The Ranums' Panat Times
Monarchy in Action:
(Written for a symposium organized by Professor James Tracy of the University of Minnesota circa 1990. Efforts to publish the papers, though noble in themselves, were probably misplaced. The level of generalization in this type of comparative-history symposium is simply too obvious to contribute to scholarship.)
The courses of his youth promis'd it not.
Monarchy or state? In late fifteenth-century Europe the word state, in various languages, but especially in Italian, began to take on new, more specific, activist meanings, especially in reference to the winning or losing of the powers of initiative and command. These meanings certainly lacked the conceptual and theological semantic field of the word Etat as used by Richelieu1 and by Louis XIV; but the primary meaning as power, or rank or status that in action could be won or lost, increased or decreased, continued to be very strong in the way the Sun King talked about himself and his realm. By contrast, Monarchie Françoise had a venerable history as a conceptual phrase; rule by one, a king, was the most familiar, indeed typical form of government in Early-Modern Europe, and would remain so down to and beyond the French Revolution. Monarchie Françoise had a static quality in the rhetorically inclined jurists' and historians' discourse, those most likely to use it. We must be careful to avoid a too emphatic distinction between Etat as an activist term and Monarchie Françoise as a static one, but over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there was certainly something more bold, initiatory and dislocating in the first, and something reassuring, stabilizing, and God-given in the latter.
The history of the State has been one of those subjects that all the greater disciplines have claimed as their special province for inquiry.2 From geography to anthropology, from economic history to theology, on to hermeneutics, political science, jurisprudence, and ethics, the State, its definition and semantic field have rich, subtle, and imperialist scholarly traditions. Then too, each major linguistic-national culture has produced its own, quite self-defined history of the state in Europe, the German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Swedish historiographies being particularly rich examples. A danger to be avoided is accepting the presuppositions of any one or other of these national historiographies, a danger as great as the one where disciplinary interest in contemporary scholarship falls into congruence with one or another aspect of the history of the state. The French historian of the law has created the Early-Modern Etat de Droit; the German historian of administration, the history of civil services, the Swedish economic historian, the mercantilist state, and so on. And social historians, with sociology as a perspective, are particularly prone to create histories of something that never existed at all, at least in the Early-Modern period -- it goes by the name Society -- as a thing that can be understood as autonomous from the state, the monarchy, and the church. Military historians, with few exceptions, have focused too much attention on the technical problem of winning battles. They probably have not stressed enough the role of war in the altering of institutional powers in the Early-Modern French Monarchy. In this tower of Babel of histories of the state written by Europeans, there are some points on which all agree, and it is important to begin by noting them:
1. That the rise of the state, l450-1800, is largely a phenomenon of scale. The number of square miles of territory under a single political institution, number of officials, size of the military establishment, total annual revenue accruing to the supreme power to command, and final hegemony over the interpretations of the mythical, religious, and historical foundations of the governing institutions, are all constitutive of the powers of the state.
2. That the phenomenon of scale that is the rise of the modern state (a process still going on in many parts of the world) was not charted out in a programmatic fashion, either in utopian thought, or ethical or political philosophy, or jurisprudence. True, especially for monarchy, mythical-historical images thrown up from Antiquity before Ferdinand and Isabella, Charles the Bold, Charles VIII, Francis I, Louis XIV, on down to Napoleon, held a special priority in ever-expanding the territorial visions of monarchs, occasionally even to universal dimensions.
3. That scholarly curiositas, particularly about the character and origins of wealth, the size of population, the character of a people, and the foundations of equitable burden-sharing (according to rank) rested with ever greater amounts of information, not only deeply disoriented established warrior classes and priests, and eventually could be harnessed to provide state power with sufficient coercive force to justify the creation of an increasingly autonomous machine state.
Beyond these very general points, agreement ceases, as each scholarly discipline looks to its territorial flank. Those disciplines that prime power in language turn one way, those adapted better to measure phenomena of scale, namely history, sociology, geography, and economic history, turn in the directions that will be followed here.
But would it not be easy to demonstrate that in so far as there was (is) power in concepts such as the term monarchy, and power in the repetition of language (propaganda), the essential features of monarchial power were already well in place before 1500? As the French king's advocate put it in 1418:
The king is emperor in his kingdom, which he holds of God alone, without acknowledging any overlord on earth...[he keeps his] subjects in lasting peace, order, and obedience, he may make laws and ordinances, which none of his subjects, nor any other, may lawfully challenge or disobey, directly or indirectly....3
Note the power to command, to make laws, to define those ruled and others as subjects. The powers of the object Richelieu will call the state were thus well-articulated in legal language, here in a speech in the Parlement of Paris. Also, the formulas of salutation, insignia, and the rules regarding the use of yellow, green, and red wax, were all quite well established by 1450, and would remain little changed until 1870. Was the increased use of lettres patentes, or lettres de cachet a phenomenon of scale? Of course it was. The rise of the Monarchie Françoise must therefore be understood as a progressive invasion by the royal word into the communitarian, ecclesiastical, and corporate fabrics of the realm, a phenomenon of scale par excellence, and of propaganda, in its original sense, as made current by the Holy Office. From these very general points it follows that the ideas of political philosophy - of a Bodin, for example, were inevitably only justificatory for actions either already linguistically possible for the state to take, or taken. For the historian of the phenomenon of scale does not the study of political philosophy act like a mirage to impede the full, deep comprehension of state action? The word army is used in political philosophy to describe a congeries of 20,000 men in the same way as to describe a congeries of 400,000 men.
Monarchical Actions, 1450-1800
1. If the power to put a high ranking subject to death for treason is monarchial action, the hyperaction, indeed the action that set all the regnal rhythms in motion, was war for conquest. Not just warring to quell a quarrelsome neighbor or vassal, but conquest of territory, in an almost Konrad Lorenzian sense of animals marking their territory. Inextricably related to dynasticism is territoriality; the expansionist character of monarchy can scarcely be over-emphasized. Marriage to enhance the possibility of new inheritances in land, or more often, to recover lands lost as dowries to previous generations of royal daughters, also constituted a thick layer of motives that inspired wars of conquest.
In mending his diplomatic fences before going off to conquer Italy, Charles VIII in 1494 acted in a way that l) confirmed and legitimated the efforts of generations of high-ranking royal princes to conquer Naples and Sicily, and established a model for subsequent generations of French monarchs. There was a shift from what cadets, that is less landed sons, had been left to do, to what kings undertook to do after 1494. The remarkable successes of Charles VII and Louis XI in recovering virtually all the 'lost provinces' of the Capetian inheritance in the Carolingian Empire accounts in part for this more overt emphasis on kingly conquest. The singular successes of the Hapsburg family in marriage inheritance also certainly played a part. Early-Modern diplomacy, a language of claims to honors and territories, rights, and counter-claims framed on dubious legal precedents that were in turn often grounded in near mythical customary laws of inheritance and false genealogies, served to set the stage for young conquering monarchs. A young king was educated to carry out some bold military action to increase his domains. As Jean de Witt put it, some time before the 26 year-old Louis XIV showed his military colors for conquest:
The two great powers, France and Spain, have balanced their interests up to now against those of all the other European princes. [But as Spain is enfeebled as it is at present] it is impossible that the equilibrium that Europe has shared for so many years will survive after the king of Spain's death. [France] has a king who is 26, vigorous in body and mind, who knows himself and who acts on his own, and possessed of a realm peopled by an extremely bellicose nation and considerable wealth. [It would be necessary that this king] have exceptional and almost miraculous moderation if he despoiled himself of the ambition that is so natural in all princes...not to extend his frontiers in the directions where they are the most limited, and when France always has been the most accommodated [sic] by her enemies.4
In short, in l664 de Witt already expected the influences of regnal youth and socio-political, even economic potential to prompt France to wage wars of conquest as a result of Spanish incapacity to assure an equilibrium between the two great powers. His observation is commonplace; the same understandings could be found in the observations of astute observers all across Europe, not only about French kings but about others as well.
Before nominalism as a philosophical mode of argument began to undermine the belief in the intrinsic qualities and powers of kings in the late fifteenth century, (humanists such as Budé, Rabelais, and Le Roy sought to shore them up) kings had a 'nature' that obliged them to conduct military actions.5 Thought to be in their blood, military action for conquest constituted one of the `natural' features of monarchy. In political terms, Early-Modern kings were more respected, (a quality more important in politics than love) and resources were more willingly turned over to them by their subjects if they confirmed this idea of monarchial nature by riding at the head of their armies in battle. While war was thought to be a scourge, and its devastating effects were lamented, protest by constituted bodies, the royal council, the assemblies of the clergy, the assemblies of notables, and the estates-generals, rarely ventured to criticize wars for either conquest or defense in the long history of the Ancien Régime. Our century has accustomed us to puppet kings ruling in puppet kingdoms -- to monarchs who spend their time in ceremonial. Such was not the case in Early-Modern Europe.
Nor had the inflation of titles that would occur in the nineteenth and twentieth centures watered down the dignity of king. No diplomat or group of diplomats had as yet made a king of someone who was not born or elected to be one. Put another way, the dignity of king or queen was held by only a select few who were endowed with the dynastic heritage, territory, and marriages with other royal houses to sustain the dignity. There were (and still are) European families with more illustrious and ancient pedigrees than some of those born to the dignity of king, but these lacked the territorial possessions to sustain the title. For example, the Wittelsbachs were (and are) certainly of more ancient nobility than the Bourbons, but Bavaria and the Palatinate (two separate branches, alas) combined still did not make a Monarchie Francoise in territorial dimensions, nor confer the power to conduct war, because of the size of the French realm. Here was the enjeu in Christian of Anhalt's over-heated mind, as he dreamt of the kingly crown of Hungary for his young prince in 1618. We could find numerous other destabilized moments in European inter-state relations that derive from disparities of rank of family and dignity held by a young prince advised to expand his territory, or inspired by nature to do so.
