The personal rule of Louis XIV, following on from a long period of royal minority and apprenticeship, lasted 54 years from 1661 to 1715. But the second half of this personal rule has, until recently, received significantly less scholarly attention than the 1660s and 1670s. This has obscured some of the very real changes and developments that occurred between the early 1680s and the mid-1690s, by which time a new generation of younger royals had come to prominence, France was engulfed in international war on a greater scale than ever before, and the king was visibly no longer as vigorous or healthy as he had once been. The essays in this volume take a close look at the way a new set of political, social, cultural and economic dispensations emerged from the mid-1680s to create a different France in the final decades of Louis XIV’s reign, even though the basic ideological, social and economic underpinnings of the country remained very largely the same. The contributions examine such varied matters as the structure and practices of government, naval power, the financial operations of the state, trade and commerce, social pressures, overseas expansion, religious dissent, music, literature and the fine arts.
Table of Contents
[Guy Rowlands and Julia Prest]
1. The Ministers of the Third Reign
2. Royal Finances in the Third Reign of Louis XIV
3. Crisis and Survival: Provincial Government During the Third Reign
4. Naval Policy in an Age of Fiscal Overextension
5. Reluctant Expansionists: Louis XIV, the Ministers of Colonies and the Founding of Détroit
[Sara E. Chapman]
6. Mercantilism, Corporate Organization and the Guilds in the Later Reign of Louis XIV
[Clare Haru Crowston]
7. Social Problems, Social Policies and the Economy in the Later Reign
8. Rebellion and Coexistence: Protestants in the Third Reign of Louis XIV
[W. Gregory Monahan]
9. The Catholic Church and its Dissenters, 1685–1715
10. The Politics of Opera Under Louis XIV: Dissident Descendants in the Third Reign
11. Literature and Intellectual Life
12. "Childhood All Around": Architecture and the Fine Arts at the End of the Reign of Louis XIV
Julia Prest is Reader in Early-Modern French at the University of St Andrews.
Guy Rowlands is Professor of History at the University of St Andrews.