The Limits of Absolutism in ancien régime France: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Limits of Absolutism in ancien régime France

1st Edition

By Richard Bonney


352 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780860784821
pub: 1995-06-01

FREE Standard Shipping!


This selection of articles is organized around three broad themes: the nature of the governing system in France (’Absolutism’); the political crisis of the mid-17th-century (the ’Fronde’); and the development of royal finance. The author first considers the growth of the French state in its ideological and institutional aspects, then the opposition such developments provoked, much centred on the figure of Cardinal Mazarin. In the last section particular attention is given to fiscal history, including a comparison of mid-18th-century France with the other states of Europe. Professor Bonney would argue that the ’fiscal imperative’, the increased requirements posed by the costs of war, and the long-term consequences of fiscal growth may be seen as one of the decisive factors in the development of the modern state.

Table of Contents

Contents: Absolutism: what’s in a name?; Bodin and the development of the French monarchy; Was there a Bourbon style of government?; The French Civil War, 1649-53; The English and French Civil Wars; Cardinal Mazarin and his critics: the remonstrances of 1652; Cardinal Mazarin and the great nobility during the Fronde; La Fronde des officiers: mouvement réformiste ou rébellion corporatiste?; Mazarin et la Fronde: la question de responsibilité; The secret expenses of Richelieu and Mazarin, 1624-61; The failure of the French revenue farms, 1600-60; The state and its revenues in ancien régime France; Louis XIII, Richelieu and the royal finances; 'Le secret de leurs familles': the fiscal and social limits of Louis XIV’s dixième; Comparative fiscal systems on the eve of modernity: the French enquiry of 1763; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General