The State in Early Modern France

The State in Early Modern France

Hardback New Approaches to European History, 5

By (author) James B. Collins

List price $62.41

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  • Format: Hardback | 314 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 230mm x 24mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 28 September 1995
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 052138284X
  • ISBN 13: 9780521382847
  • Illustrations note: 3 maps

Product description

This major new textbook addresses fundamental questions about the nature of the state in early modern Europe through an analysis of the most important continental state, France. Professor Collins abandons the traditional formulation of the absolute monarchy, and presents in its place a state that evolved to meet the needs of the French elites. Collins offers a detailed analysis of French society, to provide the broader context for the development of the French state. The model that emerges from his synthesis is one that relied more on persuasion and congruity of influence than on arbitrary authority, and Collins argues that fundamental changes in French society made the monarchical, ministerial state a dangerous anachronism by the 1750s, leading to political impasse by the second half of the eighteenth century. Collins offers a fundamental reinterpretation of the state relevant to historians and students of political thought.

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Review quote

'The reader who savours the full pleasures of this book will be able to feel that he or she, at the end of it all, has a real grasp of both what happened in the old Bourbon state and how it functioned, changed and came apart. One could scarcely ask more of an introductory work; and one can only regret that more supposedly 'introductory' textbooks do not come up to Professor Collins's exacting standards.' French History

Table of contents

Historical background: the growth of the French state to 1627; 1. The crucible, 1620s-1650s; 2. The Twenty Years' Crisis, 1635-1654; 3. Louis XIV and the creation of the modern state; 4. The debacle; 5. A new France, 1720s-1750s; 6. Reform, renewal, collapse; Chronology of events; Genealogy; Bibliography; Glossary.