Absolutism and Society in Seventeenth-Century France

Absolutism and Society in Seventeenth-Century France : State Power and Provincial Aristocracy in Languedoc

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Why was Louis XIV successful in pacifying the same aristocrats who had caused so much trouble for Richelieu and Mazarin? What role did absolutism play in reinforming or changing the traditional social system in seventeenth-century France? In this analysis of the provincial reality of absolutism, Professor Beik argues that the answers to these questions lie in the relationship between the regional aristocracy and the crown. Starting with a critical examination of current approaches to state and society by institutional, social , 'Annales', and Marxist historians, he calls for a new class analysis based on the findings of all these schools. This is the first appearance as a paperback of Professor Beik's book, which won the 1986 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize awarded by the American historical Association for the year's outstanding work in European history.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139237780
  • 9781139237789

Table of contents

List of tables; List of figures; Preface; List of abbreviations; Map; Part I. Introduction: 1. Absolutism and class; 2. Languedoc and its rulers; Part II. The Distribution of Authority: 3. Urban setting and local authorities; 4. The sovereign courts: a provincial perspective; 5. The royal agents: a national linkage; 6. The Estates: central bargaining place; Part III. The province on its own: 7. Contradictory aspirations and practical problems; 8. The inadequacy of authority; 9. The prospects for provincial solidarity; Part IV. The province and the crown: 10. Channels of personal influence; 11. Tax flows and society; 12. Collaborating with the king: positive results and fulfiled ambitions; 13. Basking in the sun: the triumph of authority and hierarchy; Conclusion; Appendix; Select bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'A new generation of political historians would do well to follow William Beik's admirable model of investigation.' The Times Literary Supplement '... Beik's work is a tour de force. The erudition, probing questions, and subtlety of this study will assure its place among the outstanding works published by an American in french history.' Renaissance Quarterly '... one of the outstanding works on early modern France produced in the last decade ... It will be a most influential work, one with which all scholars of the period should be familiar.' The American Historical Review '... this is an important book, which redefines the terms in which seventeenth-century politics need to be understood. In achieving this, Beik has raised new questions about seventeenth-century society as well.' Social History
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18 ratings
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3 22% (4)
2 11% (2)
1 0% (0)
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