The Third Reign of Louis XIV, c.1682-1715: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Third Reign of Louis XIV, c.1682-1715

1st Edition

Edited by Julia Prest, Guy Rowlands


224 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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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

[Emmanuel Pénicaut]

2. Royal Finances in the Third Reign of Louis XIV

[Guy Rowlands]

3. Crisis and Survival: Provincial Government During the Third Reign

[Darryl Dee]

4. Naval Policy in an Age of Fiscal Overextension

[Benjamin Darnell]

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

[Robin Briggs]

8. Rebellion and Coexistence: Protestants in the Third Reign of Louis XIV

[W. Gregory Monahan]

9. The Catholic Church and its Dissenters, 1685–1715

[Mark Bryant]

10. The Politics of Opera Under Louis XIV: Dissident Descendants in the Third Reign

[Julia Prest]

11. Literature and Intellectual Life

[Michael Moriarty]

12. "Childhood All Around": Architecture and the Fine Arts at the End of the Reign of Louis XIV

[Thierry Sarmant]

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Politics and Culture in Europe, 1650-1750

Politics and Culture in Europe, 1650-1750 Focusing on the years between the end of the Thirty Years' War and the end of the War of the Austrian Succession, this series seeks to broaden scholarly knowledge of this crucial period that witnessed the solidification of Europe into centralized nation states and created a recognizably modern political map. Bridging the gap between the early modern period of the Reformation and the eighteenth century of colonial expansion and industrial revolution, these years provide a fascinating era of study in which nationalism, political dogma, economic advantage, scientific development, cultural and artistic interests and strategic concerns began to compete with religion as the driving force of European relations and national foreign policies. The period under investigation, the second half of the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth, corresponds with the decline of Spanish power and the rise of French hegemony that was only to be finally broken following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. This shifting political power base presented opportunities and dangers for many countries, resulting in numerous alliances between formerly hostile nations attempting to consolidate or increase their international influence, or restrain that of a rival. These contests of power were closely bound up with political, cultural and economic issues: particularly the strains of state building, trade competition, religious tension and toleration, accommodating flows of migrants and refugees, the birth pangs of rival absolutist and representative systems of government, radical structures of credit, and new ways in which wider publics interacted with authority. Despite this being a formative period in the formation of the European landscape, there has been relatively little research on it compared to the earlier Reformation, and the later revolutionary eras. By providing a forum that encourages scholars to engage with the forces that were shaping the continent - either in a particular country, or taking a trans-national or comparative approach - it is hoped a greater understanding of this pivotal era will be forthcoming.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Renaissance