Note the intense diplomatic negotiations over the desire of the Hohenzollerns to hold the title of king, not quite a century after the Wittelsbach fiasco. In the end a precedent would be set when an electoral family finally gained the title king in Brandenburg-Prussia, but for a time they were still denied the quality (Realism momentarily triumphant over nominalism of king of Brandenburg- Prussia). Only military and diplomatic success (and momentarily Imperial need for allies against Louis XIV) permitted this monstrous creation, a conquering elector who became king. As Ragnhild Hatton so learnedly observed, kings had their eyes on each other, not only across time, but by recognition that they were an exclusive club of players.6 The phenomena of increased state power certainly affected how kings observed each other, but it was not until the later eighteenth century that the regnal rhythms that called for conquest in youth would be tempered. The scale became such that dignities became quite empty; Denmark's painful and fitful shift away from bellicosity and expansion by her kings in the seventeenth century, toward reform and administration, is revealing of a pattern in territorially small and militarily weakened monarchies.
Thus with one eye on their fellow monarchs, and the other on the remote, even mythical images of past conquering kings, either in the family or in Antiquity, Early-Modern monarchs sensed possibilities for action (in the Machiavellian occasione) at the beginning of their personal reigns. Charles VIII and Louis XIV have already been mentioned, but this model of king-as-conqueror remained very much alive beyond the great Utrecht settlements of 1713. Frederick II of Prussia's conquest of Silesia in 1740 is the prime example. The youthful, dynastic forces were uppermost in his upbringing and action. And what could be more dynastic-territorial than the partitions of Poland? It appears the same as the dividing-up of a lopin de terre by petty seigneurs in Quercy.
Johann Huizinga brilliantly elucidates the importance of the mythical past on monarchy in a famous essay, 'Historical Ideals of Life,' in which he traces impulses for military action, from images of the Battle of Teutoberger Forest to the Marne, on the level of popular national myths.7 For monarchs, the careers of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar would be constantly refashioned by royal tutors to inspire their pupils to grandiose schemes of conquest. Charles the Bold was Huizinga's principal example, but could not the same be said for Louis XIV in the 1660's? By the eighteenth century newer, partially historicized models for conduct would be added to sustain kingly natures. At Sans Souci there are two onyx busts placed just at the entrance door, in the space of maximum honor, like a crucifix or mezuzah. One is of Richelieu, and the other is of Charles XII of Sweden.
Just one historical layer deeper, especially but not solely in the Iberian peninsula, were the kingly conquering-crusader ideals.8 Emperor Charles V, in a sense, earned his spurs as a conquering king in his campaign against the infidels in North Africa. Was it his sons' relative ineptitude at arms that turned him toward 'armchair' warfare? Charles' retirement, and the length of the negotiations with France over war, may have inhibited Philip II from riding at the head of his army, but certainly the Hapsburgs did not suffer from unpopularity in the sixteenth century because they had not gone to war! Philip II's marriages, thereby acquiring first Portugal and then England, revealed enough old- fashioned Hapsburg aggressiveness.
The crusading ideal did not die with the sixteenth century. John III Sobiseski tried to put himself in a positive light with the Polish nobility in his electoral campaign for the kingship of that realm by emphasizing his role as a crusading hero against the Turks at Vienna. But to a more general summary statement.
If we list the kings who went to war for conquest in the first years of their reigns, we have almost all those who may be deemed to have been successful monarchs, by Early-Modern standards of success: Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francis I of France; Henry VIII of England; Christian II (1513-23) of Denmark; Henry II of France; Charles V of Spain; Henry IV, Louis XIII and Louis XIV of France; Gustavus Adolphus (a Protestant 'crusader'), Charles X and Charles XII of Sweden; Frederick William the Great Elector (father of Frederick I, the king 'in' Prussia) and Frederick the Great of Brandenburg-Prussia; Louis XV of France; Charles II, James II and William III of England; August the Strong of Poland; and Peter I of Russia. What monarchs are exceptions to this characteristic of monarchy? Elizabeth and Anne of England, to be sure, Henry III of France, (though it could be argued that the cadet-son role combined with a conquering impulse led him to become king of Poland), Philip III of Spain, Philip IV of Spain, and Charles II of Spain. James I of England was the only Stuart lacking a reputation as a warriors, and his Hanoverian successors were like the pacific Stuart in this regard.
Among these pacifically inclined kings and queens there are some exceptions to the rule that they had very great difficulty in mobilizing the resources of their subjects for their own ends. They may have solid reputations as would-be reformers (Denmark), but their reigns did not take on exemplary status across Europe for their achievements in either judicial or fiscal administration. In fact, it was very rare indeed to find an Early-Modern monarch who really sought to make his mark as judge or administrator. Philip II and Louis XIV took these up dutifully, for example, but the image of the ideal reformist king is more a creation of historians in the nineteenth century than an Early-Modern reality.
The aim of this bold, over-simplified juxtaposition of conquering monarchs and non- conquering monarchs has served to confirm the emphasis that I have placed on war for conquest as the first characteristic of monarchy in the Early-Modern period. Reservations, nuances, and exceptions could be added. Age, gender, and complexity of motivations come readily to mind, but the generalization is confirmed.
At this point the objection might be made: Is not the emphasis on the young conquering king (and as we shall see, on the stubborn old ones) merely another way of noting that Early-Modern monarchies were almost always at war? Here the word warfare, like the word army, is not used in ways that reveal changes in the phenomena of scale; thus we must be cautious, and avoid reductionism. I would rather stress that in discovering this principal characteristic of monarchy, we find the continuities, while in measuring the immense changes in war-making capacity, there is the element of change itself. J.R. Hale's brilliant insistence on the construction of the idea of peace9 helps to understand why, for the Early-Modern period, state-building was not so much a matter of peace or war, as of size of war, and war-making potential. This issue takes us directly to the second characteristic of Early-Modern monarchies.
2. The allocation of resources of whatever type, went primarily for the payment of troops and secondarily for arms, fortresses, and aggressive fleets, in monarchies throughout the Early- Modern period. What more effective way is there to measure political action than the study of allocation of all available resources? As Geoffrey Parker states:
Today , governments are criticized when defense spending reaches 17 percent (France) 29 percent (United States) or 4l (Israel) ....In the 1700's Louis XIV appears to have devoted 75 percent to war, while Peter the Great 85 percent.10
To be sure, the late seventeenth-century wars, both in Eastern and Western Europe, were exceptionally costly, but there is evidence that Francis I allocated almost as high a sum as the Sun King in the 1530's and 1540's.11 In the years of peace, percentages would fall, but total annual revenue fell even faster in peace years, thus the percentages allocated for the military remained very high. Indeed, this terrible equation -- war requires massive increase in expenditures -- is completed into a true axiom of Early-Modern monarchical politics; warfare was the only effective and powerful mobilizer of resources.12 In the eighteenth century, as we shall see, public-works projects began to count for some royal spending, but apart from the cost of war, the only real growth area in a decaying monarchy was debt service. The cost of French support for the Americans in their war for independence from Britain was petty by comparison with the combined costs of the Wars of Austrian Succession, and the Seven Years' War. And in Central Europe, allocation for war may have gone as high as 90 percent in Prussia during the Seven Years' War, so France was not alone or particularly uncharacteristic in allocating resources, even in the eighteenth century.
Turning around the equation, it is evident that monarchs who were peacefully inclined or constrained by their subjects in their foreign policy initiatives had the greatest possible difficulty in mobilizing their subjects' resources. James I of England is a prime example of this situation, but Philip IV of Spain and Elizabeth of England were not far behind the first Stuart king of England. Louis XV of France became unpopular after 1748, when he `gave back' territories conquered in the preceding war.13 To put it categorically, there was a dialectic at work between war-making and state- building in Early-Modern monarchies. And slightly illegitimate monarchs (by traditional monarchical standards) may be categorized as confirming the generalization; for example under Protector Cromwell's power, England's state resources were allocated up to 90 percent in favor of military expenditure, and the same was true under William III during the War of the League of Augsburg.14
The measurement of fiscal resources at the state level is always a tricky business, but particularly so in the Early-Modern period, as a result of the desperate measures to increase revenues undertaken by monarchs at war. Perhaps a firmer measure for estimating the increased mobilization as a phenomenon of scale is the number of troops that kings put in the field, or on campaign, over a period of several years of intense warfare. On the eve of his invasion of Italy in 1494, Charles VIII planned to have a total fighting force of 48,000 men (combatants and support) to be paid by the crown.15 As the decades of Hapsburg-Valois fighting proceeded in the early sixteenth century, the numbers to be raised rose to somewhere between 90,000 and 100,000 in Henry II (1547-1559), with the percentage of combatants rising steadily.16
In the first years of active engagement in the Thirty Years' War, France gave orders to 134,000 infantry and 21,000 cavalry.17 There was no doubt a disparity between these projected troop strengths and the number who actually ever fought in the field; thus it is possible that the French armies under Louis XIII in the 1630's were no bigger than those commanded by Henry II.18 The important inference to make, however, is that the mid-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth century efforts of the French Monarchy reached the maximum effort. Every tax was raised to the limit before large- scale revolt completely hampered government action in the 1630's-1650's. Indeed, the maximum military effort made by France under Francis I and Henry II was made at a time of general prosperity (phase A expansion of population and productivity), whereas just the opposite was true of the 1630's and 1640's, which were decades of poor harvests and depopulation.19 Thus, if we posit similar results in numbers of troops raised in a period of maximum effort, the achievement of the French Monarchy in the 1630's and 1640's may well show greater power to mobilize resources than during any preceding period.
The issue here, of course, is whether the older 'gradualist' interpretation of the rise of the modern state that rested on the careful analysis of royal legislation is confirmed by an analysis that centers on the crude measurement of resources for war-making. The very frequent repetition of legislation emanating from the crown ought to have raised doubts in the minds of those historians who blithely built vast histories of the state out of laws and letters patent. The legislative state, if the emphasis is on increased power to mobilize resources, grew apace in those same decades of maximum strain in war-making. Laws solemnly promulgated without the press of enemies on the frontiers often remained dead-letter laws left for jurists and historians to study as sources for the metahistory of the state.
