Liberty and the Abolition of Slavery) (1846) with a quote on the front page"Laissez faire, laissez passer." The book is reviewed very favorably by Joseph Garnier in the JDE thus beginning Molinari's long association with the journal.
- 1846 meets Bastiat in early 1846 in the offices of Le Courrier français who comes to thank them for reviewing his fist book of Economic Sophisms . Bastiat agrees to publish some future sophisms in the journal, possibly edited by Molinari. Molinari joins Bastiat's Free Trade Society in July, becoming one of its secretaries, and meets Charles Coquelin, Alcide Fonteyraud, and Joseph Garnier. In Sept. publishes two critical letters in the Courrier français addressed to Bastiat criticizing him and the FTA for not being radical enough in their demands to abolish protectionism.
- 1847 Molinari formally enters into the Guillaumin network; publishes his first article in the Jan. edition of the JDE on agriculture in England; is invited to join the Political Economy Society whom he represents at international meetings of economists; publishes the first of many books by Guillaumin on Histoire du tarif (The History of Tariffs) (1847); begins editorial work on two volumes of the Collections des Principaux économistes on 18th century economic thought.
- 1847 begins teaching a course on economics at the Athénée royal de Paris which is interrupted by the Revolution
- 1847-48 helps Castille and Bastiat edit journal about intellectual property: Le travail intellectuel (Intellectual Labour/Work) 1847-48)
- February - the day after the Revolution breaks out he, Bastiat, and Castille start their first small magazine which they hand out on the streets of Paris to appeal to the ordinary workers, La République française . 30 issues appeared between 26 Feb. - 28 March 1848
- March - active in a political club, Le Club de la liberté du travail (The Club for the Liberty of Working), founded by Coquelin with Fonteyraud one of the key speakers, to publicly debate socialists on "the right to work", forced to close when communist thugs use violence against them
- writes 4 signed articles and book reviews for the JDE and many unsigned articles and reports about the events of 1848, including "L'utopie de la liberté (lettre aux socialistes, par un RÉVEUR)" (The Utopia of Liberty: A Letter to the Socialists by a Dreamer) in June appealing for a coalition with the economists
- June 1848 joins Bastiat, Garnier, Coquelin, Fonteyraud in editing and publishing a second revolutionary magazine to hand out on the streets of Paris, Jacques Bonhomme (11 June- 13 July 1848), 4 issues appeared, force to close because of the violent crack down after the June Days rioting
- June-December 1848 - works closely with the editorial staff at the JDE reporting on political and intellectual developments during the year, especially the debate in the Chamber on the "right to work" clause in the new constitution
- Dec. Molinari in an unsigned article sums up the events of the year on behalf of the editors of the JDE concluding that the "fever" of socialism has temporarily subsided but he expects another outbreak at any time
- January writes an important article on Thiers' book on property in JDE criticizing the conservative for defending property poorly against the socialists
- February writes "De la production de la sécurité" (The Production of Security) for the JDE in which he gives the first defense of the anarcho-capitalist argument for the private provision of police and defense. This is taken up again in S11 of Les Soirées
- July/Aug. assists Garnier in organizing an international Peace Congress in Paris the president of which was Victor Hugo and at which Bastiat gives an important speech.
- Sept. most likely date of publication of Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare
- Oct. Molinari's book Les Soirées is critically discussed at the regular monthly meeting of the Political Economy Society. Dunoyer says he has been "swept away by illusions of logic". Bastiat and others argue that the state must have supreme power in order to defend property rights; the participants also criticize him for objecting to eminent domain laws.
- Nov. Charles Coquelin critically reviews Les Soirées in the JDE, he agrees with most of the book but objects to Molinari using the figure of "The Economist" to put forward his own views about the private production of security.
- writes 9 articles and book review for the JDE ruing this period, including the obituary of Bastiat in February 1851.
