Even savants without biological children could practice sentimental paternalism. In the last decades of the eighteenth century, Antoine Lavoisier invested time and money into his experimental farm at Fréchines. The estate provided him with a place where he could practice his ideas about agronomy, physiocracy, and sentimental estate management. By investing in agricultural reform, working to kickstart France’s economy, and looking after his neighbors, Lavoisier fashioned himself as a patriotic, paternalistic, and innovating landlord. His efforts illuminate philosophes’ efforts to reshape their world by working from within society.
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