Another approach, exemplified recently by Pierre Chaunu,20 attempts to calculate the number of tons of silver raised in revenue over the Early-Modern centuries, by different monarchies, in order to measure the power of kings to pull resources from their subjects. Since it is evident that a very high percentage of the revenues collected went for paying troops, the measurement of silver collected only serves historians to try to overcome the distortions in the figures resulting from the 'crying up' of the coinage -- a very heavily employed device for maximizing resources in both the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by every monarchy. And the figures, whether in silver, or in monies of account, remain terribly difficult to interpret. Are they not revenues, that is, with the cost of their collection already deducted? Or are they merely extrapolations from assessments? How to measure the arrears in tax collection, always an important factor in years of increased taxes and 'innovation' in tax legislation. Better it is to proceed with the analysis of troop strengths, questionable as the figures are.
In the 1670's and 1680's French army strength rose dramatically and definitively beyond what it had been in the 1550's to the 1630's.21 In fact by the late 1680's the number 380,000 men under arms had been reached. Absenteeism from the lines still occurred, of course, but these were better calculated by an army administration that thought of numbers as genuine measures of difference, rather than as what they had so often been in the past, rhetorical flourishes to impress royal councilors or members of local estates. A further increase in the number under arms to 400,000 would occur in the years of the War of Spanish Succession, 1702-1713. Insofar as comparative demographic and economic conditions are meaningful at a very general level, the years of the 1680's- 1710's were more like the 1630's and 1640's, that is, years of crop failures, terrible weather, and depopulation.22 It is also true that the French Monarchy was substantially larger in the 1680's than it had been in the 1630's, as a result of the addition of various provinces in the north, east, and south, that were quickly brought along to contribute to the war effort.
More important still, however, the comparison is distorted by the addition of very costly armaments in the later seventeenth century. Resources were poured into the building of a major fleet in the 1660's-1680's;23 and a line of immense fortifications designed and built by Vauban also consumed large amounts of royal revenue.24 To be sure, some savings were made by the new installations and affect the whole picture. Geoffrey Parker notes that the new line of fortresses permitted the monarchy to pull garrisons stationed here and there in interior forts, and to assign them to battle armies, thus increasing the size of the latter.25 J.R. Hale traces an important shift already at work in the mid-sixteenth century toward lowering the percentage of non-combatants accompanying a fighting force.26 Did this trend continue? With Louvois' and Louis XIV's almost obsessive concern about supply, weapons, siege equipment, and so forth, it is possible that the number of non-combatants attached to a large fighting force actually started to climb again in the late seventeenth century.
In years of peace, which were few in the Early-Modern period before 1715, troop strength dropped dramatically. Conservatively estimated, the French army consisted of some 150,000 men in the years after the Seven Year's War and prior to the Revolution.27 This was a larger fighting force than certainly Henry II and Richelieu were able to pay for with their meager abilities to pull revenues out of the realm. The quiescent French Monarchy of Louis XVI kept a larger force as a standing army than some of his most conquering ancestors in their most combative years. Expansion of the realm and a rise in population (after 1720) account for part of this success; the rest must be interpreted as the result of state building.
Turning to more specifically internal features of monarchy, it is evident that my emphasis on a single example is the only approach to treating the subject of Monarchy in Action within the confines of a single paper. It is also evident that the peculiarities of the French Monarchy will inevitably come to the fore.
The second characteristic of Monarchy in Action, the coercive mobilization of resources, has already been noted as directly dependent on the first. French kings were owners of vast domains and rights as seigneurs, but these did little to satisfy the rapacious need for gold and silver. The history of the fiscal institutions and specific impositions need not be rehearsed here. More important is the search for features that deeply affected the character of the Monarchy itself. Always in debt and leaning toward crisis management and jerry-built in administration, those beautiful charts of the jurisdictions, offices, and duties of the fiscal institutions drawn up in the eighteenth century, and beloved by historians, mask the reality of contradiction, confusion, and competition in the fiscal (and judicial) administration.
To take one heavily researched example, the establishment of élections, that is, jurisdictions for the taille, for assessing already levied taxes on parishes or the alternative of having local representative institutions, the estates, meet and vote assessments, was really a matter of center and periphery in the realm. The jurisdictions and duties of the élections in the old central provinces were established quite definitively in the fourteenth century, and remained quite stable over the next centuries.28 In the peripheral and recently acquired provinces, and there were many of these dating from the fifteenth century, local estates customarily voted taxes in a negotiated, even contestatory manner with the king.29 Some of these provinces had venerable autonomist traditions. Some cities such as Bordeaux and Marseille did so as well. Royal councilors certainly preferred the procedure of assigning a certain sum to be levied in an élection, over the routine squabbles on negotiating (and bribing) a local estate to vote monies. In the latter case the powers of high-ranking members of the aristocracy also almost always had to be brought into play, since they presided over the local estates as governors. When the royal letter and gubernatorial speech did not include requests for special funds for war, which was rare, 1500-1715, then the sums voted declined precipitously. Thus like armies mustered in the spring, the estates were called in the fall or winter to vote monies. The nearer the enemy, the greater the sum voted. Paul Solon's recent study of the rhetoric of the royal letters regarding information about defeat, victory, and revenue-raising is very significant because it demon strates the subtle relationship between them.30 A defeat dared not be admitted too bluntly for fear of spreading panic; a victory dared not be too definitive, or no tax increase would be accepted! Thus, beneath the humanist rhetoric that the crown used to define its power and majesty to all, there lay important structural mechanisms that had to be recognized if the monarchy was to maintain its sphere of action, or increase it.
Were the mechanisms for appealing an assessment just, and emanating from a state that took literally the flowery language about the king's love for his subjects and concern for their welfare? The answer to this question turns on the issue of who, ultimately, in the royal council was in charge of assessments and revenue collection. From the mid-fifteenth century, at least, there developed a small but very powerful sub-culture of financiers who gained control of revenue-raising, and functioned in the royal council quite autonomously from the advice and powers of the other councilors. Beginning at least as early as Jacques Coeur, and extending down through various reigns to Semblançay, Foucquet, Law, and Necker, these officials played wizard-like roles in tax-raising and financial management. Not a few of them were executed, disgraced, or imprisoned for their pains. We shall have to return to the powerful consequences of the rise of the financier sub-culture on the French Monarchy at a later point, but it is important to note that it was the nucleus for the growth of state power because, one way or another, it mobilized the resources of the realm for war. If there was a regnal rhythm in the monarchy, there was also an ebb and flow of power in the financier sub- culture's influence over assessments, royal borrowing, patronage, and bribing. The relatively few years of peace were ones of relatively equitable attempts to live within the ordinary revenues by quite fair-minded and upright royal officials such as Sully (in part only), d'Effiat, Colbert, Orry, Terray, and Turgot; the years of war were ones in which the financial sub-culture flourished through non- public (or secretive) arbitrary, disparate and desperate actions to raise funds by any means. Often using the language of reform,31 the financiers manipulated every available lever on the fiscal 'wine press,' as the popular 17th century anti-government etching shows, to increase available funds. As a result, the royal administration inspired by the ethical theory of 'police' stagnated, even weakened in the 1620's-50's, and again in the 1670's to 1710, to the benefit of the alternative, brutal, almost cancer-like growth of fiscal administration based on farming royal revenues for raising by non-royal officials, acting by contract. The ethical `police' parties in the royal council and administration would gain in strength all through the eighteenth century, as Michel Antoine's and John Bosher's research powerfully elucidate, 32 but attempts to produce sufficient revenue by laws fixing graduated direct taxes, based on ability to pay, a true police-state fiscal system founded on principles of equity, collided with an increasingly harshly defined hierarchy of privileges of non-tax payment that masked both social realities and ability to pay.
Phase after phase of administrative centralization and more equitable fiscal policy was thus sacrificed on the altar of expediency created by war. Separate, near contractual arrangements would fix relations between the crown and large, wealthy segments of the population. In the sixteenth century, partly as a `benefit' of the Wars of Religion, the clergy managed to establish a solid block of tax exemptions. To be sure, the assemblies of the clergy met quinquenially to vote a 'free gift.'33 The privilege of non-payment of the taille by nobles in the North survived right down to 1789, while their social peers in the South paid a taille. In the larger towns and cities bourgeois status also granted immunity from the taille. Numerous other special arrangements could be mentioned that tended to make non-payment of taxes a highly sought-after feature of rank and self-esteem. The result of all these arrangements and exemptions were: 1) the containment of police-state impulses founded on equity; 2) an emphasis on indirect tax-raising on consumables; 3) revolution.
For centuries prior to 1500 the church had 'farmed' many of its revenue procurement rights and, as it did in so many other features of administration, showed the Monarchy the way. Indirect taxes on wine, timber, cloth, and many other consumer goods became the virtual monopoly of the tax farmer and his agents. After the contract for collection was duly signed and sealed, the tax farmers' agents went on every boat going up or down the Garonne, Seine, and Rhone Rivers, or waited at every crossroad to collect taxes on the spot for the wine transported. And inevitably, the steep increases in subtle, indirect taxes occurred in periods of war, when the strain on the royal treasury to pay the troops was at its maximum. The steep rise in these taxes would be the cause of large-scale urban revolts during the Hapsburg-Valois Wars (Bordeaux, 1548) and during the Thirty Years' War (the Fronde). Numerous other examples could be given to illustrate the magnitude and importance of the rise of the tax-farming administration, so often protested, consolidated, and `reformed', but never abolished.
The earlier movement for administrative centralization in the law courts in the fifteenth century was also very probably sabotaged by the need for revenue. Bernard Guenée shows the territorial grasp of the royal courts down to every hamlet and diocese, but the explosion of newly created parlements, which redefined centralization in ways that diminished the jurisdiction of the Parlement of Paris, can largely be understood as a result of the discovery that local judicial families would happily buy offices in provincial parlements.34 As early as the 1530's the massive sale of offices (largely judicial at first) became a major source of revenue for the crown.35 Francis I created entire chambers in provincial parlements, and Henry II, Richelieu, and Louis XIV would do the same. As much as a fifth of royal revenue in the years of strain in the 1540's, 1630's, and 1680's would be provided by venality of office. If we glance at the royal charters founding new law courts and selling judicial offices, there is to be found the usual phrase about the king's care for his subjects and his desire that justice be rendered expeditiously and within proximity of the residences of litigants. Was anyone duped? The planting of 32 presidial courts (by Henry II)36 and more parlements, chambers of accounts, and courts of Excise occurred according to the rhythms of financial urgency prompted by warfare, not as a result of reasoned expansion of the judicial system to meet needs of litigants. As the Ancien Régime aged, venality extended deeper and deeper to become the principal innovative administrative instrument in the realm. The well-known remark reputedly made to Louis XIV, 'Sire, every time you create an office, God creates a buyer' must be placed in the context of administrative ingenuity to invent new titles and (mythical, very often) duties for the office purchasers. As early as the reign of Henry II whole courts were created to permit judges to sit on the bench only half as long. There were about 60 bailliage courts under Charles VII, 100 in 1515, and over 1400 in 1789.37 In 1500 there were no more than 5,000 royal officials, a thin line across the realm. Estimates are difficult for later periods, but the figure 45,780 has been advanced by Marcel Marion for the 1660's, and this date is prior to the massive expansion in numbers and territories occurring under Louis XIV.38 Instead of stressing the usual moral-political consequences of venality, however, I should like to note the massive and highly significant promotion in ranks that it produced. The Ancien Régime remained, at least on the level of moral political discourse, quite hostile to promotion of ranks; individuals, and families were supposed to stay what their parents had been. Venality permitted thousands to climb steps on the various ladders of self-esteem, rank, and dignity. Legal professionals had their chance to purchase councilorships of state, former minor church revenue collectors could become commissioners in the king's forests, and less eminent short-Robe families could finally join their long-Robe colleagues, as a result of the social openings created by venality, and indirectly by the financial exigencies of war. Then, when all the tax farmers and their agents (heavy purchasers of royal offices) are added to the flood of venal offices, we begin to infer that the Monarchy in Action was a major sustainer of families who gained revenue from the capital placed in an office, and principal actor in the unsettling, even illegal (from some perspectives) rise in ranks from commoner to noble status, and noble status to more noble status. Putting it bluntly, the principal impulses in social promotion occurred in periods of royal fiscal crisis and war. To be sure, more traditional mechanisms for enhancing social dignity still functioned; Henry IV ordered each artisanal corporation to create two new masterships to celebrate his coming to the throne, and there are other examples of social-occupational promotion not related to venality, but none of these was as powerful as venality of office as an agent for social promotion. Ironically, when Colbert undertook the famous 'recherches' to oblige commoners who had assumed noble status to pay fines, and to pay the taille, his motives were primarily financial. 39
The precise details about the fiscal sub-culture remain vague for the first centuries of its existence. The facts available usually regard one primary figure, a financial 'advisor,' such as Jacques Coeur, a Semblançay, or the Italians that arrived with Catherine de Médici, such as Gondi or Zamat in the sixteenth century. Thanks to the research by Françoise Bayard and Daniel Dessert, the level of factual information about the 'milieu,' is much higher for the seventeenth century.40 The systematic reconstruction of the tax-farming contracts, the elucidation of the false names on the contracts, the marriage alliances linking these managerial families, their indebtedness to each other, their links to foreign commercial and banking families, and social ambition in the form of rampant consumerism, are all now well-known. A sub-culture? Only members of this group knew how to make royal fiscal operations successful. In fact, these milieu leaders had a quasi monopoly on the contracts for raising the indirect taxes formed by the crown, owned rentes in sufficient quantity to be able to affect their prices up or down, and most important of all, possessed sufficient connections to be able to lend the crown hard cash at the very moment a loan was negotiated.
The tax farmer, as part of a sub-culture, was not really a royal official, or if he was, his office was usually minor and had little to do with his tax farming. Usually a commoner with ties to small- to-middling commercial and legal professional families, the tax farmer made enormous profits out of the contracts signed with the crown to collect tolls on bridges, and rivers, or excise taxes on wine and other consumable goods at city gates and administrative excise tax barriers. The highest officer in the royal council for fiscal matters was the superintendent of finance, and his failure or success in office usually depended on his influence with the tax farmers. In fact, if the superintendent was not part of the milieu, the crown's ability to roll over its debt and to auction off the collection of excise taxes was severely reduced. For example, two noblemen, d`Effiat and La Meilleraye were appointed superintendents of finance in the 1620's and 1650's respectively and while obviously highly respected and intelligent, and probably able to add and to subtract, they were completely incompetent as fiscal ministers for the crown in spite of their conscientious attempts to do their duty. The reason for their failure is that they lacked tight connections with the tax farming milieu. In the latter, an atmosphere of trust and confidence was built up; borrowing and lending very large sums occurred rapidly and simply by word of mouth. The special intimacy of trust among the top tax farmers did not extend to d'Effiat and La Meilleraye. Tax farmers, and ministers on intimate terms with them, borrowed and lent under their own names; in fact they could easily borrow much more than the crown could through its regular borrowing procedures. This disparity between high 'private' borrowing power, and low 'public' borrowing power (the crown) was one of the most important features of the French Monarchy in the Ancien Régime. One of the reasons for this was the frequent and highly arbitrary manner in which the royal councilors cancelled past royal debts at the beginning of each personal reign.41 Monarchy in Action certainly was the power to cancel previous debt, or at the least to 'refinance' it arbitrarily at lower interest rates. Sully performed this important service for Henry IV in the first years of his reign, as did Colbert in the 1660's for Louis XIV, and as did also the aristocratic polysynodie of councilors in the regency of Louis XV, 1715-1719.42 The failure to cancel debt early in the reign of Louis XVI has long been interpreted as one of the most important factors in the collapse of the Ancien Régime into a pattern of consultation with creditors and powerful, privileged groups, to try to find a solution to the fiscal crisis. Instead of seeing arbitrary cancellation of debt as simply a feature of Monarchy in Action, I should prefer to interpret it as a part of the regnal rhythm of the Ancien Régime - a coercive give and take between a powerful sub-culture that controls the crown's finances by holding its debt, and the more statist, even `police-state' (to use Marc Raeff's phrase) royal councilors who tried to gain control over the crown's finances at the expense of the milieu. Sully, Colbert, the aristocrats such as the Duc de la Force in 1716-1717, then the Scot John Law, and then Machault all tried one way or another to gain control over finances that had been lost to the milieu. They would succeed only temporarily, but the crown's voracious need for funds to carry out war aims inevitably brought about the defeat of the more statist thinking and reforming ministers, to the benefit of the milieu of tax farmers.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the outcry against 'corruption' by the tax farmers and their allies, the superintendents of finances, might become so vehement that a judicial chamber would be established to investigate their peculation. Occasionally members of the milieu paid with their lives, but they usually were only fined. Coordinated with debt repudiation, these purges of the milieu might produce a few million livres in revenue for the crown, but did not alter the structures or dynamics established between the monarchy and the sub-culture. The Sullys, Bullions, Particellis, Foucquets and Neckers, by contrast, had the confidence of the milieu, and were therefore able to refund debt, float new loans, and above all, oblige the tax farmers to bid fairly high sums for the excise taxes they would collect.
The financiers were often on close personal terms with royal ministers, and provided special, secret services for them. It is interesting to note that the rise of a real court culture in the reign of Louis VII occurred at the same time that the financial sub-culture first, with Jacques Coeur, began to manage royal funds on a realm-wide scale, and in ways so secret that only the Coeur clients understood the royal finances.43 The milieu had links to persons holding capital all over Europe; if a letter of credit was needed to pay troops in Italy, or a pension to Gustavus Adolphus in Sweden, it was to the same banker, financier, tax farmer that the royal councilor in charge of finances for the crown had to turn. By speculating in government bonds (rentes on the Hôtel de Ville, another innovative financial measure prompted by the Hapsburg-Valois Wars), the financiers could create favorable or unfavorable borrowing conditions for the crown, and for themselves. In fact, when the crown arbitrarily canceled royal debt, the form of the debt usually was rentes bought up by the tax farmer at heavily discounted prices, and held in the hope that, through milieu contacts in the royal treasury, they would be cashed in at par value. This usually occurred.
The work of George Mathews, John Bosher, and H. Lüthy44 in fiscal administration in the eighteenth century clearly indicates a major effort by statists to create a more equitable tax assessment (e.g., the vingtième) for all the French, and a streamlining of excise taxation to reduce impediments to manufacturing and commerce. Still, the desperate need for revenue lay behind the facade of discourse about reform down to the Revolution. The contours of the milieu also changed, as did public perceptions of it. Royal indebtedness became so enormous that it ceased to be a matter to be controlled by a few families such as the Tallemants and the Rambouillets in the 1640's, to affect deeply the international credit 'système.' What the Protestant bankers thought of a council initiative of one of theirs, Necker, counted for much more in the fate of the Monarchy than anything another royal councilor might say about finances. The Monarchy in Action almost completely lost its sphere of arbitrary initiative once the financial initiative became truly international.
Françoise Bayard points out that the operations of the tax farmers were carried out with a certain 'civic mindedness;' they were helping the king by lending him money and buying his tax contracts in periods of massive popular tax protest, a risk to their fortunes and reputations.45 And Daniel Dessert offers evidence to show that the tax farmers were, in fact, only a fence of anonymity over which the capital accumulating elite made loans at very high interest rates to the crown.46 During the Fronde the judges of the Parlement of Paris inveighed against the corrupting influence of the tax farmers, but they, themselves, had lent them money through intermediaries.47
The history of direct taxation is no less fraught with contradiction and ambiguity. For example, when the Rouergats protested that their assessments ought not be as high as that of Agen, Périgord, and Quercy, the crown appointed assessors to go up and down the arduous donkey trails that were the 16th century roads of Rouergue, to evaluate the prosperity of the province.48 The royal assessors were no doubt selected by the crown, and probably without any consultation with the Rouergats. Their visitation yielded a picture of a remarkably flourishing province, and as a result, the appeal for a lower assessment than that for the Agennais, Périgord and Quercy was denied. The assessors were largely legal professionals from Languedoc, and they certainly were not toadies of some minor royal councilor. Were they, however, truly independent assessors? The Monarchy in Action would always be the power to appoint officials to carry out various duties, and though these assessors were certainly upright it is possible that they were selected because of their years of faithful service to the crown in their own political constituencies, and could be counted to do the necessary in a neighboring, protesting province. This is not to say that Rouergue in 1552 was living in misery, but it is remarkable that in their lengthy report there is no evidence of financial hardship or serious poverty.
Like any revolutionary period, the years of the Wars of Religion were accompanied by contradictory policies, reforms, counter-reforms, and certainly massive arrears in tax payments. The litanies of borrowing, bankruptices, forced loans, alteration in the coinage, and incursion into the church to procure funds, need not detain us here. Monarchical action was severely curtailed on every front as a result of revolution and civil war. Under Henry IV and Sully the old systems of revenue gathering would be made to work again, and some attempts were made to force élections onto peripheral provinces to the detriment of the powers of the estates.49
After the Wars of Religion, as after the Fronde, the monarchy benefited from a popular, or at least somewhat popular, tide in favor of centralization and increase in the power of royal officials appointed by Paris. Local estates, city officials, and perhaps local nobles were perceived as obstructionists and sources of disorder. Sully benefited from a post-revolution atmosphere to restore fiscal solvency to the monarchy by making established procedures work.
The Monarchy led by Richelieu sought at one point through a form of consent in the Assembly of Nobles to increase royal revenues in return for meeting the local groups' expectations from the crown. In point of fact, a lower level of direct taxation had largely prevailed from the late 1590's to 1620.50 Beginning with the war against the Huguenots in 1621, then again at La Rochelle and in Italy in the late 1620's, projects for reform were abandoned, and along with them an atmosphere of consent-seeking. The Cardinal drew one major lesson from the wars of the late 1620's; any and every device would be tried to raise funds. He returned to this theme often enough in the late 1630's, thus authorizing any and every action on the part of the state to raise revenue. Was he innovating at this point? Hardly so. Instead he learned the lessons of war making, and lost his credentials as a consensus-seeker. His conduct was no different from the conduct of those in charge of the war effort during the Hapsburg-Valois Wars. Always posing as ignorant of fiscal matters, and approving massive sales of offices, forced loans, and drastic increases in direct taxes proposed by Bullion and Bouthillier, the Cardinal really did not care how funds were raised, as long as they were raised. Or almost. At one point Bullion proposed to levy a tax on certain types of church land, whereupon the Cardinal exploded with animus to quash it, knowing full well the dire political consequences of such a tax.51 He knew that, without the support of the First Estate, he could not govern. He also believed that in just another campaign or two the war with Spain would be won. There are passages in his letters and memoires that indicate he thought as if the war was already over.52 Not inhumane, he simply believed that a maximum effort to defeat Spain was necessary, and in these circumstances the state, for him, effectively ceased to be one of law to become one of higher law and temporary arbitrary action. As James Collins puts it:
Direct taxation probably increased by something like 20 percent between 1620 and 1627, and again by 66 percent from 1627 to 1633-34...The complications of the 1640's boggle the mind.53
When death relieved the Cardinal of his duties the prospects for a victory over Spain that would bring the war to an end were very good. At home the Norman Nu-Pied Revolt had been brutally crushed, thus it looked as though all the emergency arbitrary measures had produced the necessary revenue. What escaped his control was, of course, the regnal rhythm. Louis XIII died only a few months later leaving a five year-old as his heir, and a regency government. The backlash that was the Fronde was not so much a movement of statism, of equity according to rank in the name of a return to the good old days of Henry IV, as it was a series of duels by different sectors of the royal government to control the royal council and to gain redress for what Richelieu had done.
The importance of the Foucquet Affair, the Chamber of Justice, and triumph of Colbert, have already been noted. Intermittent years in the 1660's were not unlike the reformist years of Sully and Richelieu, to be followed by the havoc and 'find-money-anywhere' desperation government that appeared again after the Dutch War turned very serious in the 1670's. What we find is a phenomenon of scale. Royal revenues both from direct and indirect taxes were rising. The sums assessed in the 1630's had prompted revolt; they were being paid in the 1670's-1690's by the peasantry. And as William Beik has shown, the often obstructionist Estates of Languedoc ceased after about 1660 to be confrontational, and voted more quickly what the crown requested.54 Why the apparent willingness to pay higher taxes? A number of hypotheses have been proposed.
For Beik the governing noble elites of Languedoc finally began to perceive the crown as a medium by which they could invest their own surplus capital in local projects and institutions, and be certain of security and control. From at least the High Middle Ages, the Monarchy had had trouble obliging the Languedocians to pay for a military campaign in Picardy. Now, after 1660, revenues collected in Languedoc may have increased, but the percentage actually leaving the province may have remained quite stable, thus contributing to the willingness to vote revenues to the crown.
In Burgundy, in 1662, as Russell Major shows, the Condé client network worked effectively in the local estates to vote sums quite close to what the crown wanted, thanks to bribes distributed to the right members. As Major notes, the king:
...had done everything he had said ought not to be done when he began his personal reign [and regarding the bribes this] was such an undignified matter that he never intimated to the dauphin that it had ever been practiced.55
The higher level of cooperation between local estates and the crown may also be partly accounted for by the regnal rhythm; the 1660's were the first years of the personal reign of Louis XIV, and of nearly complete relaxation of resort to `innovative' and arbitrary reforms and levies of taxation. Only when we have further detailed studies of how local estates responded to the crown's harsh demands for increased revenue will historians be able to evaluate the true significance of localist noble investment and clientage factors on revenue-raising. Years and years of war followed, and local estates did, in fact, vote higher sums to the crown. We return to our initial theme again.
For the élections in the 1660's and 1670's, the empowerment of the intendents, and the information-gathering functions of the state that Colbert initiated, account for a higher degree of cooperation between tax-payers and the crown. The correspondence of the intendents to Colbert is filled with precise information about damage to crops from hail, flooding, and drought, and is accompanied by recommendations for charity and tax relief. The regular reports by intendents to Paris, their relations with the treasurers of France and other collectors of direct taxes, and their supervision of the activities of the tax-farmers, became a permanent feature of government in the Ancien Régime, and beyond. Statism as equity according to rank appeared to gain strength all through the personal reign of Louis XIV, despite the return to fiscal chaos of increased venality, loans, and savagely high taxes again prompted by war. Indeed, the proliferation of royal officials across the realm would act as a buffer between large numbers of the king's subjects, and the recurrent wild-cat measures to raise funds carried out in the 1690's-17l3 period. As noted before, numbers became more real; royal accounts make more sense, and the columns usually add up to the sums proposed.
The shocking, indeed radical policy proposed by the statists of the late seventeenth century would be, of course, a tax levied on all the king's subjects, with a table of ranks indicating the amount to be paid. This capitation of 1695 was prompted by a desperate need for funds in war; it carried within it the principle of equity, that there was a relationship between rank and ability to pay taxes. In the fifteenth century the taille had been an emergency levy that became a regular annual one for the rural commoner in the North, and laymen in the South. Why could not also the capitation and its variants, the dixième, the cinquantième, and the vingtième, all eighteenth-century proposals for revenue-raising on the same statist principle, become annual taxes? The course of fiscal reformism would be the frequent attempt by strong-willed finance ministers to establish this principle for years of peace. We have already noted J.R. Hale's important emphasis on the rise of a concept of peace, and of a different form of society that it entailed. Desmaretz succeeded in temporarily imposing a capitation because of the exigencies of war. Louis XV tried to be stern with the church and the parlements, then let up disastrously in 1751. The regnal rhythm, so often at variance with state atemporality, ended the effort launched in 1771. Finance minister Terray managed much as Semblançay, Bullion, Foucquet, Colbert, and Desmaretz had in the past by mixing slights of hand with outright arrangements with the by now overblown subculture of financiers. To be sure, he had more information, what we call today `better figures,' than his predecessors, but the monarchy continued to tolerate confusion, secrecy, and corruption in the royal finances, with all the suspicion and plotting that were the logical results of such management. Parenthetically, this feature of secret management of revenues, debts, favors, kickbacks, and confusion survived after the Revolution. The fiscal administration of Napoleon I is a remarkable continuity of monarchical power, a triumph over statism.
3. The third characteristic of monarchy has often been noted, but not formally addressed until now in this paper: regnal rhythm. Kings and queens are mortal, and try as jurists and statists did to overcome the temporal consequences of death, the rhythms of kingship remained very strong down to the end. And regnal rhythm is deeply psycho-biological - the optimism of youth followed by the pessimism of age.
Regencies were perilous years in the French Monarchy; Catherine de Medici's ended in a terrible revolutionary civil war, Anne of Austria's in the civil war that was the Fronde, Philip of Orleans' in paroxysms of dispute between aristocratic and statist councilors and in the John Law debacle. Two features of the regencies must be noted: first, the king's subjects expected relative quiescence during a regency, that is accommodation in foreign policy and some lower taxes if not downright tax relief; second, regencies always opened up the old question of who really governed France.56 In the case of the first, the regnal rhythm that produced regencies rarely synchronised with warfare against the Hapsburgs. The wars inherited from dead kings haunted their minor heirs, because subjects declined to pay for them, and at just this time the Hapsburgs usually found enough money to make a special effort to recoup earlier losses against France. We have already noted the rhythm of the mature, yet still young, conquering king. It has its pendant in the stubborn old king who hung on to earlier territorial gains at great suffering and expense. Here Louis XIV was the prime example, an example of success in extending Bourbon power over Spain.
On the re-opening of all the questions of governance during a regency, the focal point of conflict was the royal council. Since the fourteenth century French kings had successfully appointed whom they wished to be their councilors, and if there was really an important constitutional principal in the Ancien Régime it was that the king governed not by fiat, but by his decision and the council's advice. Royal relatives and other high-ranking nobles usually believed their counsel to be indispensible. Be they the Montmorencies, the Orléans, the Condés, the Guises, these magnates with all their clients usually weighed heavily on regency councils and severely curtailed the regent's sphere of action. The monarchy's monopoly of potential violence was frequently put to a severe test in these duels for control of the council. The arrest of princes, the assassination of the Guises, the plotting in the polysynodie (which Montesquieu parodied in creating the politics of the seraglio in the Persian Letters) strained all the boundaries of monarchy as a royal family, and of state justice, which commanded equitable treatment. Royal justice would always be at least somewhat in contradiction with state justice in the Ancien Régime. Government by council (which More parodied in Book I of the Utopia on the French decision to invade Italy) could be relatively free of plots and counter-plots, but it never really prevailed over regnal rhythm. The terrible infighting that occurred between Louis XVI's councilors is as politically significant as the resort to physical violence of the type we think of as occurring in the reign of Henry III; it was just as destructive of the ability of the monarchy to command.
4. Early-Modern monarchy sponsored a very powerful social force that slowly but surely undermined the sacred foundations not only of kingship, but of ecclesiastical power. Court culture was a powerful political and cultural force; it gave kings 'machine' powers of representation, and more especially, greater authority over individual and family constitutions. The dimensions of court society stressed by Norbert Elias certainly disoriented at first, and then transformed the very hierarchy of identities and dignities that had been established by custom.57 Essentially chivalric and clerical in the High Middle Ages, the French court distanced itself from the regular, established codes of behavior and, by establishing new ones, gained greater powers to fix hierarchies of rank. Court culture increasingly occupied times of reflection; the king's actions prompted analysis - to the detriment of prayer time. The discovery of Tacitus's Annals, and their diffusion in the sixteenth century, confirmed Machievelli's and Roman jurists' views about the mysteries of state. Courtly monarchy created its own psychology.
In action, French kings insisted on regulating relations between legitimate and bastard royal persons, an absolutely crucial power to sustain the fundamental law of succession. In fact, this particular form of regulation rested more in court culture than in the law itself. Henry IV, like his predecessors and descendants, insisted that his bastards be raised right along with his legitimate children, yet be made different by all sorts of ceremonial and dress.
Almost as important, high-ranking court or household officers were obliged to ask permission to leave court, or if already away, to return. This highly coercive control fell on the highest ranking and wealthiest families in the realm. Royal approval was also required for marriage projects made at the level of the dukes and peer.58 This power to make or unmake marriage projects in the high aristocracy remained crucial to controlling the flow of lands and clients among the great families of the realm. At its most powerful and most intimate (e.g. Henry IV required the young Charlotte de Montmorency to marry the Prince de Condé, fully intending to continue to make love to her), this royal power created alliances and oppositions within the court and realm that had no real ideological implications, or questions of principle at stake. When a monarch chose to make a family rise he could do so and, inevitably, at the expense of other families. The Nogaret d'Epernon family is a good example in the late sixteenth and seventeenth century. At its most royal and courtly, this policy brought the nieces of royal ministers into the highest aristocratic families. The coercive force of this power to make marriages was particularly virulent and disruptive under Richelieu and Mazarin, both of whom married their nieces to persons of Bourbon blood, thanks to their influence over Louis XIII and Anne of Austria.
The beginnings of large-scale, more 'public' court fêtes dates from the reign of Charles VII.59 Agnes Sorel, Charles' mistress, was the first publicly acknowledged royal extramarital companion. In the fifteenth century, following the Burgundian examples, the Hapsburg and French courts became centers of luxurious living, exaggerated clothing, furnishings such as jewelry, tableware, harness, armor, and tapestries. Servants began to bow before the royal nef, the object containing the royal spoon, knife, and napkin, whether the monarch was present or not.60 To be sure, the high clergy all over Europe had already innovated in this direction and set the pace, but when the royal court began to function as a distinctly separate social-cultural entity, neither provincial nobles nor rich merchants could really break with local patterns of living to emulate their courtier relatives and acquaintances. Nor would court culture ever be entirely separate from clerical culture. The feeding and dressing of the priest-king would always have a liturgical dimension to it. More important, court culture spawned internalized visions of greatness, expectations, and failure founded on non-military and non- religious culture, and merit. The favorite as a political actor became a European-wide phenomenon and was certainly a product of court culture.
Additionally, the pursuit of perfection, whether in gazing upon a salt-cellar made by Cellini, or touring the royal gardens and palaces, or patronizing literary works, became a court aesthetic that had enormous impact in Europe. Francis I, Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, like the great Renaissance popes whom they emulated, publicized luxury-goods consumerism. The material object came to have meanings that it would never have for a Florentine merchant or for Samuel Pepys, for whom the quantity of silver in the urn would always be an afterthought even though he admired its beauty.
Francis I was the first French king known not only for the regular kingly virtues of valor, piety, and justice, but also for patronage of the arts.61 Having da Vinci and Cellini in his service, Guillaume Budé as his councilor, du Bellay and Rabelais as sustainers of royalism, albeit critically on occasions, gave the Monarchy new intellectual foundations. The role of the University of Paris would be slowly undermined, never to be the same again, as the Collège Royal and learned men with the sheen of court favor attracted attention among the learned in ways that, as Marc Fumaroli puts it, altered the terms or boundaries between the sacred and profane.62 The power of learning became more attached to the monarchy than the church, indeed more 'national' and profane-sacred in the realm, as opposed to sacred-profane in the church. It was no accident that this feature of court culture occurred at just the time that Francis I gained virtually supreme authority over episcopal appointments, by the Concordat of 1516. The next great step would be the more formal institutional ization of these relations between the crown and the learned -- the academies founded by Louis XIII and Louis XIV. Literature, music, dance, science, architecture, painting and sculpture, Inscriptions and Belles-lettres, the Academy in Rome, and the Academy of Surgery (1731) created powerful mimetic effects throughout the realm in two ways: first, producing new knowledge (the Moderns won out) rather than just understanding eternal verities, unleashed an incremental movement regarding skills and knowledge that was public -- as understood in the seventeenth century -- (Journal des Scavans) useful, and royal. The weight of this learning, along with its applications in war, at Versailles, to bridge-, canal-and road-building, and to politics, swamped theology and the law as activist, creative disciplines in the Ancien Régime, a powerful example of the phenomenon of scale.63 Slowly, over three centuries, patronage powers shifted from the king and chancellor to the royally- founded, self-perpetuating academies all over the realm, in which merit would have at least some influence over appointment. In the older guilds and faculties the monopolist tendencies, secrecy, exclusiveness among fathers and sons, and in the faculties, celibacy, tended to make arts and knowledge the preserve of small, specialized groups using specialized languages (e.g. Latin) in which to talk about them. The creative impulses of the academic movement never completely lost their early patterns of diffusion from court culture, as more and more elite groups became interested in and participated in the movement that would be the Enlightenment.
It would also be through court culture and the academic movement that the monarchy would prompt mimetic impulses that were of longer range than Villars' cannon. Frederick the Great's and Catherine the Great's willingness to continue to adopt so much of the French courtly and academic cultural heritage is testimony to the European phenomenon of scale that Europeans in the eighteenth century believed to be related to military success. David Hume remained mystified by the fact that Scottish letters became so powerful, and influential, when there was no powerful conquering monarch to coincide with them or inspire them. For at least a century, and dating back to early uses of the imperial metaphor in Renaissance Italy and the reign of Francis I, the relation between creativity and monarchy had seemed self-evident. The century of Louis XIV and the Augustan Age in England sustained the metaphor that Hume observed rightly as being totally inapplicable to his Scotland.64 No doubt Dutch, Venetian, Swiss, and English thinkers could be discovered who also deduced what Hume observed about the mythical links between monarchy and artistic-intellectual creativity that had been built on the Roman Augustan myth, but they were a minority voice until the rise of the 'priesthood' of artists and intellectuals in the early nineteenth century.65 As historiographer royal, Voltaire joined history, rhetoric, and monarchy to make the case for the relationship between monarchy and creativity in an updated fashion in the Siècle de Louis XIV. It is interesting to note that this influential work places war and diplomacy as the first priority subject, and the arts, science, and so forth toward the end, just as textbooks in Western Civilization still do.
Monarchy in Action was the power to render justice, not only between the king and most of his subjects, but among his subjects. What was peculiarly monarchical about justice in the Ancien Régime? Certainly for many litigants the distinction between fiscal and judicial administration would have made no sense. By fees and fines, thousands of royal officials lived off the power of the king to judge, and by defending royal rights in royal courts. Jurists began their treatises and opinions with descriptions of royal, paternal love, the power to pardon, and the power to redress. In the public squares it was the public execution that struck contemporaries as manifest royal justice.
On no subject is it more difficult to trace the phenomenon of scale than the power of the royal judicial administration over a three-century period. Weight of numbers may account for something at this point, and we have already noted the massive extension of venal offices in the courts of law. Regarding jurisdictions, surely those between royal and ecclesiastical were already largely in place by 1500.
Tocqueville's contention that royal jurisdictions were extended at the expense of seigneurial ones in the Early-Modern period rests ultimately on the still very cloudy issue of measuring litigiousness in a society.66 Does one measure by the number of cases, by the gravity of the cases, or by the sentences and damages levied by the courts? In the end Tocqueville's contention rests on the supposition that there was a link between supreme judicial power over lives and property, and the political power of the nobility. His is a refined 'state v. society model,' with nobility losing control of certain powers in society.67 The values and limitations of functionalist models of the history of the state are all evident in Tocqueville's brilliant thesis.
Three issues need to be clarified in order to understand, though still superficially, the relations between royal and seigneurial justice. First, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the elements of codification and regularization of procedures made the king the undisputed principal seigneur of the realm.68 The various royal judicial reform movements and codification steps consolidated and defined, and preserved seigneurial justice from extinction when it became faced with public-law reformism. Second, the lack of professionalism, the rapaciousness, and the corruption of minor seigneurial justices prompted loss of respect for them69 almost the way litigiousness itself, and 'feudalism' came to be held in contempt in the decades prior to the Revolution. Third, and most importantly, seigneurial justice had really little capacity to incorporate the elements of the public-law movement that would make royal justice an interventionist force to produce and distribute wealth, give charity, and enforce upright morals. To put it crudely, seigneurial justice always seemed to be about minor rights of property. Royal justice, at least in its 'descending aspect' (to adopt Walter Ullmann's term) was about public welfare. As the state came to define itself as control over public space (such as cabarets, streets and squares, and as lighting and paving), seigneurial justice had nothing similar to offer. The Tocquevillian emphasis on the decline of seigneurial justice in favor of royal justice is a metaphor for describing the rise of the modern state.
In Marc Raeff's essay on the 'police state,' what I have called here the public-law movement is brilliantly elucidated from its origins in various German towns in the sixteenth century (they could just as well have been French) to its full manifestations in 18th-century France, Prussia, and Russia.70 The argument is that the Reformations undermined the boundaries between civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and that both Catholic and Protestant societies were submitted to reformist visions by enhanced civil authorities. Sixteenth-century reformist governments began actively to `police' in spheres in which the ecclesiastical had either grown lax or had scarcely intervened. The regularization of work, holidays, begging, prostitution, and idleness came into the domain of civil authority as a result of these reformist movements; what had previously been either a sin, or nothing at all before the magistrate, became a criminal offense.
In the French Monarchy the coincidence of a civil war prompted in part by religious differences, an economic and demographic shift toward a 'crisis', and a social dislocation prompted by international war, yielded a socially activist, reformist Catholicism in the seventeenth century.71 New religious orders, reformed religious orders, new schools, evangelical movements, and an intensified lay religious sensibility prompted a charitable-moral movement of large-scale proportions. Elite in its membership, the Company of the Holy Sacrament undertook to aid the needy in various major cities, impede Huguenot proselytizing and charitable activities, and press local political-legal authorities to legislate against begging, prostitution, loitering, dancing, excessive drinking, and so forth. The distribution of food and shelter for the homeless, orphans, insane, and sick was initially paid for by zealous mercantile and royal administrative elites, often joined in secret societies. As new institutions and informal organizations were formed in the 1640's-1660's, some segments of the royal administration became fearful that this social-activist Catholicism would become a 'state within a state,' just as Protestantism had done in the sixteenth century, and Free Masonry would be in the eighteenth century. Richelieu watched the Jesuits with a nervous eye; Mazarin watched the size of the Company of the Holy Sacrament even more closely, and eventually decided to have it banned as illegal on the grounds that it lacked a royal charter.
One of the best sources for understanding how this religious-social program for moral uplift became integrated into the public law movement is the 4-volume treatise by Nicolas Delamare (1639- 1723), the Traité de Police. In his introduction Delamare defines the judicial duties of the Monarchy in ways we would call positivist and interventionist, which were very traditional; but in his description of what those duties were, we find not only the program of Catholic Reform social activism, but the phenomenon of scale. The king has a divinely-ordained duty to protect all his subjects by maintaining order, to sustain healthful conditions of life and work in his cities, and to correct, or if necessary incarcerate the violators of established laws, morals, and correct deficiencies in water and food supply. Buildings must be inspected, laws establishing the minimum widths of bearing walls must be obeyed, and the butchering of meat cannot be done if it produces insalubrious living conditions.72 The phenomenon of scale in Delamare is in the precision of the legislation, and in the sphere of what had hitherto been largely unregulated spheres of urban life. His public law is deeply historicist and sensitive to both custom and past royal legislation. He gives the laws and customs of the Egypt, Greece, Rome, and finally of Paris, under every heading. His public law is, in a sense, deeply positivist in its implications: the most recent legislation (Louis XIV's) is the most equitable and 'enlightened.' It is also very statist. If Tocqueville is right about the emptying of the significance of seigneurial justice by the crown, it is also equally correct to stress that public law depersonified the monarchy. For example, a monarch's early initiatives for aiding the sick (e.g Louis IX's foundation of the Quinze Vingt Hospital for the blind) are not perceived as actions by a king who believed his own soul would be more assured of salvation as a result. Public law in France took its cue from the distinctly public tradition of state action, that is, the claim to exercise sovereign authority in the name of a higher, more general and beneficial action for all, by degree or social rank. This tradition certainly was strengthened by the religious conflict; Huguenots would be prosecuted for their disorder and treason, not their religious beliefs, at least in principle. Henry IV's description of the reasons for founding the Hospital of St. Louis (for lepers) is distinctly statist, as befits a monarch who was sovereign to both Catholics and Protestants.
Public law, in the initiatives of the council of state and in such newly created offices as the lieutenant de police, then assumed elements of the religious reformist program for society and called it the king's, who paid for it from the reign of Louis XIV down to the Revolution. What had started as a private, elite moral-religious initiative became a public one. In the 1680's and 1690's when years of crop failure caused thousands to seek food in the cities, as many as 15,000 indigents would be 'hospitalized,' against their will, in the General Hospital (actually 10 separate institutions). The hospital movement spread rapidly across France, thanks to state initiatives, with the first founded in Paris in 1656. In 1695, Rodez, in remote Rouergue, had its General Hospital, an illustration of the speed and extent of this movement.
The Monarchy would continue to 'police' the streets, rounding up 'undesirables,' right down to the Revolution, and of course, beyond. Recent work by Arlette Farge, Thomas Brennan, and Alan Williams73 describes the relations between the judicial arm of the crown, the watch (guet), and Parisians in the bars, streets, Palais Royal, markets, quays, and brothels. This was a powerful, descending form of justice which never lost its original moralistic and religious presuppositions. Certainly this was the state, as laws against begging, prostitution, and censorship did not vary according to the regnal rhythms though pardoning for these offenses did (and still does in France, where parking violations are pardoned after the election of the president of the Republic).
Insofar as it is possible to discern the equilibrium between church and state in the descending morals legislation, it is possible to assert that the state was exploring new areas of social control that the church had either ignored or repudiated. State censorship of books, plays, and works of porno graphy quickly came to rely on control of the printers after having first effectively displaced the universities on this jurisdiction.74 By the mid-eighteenth century police inspectors would visit every printer, not only to look over his press and stock, but to write up a report on his facial characteristics. This attempt to use facial characteristics to discern criminal tendencies is difficult to interpret. If Delamare may be taken as 'normative' public law up to, say 1720, it is evident that state attempts to ferret out criminality did not include, at least in writing, the analysis of physical features. Depositions and reports by royal commissaires throughout the Early-Modern period may often include brief allusions to a person's clothes and messy appearance, but, to my knowledge, little or no systematic study of physical features was made to discern an inclination toward criminality. We must be careful not to conclude that this was a major step in a new direction, as royal officials may have been influenced by their reading of physical features all along and were just not writing them down. Still, the systematic physical descriptions and record of the economic conditions of all the printers would seem to have been powerfully innovative, if only for its systematic aspect.75
If the state was breaking new ground in defining ever more formally what acceptable social behavior was, the church was not far behind. The eighteenth-century church carried out certain specific duties for the state (keeping registers of births, marriages, and deaths); but quite on its own it began to require additional information, such as the professional status of persons, parents, etc., at least in the bigger cities, if not in the country. Rules requiring last rites in the parish in which one resided, or official ecclesiastical authorization for an exception, became more regular and more strictly enforced. And the famous états d'âme, those little printed report cards kept by curés, and filled out after confession, also indicated deeper and more perceptive observation, if not surveillance of the faithful by the clergy.76 Clearly the Church in the eighteenth century lacked the coercive powers of hospitalization and imprisonment that the state exercised, but it had by no means abandoned its divinely ordained commitment to root out sin.
In private law, the church's loss in this jurisdiction permitted royal justice not only to assume established spheres of legal action, but to refine and extend these toward the aim of sustaining a model patriarchal family across time. Recently Sarah Hanley has cogently argued that the rise of a legal class, the Robe, stimulated by the inherited property that venal office was, gave a stridency to state-engendering in private law, because of the judge's evident desire to control both the future of their biens and also the dignity and rank of their families and of those with whom they were allied.77 Laws requiring parental consent for marriage were repeatedly promulgated and made harsher by stiffening definitions of the ages of majority for children; clandestine marriage became more precisely and more criminally defined; and women's legal possibilities for hiding pregnancy, claiming pregnancy, and controlling adoption were signally diminished by law.
To be sure, the precision in the language in which the decrees and arrêts were written had Robe jurisprudential and practical origins, but the patriarchal model of the family which the Robe tried to engender or safeguard through the courts was very largely noble in origin, and well- established in custom. Venality of office certainly prompted refinements in the law of property, especially after the Paulette was established in l604, but was not venality's principal impact in favor of patriarchalism derived from the fact that this huge and increasing amount of new property was, for all intents and purposes, reserved for males?
Hanley's findings are supported by ethnographic evidence, but the paradox of whether the titles of the dockets received from litigants by the courts prompted the new or restated law, or whether the new or restated law derived from some Robe socio-cultural program, is left unresolved.
The older interpretation of competing jurisdictions, church and state, may still be worth noting. For example, Hanley expresses surprise that there was so little legislation in the royal courts about separation, or annulment of marriage. Was not this title of private law, like appeals for marriage approval between close cousins, still firmly in the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts?78 After all, the church's centuries-old emphasis on consent of the betrothed puts it at near opposites from the jurist's campaign in favor of parental consent if a marriage is to be valid.
In the wake of the information-gathering impetus in the public-law movement, the laws requiring women to declare their pregnancies to some civil authorities, deserve to be mentioned. Also, in the crucial decade of the public-law movement, the l660's, there was legislation promulgated to prompt marriage and population growth. Tax benefits were established for families that gave ten or more 'children to the state.'79 This pioneeringly interventionist law was revoked, but it nevertheless provides evidence for a statist concept of wealth that had profound implications not only for noble families, but for Robe noble families as well, both of which were predicated upon a model of preserving family rank by avoiding too great dispersion of biens among heirs.
Throughout the Early-Modern period, families, neighbors, and communities sometimes found it impossible to resolve the differences that divided them, and they appealed to royal justice for redress. Here, certainly, was the normative feature of ascending royal justice. The monarch's judges were appealed to, to settle all types of complaints and violations of the rights, privileges, and property of individuals and corporations. We have already noted that the growth of the royal judicial system occurred under the claim to satisfy this need, whereas in reality it was to raise revenue for war.
