The institutions of France under the absolute monarchy, 1598-1789 /
Roland Mousnier ; [translated by Brian Pearce].
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1979-
0226543277 :
More Details
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1979-
0226543277 :
contents note
v. 1. Society and the state.--v. 2. The organs of state and society, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.pppp
general note
Translation of Les institutions de la France sous la monarchie absolue, 1598-1789.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographies and index.
A Look Inside
Main Description
Political and administrative institutions cannot be understood unless one knows who is operating them and for whose benefit they function. In the first volume of this history, Mousnier analyzes such institutions in light of the prevailing social, economic, and ideological structures and shows how they shaped life in 17th- and 18th-century France. He traces the changing role of monarchical government, showing how it emerged over two centuries and why it failed. In a society divided by hierarchical social groups, conflicts among lineages, communities, and districts became inevitable. Aristocratic disdain, ancestral attachment to privileges, and autonomous powers looked upon as rights, made civil unrest, dislocation, and anarchy endemic. Mousnier examines this contention between classes as they faced each other across the institutional barriers of education, religion, economic resources, technology, means of defense and communication, and territorial and family ties. He shows why a monarchical state was necessary to preserve order within this fragmented society. Though it was intent on ensuring the survival of French society and the public good, the Absolute Monarchy was unable to maintain security, equilibrium, and cooperation among rival social groups. Discussing the feeble technology at its disposal and its weak means of governing, Mousnier points to the causes that brought the state to the limits of its resources. His comprehensive analysis will greatly interest students of the ancien regime and comparativists in political science and sociology as well.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Are Institutions? How Can They Be Studied?
The Social Structure of France under the Absolute Monarchy
The Social Structure as Seen by Some Contemporaries Charles Loyseau and the society of orders The duc de Saint-Simon and the transition Domat and the transition The transition to class society completed: Barnave
The Society of Lineages Lineage, marriage, lineal property Lineage, house, family Thelivre de raison Some great lineages Problems of marriage: Misalliance, abduction by seduction The decrees of the Council of Trent Lineage and property Propres, lineal property Theretrait lignager Customary reservation Primogeniture Fiduciary substitutions Parageandfrérage Customary laws of property in southern France The domestic communities Tacit communities Other types of community The decline of the communities Theménagebreaks free from the lineage Theménage The omnipotence of the paterfamilias Themaison
The Society of Fealties The relationship between master andfidèle The relationship betweenprotecteurandcréature From fealties to the relationship between subject and state Fealty and feudalism
The Society of Orders: The Nobility Armorial bearings The order of the nobility The quality of being noble The degrees of nobility The privileges of the nobility Ennoblements Derogation Investigations of claims to noble status "Point of honor" and the duel The Tribunal du point d'honneur The social standing of the nobility How many nobles? The social degrees of the nobility The court nobility The provincial higher nobility Thenobelesse de robe The middle and pettygentilhommerie The nobles' means of living The fortunes and incomes of the nobles A commercial nobility and a military nobility The unity of the order of the nobility The divisions in the order of the nobility
The Society of Orders: The Ennobled and the Bourgeois "Living Like Nobles" Traitants, partisans, financiers The "men of talent," officeholders Minor officials The "noblemen of letters" The wholesale merchants The holders of decorations
The Society of Orders: The Common People The"bourgeois" The "estates" of thebourgeoisie The manual workers In the towns In the countryside The poor
The Society of Orders: The Order of the Catholic Clergy The law of the ecclesiastical order The ecclesiastical hierarchy: The secular clergy The ecclesiastical hierarchy: The regulars The privileges of the clergy Ecclesiastical jurisdiction The property of the Church Tithes Benefices Collation to benefices Patronage Conditions for obtaining a benefice The financial obligations borne by benefices The liberties of the Gallican Church The relation between the clerical order and society The numbers of the clergy The relation between the degrees of the clerical order and the hierarchy of orders and estates in society as a whol
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