- assists in the editing and publishing of the DEP edited by Coquelin and Guillaumin, writes 25 principe articles and 4 biographical articles, including the ones on Liberté du commerce, liberté des échanges, Paix, Guerre, Paix (Société et Congrès de la Paix), Propriété littéraire, Servage, Tarifs de douane, Théatres, Travail, Union douanière, Usure
- the coup d'état of Louis Napoleon on 2 décembre 1851 forces Molinari into a self-imposed exile in Brussels
1852-1867: academic economist and free market lobbyist and journalist in Brussels.
- moves to Brussels to teach economics at the Musée royal de l'industrie belge , later at Institut supérieur du commerce d'Anvers (Antwerp); he is active in the Belgian free trade movement and attempts to set up Labour Exchanges
- 1852 writes an analysis of the 1848 Revolution and the coup d'état of Louis Napoléon based upon his theory of class interests, Les Révolutions et le despotisme envisagés au point de vue des intérêts matériel (1852). This is followed in 1861 by a book examining the political and economic thought of Emperor Napoleon III, Napoleon III publiciste (1861).
- 1855-68 edits and publishes his own journal the Économiste belge to promote free trade and labour exchanges
- 1855 publishes his treatise of economics based upon his lectures, Cours d'économie politique (2nd ed. 1863).
- 1855 publishes a second book of "conversations" about free trade between a rioter, a prohibitionist or protectionist, and an economist, Conservations familières sur le commerce des grains (1885)
- 1857 writes a book on the 18th century peace advocate L'abbé de Saint-Pierre (1857)
- 1861 publishes an account of his visit to Russia and the abolition of serfdom, Lettres sur la Russie (1861)
1867-1881: returns to journalism in Paris
- 1867-1876 Returns to Paris to work for the Journal des Débats , serves as chief editor 1871-1876
- 1870-71 in Paris during the Paris Commune and the formation of the Third Republic; write accounts of the socialist political clubs and the socialist movement during the Commune, Les Clubs rouges pendant le siège de Paris (The Red Clubs during the Siege of Paris) (1871) and Le Mouvement socialiste et les réunions publiques avant la révolution du 4 septembre 1870 (The Socialist Movement and their Public Meetings before the Revolution of 4 Sept. 1870) (1872)
- 1873 writes his first book on political and constitutional theory, La République tempérée (The Moderate Republic) (1873) as the constitution of the Third Republic is being developed
- 1874 - is elected a corresponding member of the Institute
- 1876 travels to Canada and the US to cover the centennial celebrations and writes accounts of his travels
- 1880 publishes first work of historical sociology L'évolution économique du XIXe siècle (Economic Evolution in the 19th Century) (1880)
1881-1909: editor of JDE, very prolific period in his life; writes on economics and historical sociology and his travels
- 1881 Appointed editor of JDE in October when Joseph Garnier dies
- 1880-1908 writes a series of books on historical sociology, evolution of societies, and war, e.g. L'évolution politique et la Révolution (Political Evolution and the Revolution) (1884) and Grandeur et decadence de la guerre (The Grandeur and Decadence of War) (1898)
- 1881-86 continues to travel abroad and writes several books about his travels - visits Canada, US, Jersey, Russia, Corsica, Panama, Martinique, Haiti
- 1881-87 writes a series of books on economic topics - protectionism, slavery, and agriculture, e.g. Conversations sur le commerce des grains et la protection de l'agriculture (1886)
- 1887-93 writes a series of books on the natural laws and the moral philosophy of political economy, e.g. Les Lois naturelles de l'économie politique (Natural Laws and Political Economy) (1887)
- 1893 writes a book on Les Bourses du Travail (Labour Exchanges) (1893)
1909- 1912: retirement
- 1911 writes his last book at age 92 appropriately called Ultima Verba: Mon dernier ouvrage (Last Words: My Last Book) (1911)
- Died 28 January 1912 in Adinkerque, Belgium (buried in Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris)