The Limits of Absolutism in ancien régime France
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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.