The remote origin of The Social Contract lies in a project Rousseau conceived while he was secretary to the French ambassador in Venice in 1743, to write a comprehensive work on political systems and processes to be called Institutions Politiques. He made little progress with this, however, but it is clear from the Discourse on Political Economy (of 1755/58), considered in Chapter 3, that several of the key ideas that are developed and utilised extensively in SC were, by that time, within Rousseau’s grasp. He finally abandoned his grand scheme – as the foreword to SC indicates – in the mid to late 1750s and decided to ‘extract from it whatever could be extracted and then to burn the rest’ (C 10: 478, OC I: 516). Working up these ‘extracts’ into what became the text of SC proceeded alongside his work on E, and both books were published in 1762 within a month of each other, SC in April; E in May. Émile, as noted in Chapter 4, includes in Book V a highly compressed, but still helpful, summary of the central thinking of SC, ostensibly as part of Émile’s political education in his maturity. Additionally, significant parts of earlier drafts of SC survive, including an important piece, originally intended for Book I of SC, usually referred to as ‘The General Society of the Human Race’ (in Cole et al.: 169 ff, OC III: 281 ff).