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Absolutism and Society in Seventeenth-Century France : State Power and Provincial Aristocracy in Languedoc - William Beik

Absolutism and Society in Seventeenth-Century France

State Power and Provincial Aristocracy in Languedoc

Paperback

Published: 1st May 1989
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Why was Louis XIV successful in pacifying the same aristocrats who had been troublesome for Richelieu and Mazarin? What role did absolutism play in reinforcing or changing the traditional social system in seventeenth-century France? This analysis of the provincial reality of absolutism argues that the answers to these questions lie in the relationship between the regional aristocracy and the crown. Starting with a critical examination of current approaches to state and society by institutional, social "Annales," and Marxist historians, the author calls for a new class analysis based on the findings of all these schools.

'A new generation of political historians would do well to follow William Beik's admirable model of investigation.' The Times Literary Supplement ' ... Beik's work is a tour de force. The erudition, probing questions, and subtlety of this study will assure its place among the outstanding works published by an American in french history.' Renaissance Quarterly ' ... one of the outstanding works on early modern France produced in the last decade ... It will be a most influential work, one with which all scholars of the period should be familiar.' American Historical Review ' ... this is an important book, which redefines the terms in which seventeenth-century politics need to be understood. In achieving this, Beik has raised new questions about seventeenth-century society as well.' Social History

List of tablesp. x
List of figuresp. xi
Prefacep. xii
List of abbreviationsp. xvi
Map: Languedoc in the seventeenth centuryp. xviii
Introduction
Absolutism and classp. 3
Analytical foundations: classes and ordersp. 6
Institutions in societyp. 10
Society and absolutismp. 18
Absolutism in Languedocp. 31
Languedoc and its rulersp. 34
The provincep. 35
Identifying the rulersp. 42
Lifestylesp. 50
The Distribution of Authority
Urban setting and local authoritiesp. 59
The environmentp. 59
The consulatesp. 66
Other local authoritiesp. 73
The sovereign courts: a provincial perspectivep. 77
The Parlement of Toulousep. 77
The Cour des Comptes, Aides et Finances of Montpellierp. 85
A changing of the guard?p. 92
The royal agents: a national linkagep. 98
Dealing with the provincep. 99
The intendancy developsp. 105
The Estates: central bargaining placep. 117
Sessions and membersp. 119
The yearly transactionp. 130
The burden of taxesp. 140
The Province On its Own
Contradictory aspirations and practical problemsp. 149
Common valuesp. 149
Separate interests and strategiesp. 159
Central difficultiesp. 167
A common programp. 176
The inadequacy of authorityp. 179
The nature of authorityp. 179
Potential threats: conflict among authorities and popular rebellionp. 187
A crisis of authorityp. 193
The prospects for provincial solidarityp. 198
Resistance strategy and the elus (1622-32)p. 199
The tax crisis of 1645-6p. 202
The possibilities of the Frondep. 206
The 'echo' of 1656-7p. 215
The Province and the Crown
Channels of personal influencep. 223
The importance of personal influencep. 223
Provincial connectionsp. 228
Royal client networksp. 234
Tax flows and societyp. 245
The systemp. 246
Financiers and politicsp. 251
Social distributionp. 258
Public debt, private investmentp. 270
Collaborating with the king: positive results and fulfilled ambitionsp. 279
Troops regulatedp. 282
Manufactures and public worksp. 287
Huguenots repressedp. 297
Basking in the sun: the triumph of authority and hierarchyp. 303
The royal presence through bureaucratic channelsp. 304
Working through provincial agenciesp. 307
The reinforcement of hierarchyp. 316
Conclusionp. 329
Breakdown of taxes from the diocese of Toulouse, 1677p. 340
Select bibliographyp. 348
Manuscript sourcesp. 348
Printed sources and works published before 1800p. 353
Secondary works: general and theoreticalp. 355
Secondary works concerning Languedocp. 362
Indexp. 369
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521367820
ISBN-10: 0521367824
Series: Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 396
Published: 1st May 1989
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.5