After studying some 10,000 cases in 18th-century Languedoc, Yves Castan found that an overwhelming number of these started in the royal courts as a result of slander, or some other attack on the self-esteem or honnêteté of the plaintiffs.80 Beneath the slander offense there were often charges of violation of property rights, unpaid loans, etc., and it is as difficult for the historians as it was for the 18th-century judge to learn exactly which, among all the factors, precipitated recourse to a law suit. Clearly, when the essentially self-regulating mechanisms of family, neighborhood, and community failed to accommodate conflicting parties, the appeal went to someone distant and unfamiliar with the parties in conflict. Resorting to the distant judicial officer, the royal judge, rested not only on a sense of being fundamentally right on the issues in the suit, but also on believing in the authority and power of the judge to assure redress. The second was every bit as important as the first. A fine levied by a royal court, damages to be paid, or whatever, was an absolutely essential feature requiring royal justice to be effective. The force to imprison, execute, or impose damages on the parties found guilty made the judicial system as effective as it was, and this force seems to have increased over the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Royal justices were obsessed with exemplarity -- their way of recognizing that the force of their judgments rested on their ability to make redress follow judgment.
Where, and at what points of issue did descending judicial actions stemming from public law, and ascending judicial actions, stemming from appeals for justice to the crown, intersect? The first answer to this question is 'probably not at all.' The public law program implicitly and somewhat explicitly addressed some of the social and economic issues that prompted petty crime, but the effect was probably to raise expectations from royal government rather than seriously to satisfy the needs for employment, housing, and an affordable food supply. Perhaps in periods of increasing hardship, indebtedness among family members exacerbated their relations to the point that one or another filed suit, but this is to be demonstrated. We must remain with the knowable at this point.
For one, judges began to throw out witchcraft cases for lack of evidence,82 with the result that appeals for the prosecution of alleged witches decline precipitously in the second and third quarters of the seventeenth century. Here the issue was less deliberate royal interventionism into community relations than a changed outlook on natural and not-natural powers in the cosmos, a result of the changed education of the judges.
For James Farr, the most important change came within Communities. Members of the artisan population of Dijon were accepting the legitimacy of punishment
meted out by the authorities...Oftentimes [artisans] looked to the law as a last resort, but there were also many cases of disputes over honor, for example -- in which artisans went immediately to court to redress grievances. Indeed, even the threat to go to `justice' found its way into the discourse of dispute.... 83
In this pioneering study of artisans there is implicit a model of community control, and its break- down, but with that taken into account, there is still evidence to suggest a gradual socio-cultural movement toward accepting a 'police des moeurs' not dissimilar to the program originally associated with the Roman Catholic Reform. Right living, order, and a more policed urban life counted for more and more for these Dijonnais artisans, in the course of the l7th-l8th centuries, than it apparently had previously. To be sure, there remained tremendous differences in attitudes between masters and non-masters, and probably between young and old, but there still occurred some sort of acceptance of the descending public law program founded in order, hierarchy, and justice according to one's due, among the artisans of Dijon. Was this pro-order sensibility advanced as city fathers, guild officials, and royal officials in higher echelons, ceased or reduced their quarreling? Farr does not answer this question directly, but as we shall learn, the decline in litigiousness among institutions established to maintain order may have been very influential in the Ancien Régime after about 1660, and lasted down to about 1760.
No review of justice during the Ancien Régime would be complete without a glance at the cas royaux, which, though they affect a very small number of the king's subjects by comparison with ordinary judicial practice, nevertheless inform us about Monarchy in Action. That sphere of justice which seemed only partially grounded in written law was forcefully defended and perhaps expanded during 1560-1660, years of ambiguity between church and state, heresy and saintliness, regicide, and aristocratic conspiracy. For example, the laws of lèse-majesté and lèse-majesté divine were quite brief statements about the sacredness of members of the royal family, founded in part on the Roman lex Julia. The laws against rebellion, illegal assembly, riot, sedition, and treason were also all firmly established before 1500, as were those affecting the church, and relations between the church and the state.84 But such crises of state as the execution of the Guises, the trial and execution of Biron, the Concini execution, the Chalais affair, the Marillac trials, the Montmorency trial and execution, the Cinq Mars and de Thou trials, the arrest of Condé and Conti, and the Foucquet affair certainly extended the sphere of the cas royaux from the exceptional horrible event, to a brutalizing routine.85 In almost all these cases justice was meted out by a crown-appointed commission of judges instead of a parlement or the council of state. The monarchy seemed to need this supreme sphere of justice to survive. Commissions of judges were preferred because the king wanted guilty verdicts consistent with the legislation of the cas royaux. Were the ordinary courts and judges dismayed by this exercise of special judicial authority on the part of the crown? There were certainly protests to principal ministers and councilors about the arbitrariness of justice by commission, but there was also considerable relief at not having to sit in judgment on such often eminent and politically influential persons charged with treason, peculation, etc. To be sure, precedents for all these cases went back to the stormy events of the Hundred Years' War, but the number of cases in the 1620's and 1630's prompted reflection and doubt among the most loyal of the king's subjects. Something was wrong when a marshall of France had to be tried and found guilty of treason, or a Montmorency, or the son of a prominent judge, de Thou, and Condé was arrested in 1616, and his sons in 1650. In its most terrifying sphere of justice, the cas royaux, the monarchy seemed at its strongest, but also most unnatural and out-of-joint. Together, in the deaths of those found guilty by the cas royaux, and the cancellation of royal debt that occurred at the beginning of each reign, we find the principal sphere of arbitrary monarchical governance. Was it part of the nature of the monarchy not only to have this sphere of arbitrariness, but to act in it? The question is more philosophical than historical. An answer is found in the moral philosophy of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Why was it thought better for a monarch to be respected rather than loved? In any event, after 1660 (to be more exact, 1664, the judgment of Foucquet) the Monarchy tempered its actions. There would be lifetime exiles and imprisonments, and the execution of poor devils such as Damiens, but never again the full range of powers acted upon as defined in the cas royaux. At several points in this essay we have discovered the 1660's to be a turning point in the history of the Monarch in action. Perhaps these may be lumped together into sharper focus as a conclusion. Historians agree that all the factors noted below were important, but they disagree on their order of rank.
First, the regnal rhythm of the beginning of the personal reign, in 1661, prompted a certain optimism and hope for a new beginning. The extreme self-interestedness of various segments of the governing elite, led by the parlementaires and the princes, prompted a mood of monarchical support, indeed enthusiasm, for the young Louis XIV. Second, by announcing that he would himself govern, rather than rely on a principal minister, he immediately confirmed the ideal of king that the French persisted in maintaining from the days of Henry IV. Third, he quickly reviewed the international situation and set out on war for conquest against the Hapsburgs. Fourth, he established a chambre de justice to prosecute and fine those who had benefited enormously in the past from the king's power to tax his subjects. Fifth, the king and his armies, buildings, academies, and so forth occupied more of the media space (during the period 1660-1680) than any of his predecessors or successors in their reigns.86 Information about the king by royal letter addressed to various segments of the realm became more and more systematic (Solon dates its beginning from Francis I's capture in 1520) and more regular than it had ever been before, after 1660.
On a more structural level, A. Hamscher87 and W. Beik find heightened courtesy and cooperation between local government and the crown, and between such previously competing segments of the crown as the parlement and the council of state. Beik offers an essentially class interpretation, as already noted; Hamscher is cautious and content merely to testify to the changed mood. David Parker comes close to agreeing with Beik when he stresses the building of something like a consensus or good feeling (my terms) in the 'ruling class', a consensus that yielded not only greater political cooperation between the center of government and the provincial periphery, but a higher commitment of resources to the king.88
'Ruling class'? Like Roland Mousnier's formula 'gouvernés et gouvernants,' the terms are so general, and the motives behind common action so general that it is difficult to discern what specific meanings they might have for political-social relations in the Ancien Régime.89 Provincial estates, like the estates-general and the parlements, all had difficulty squaring the rhetoric of financial hardship they addressed to the king with their evident investments in rentes. For the councilor-parlementaire relationship explored by Hamscher, the post-1660 atmosphere of reasonable assurance of the renewal of the 'paulette' (unlike in 1648) enabled what had previously been competing parts of the Monarchy to discard the old spirit of acrimony and accept a `polite' discourse of mutual respect. The reduction of economic-investment worries certainly relieved tensions, but this is not enough to account for the post-1660's atmosphere of intense royalism and cooperation.90 In Dijon the city fathers gradually began to cooperate more willingly with other segments of the royal administration. Farr implies that artisan respect for them and for authority in general increased as they themselves accepted more and more of the religious-moral program of Catholic reform, and as the city fathers behaved in ways consistent with the dignity of their offices.91 The 1660's were also crucial years for the public-law movement. Royal commissions pondered various segments of the law, and it was evident that Louis XIV took very seriously government by council, grounded on the flow of precise information flowing up to Paris and Versailles in the intendents' reports. And with some 46,000 royal officials actually part of the government in one or another capacity, the shrill voices calling for guarding the privileges of the local estates became calm and polite.
The shift of a large-scale charity and moral clean-up program from private funding to royal funding also occurred at this time, and with a realm-wide impact. The Monarchy assumed a more activist dimension in accord with the attitudes of elites and artisans alike. Colbert's administration also took steps to launch new industries, and of actually pursuing a strategy of increasing wealth in the realm. The results were largely cosmetic, but compared with the feigned or real ignorance of economic dimensions of the Monarchy by his predecessors (Sully excepted), the recognition of the dimension took on a special importance. So did the special creation of a council of commerce 93 (first in 1664, then more firmly after 1700) with deputies chosen from the principal commercial cities called to membership. Put another way, after 1660 the state gave the impression that it had adopted a vision of what the social, intellectual, economic, scientific, and manufacturing activities of the king's subjects should be. It definitively moved out beyond the usual actions of arbitration and minor initiative, in a wish to create a Monarchy that was not only equal to but surpassed Roman Imperial greatness. The realities were far more modest than the rhetoric; words were more inflated than the actions they commanded, but was (is) there anything particularly monarchical about this feature of politics? I doubt it.
Finally, the last characteristic of monarchy that must be mentioned is scale tout court. Republics occupied tiny surfaces of land in Europe in the Early-Modern period and were not particularly successful colonizers. And royal cannon were always bigger and symbolically more eloquent than the episcopal and aristocratic cannon, cast to be used against royal armies.94 Royal palaces were bigger, more richly decorated, and surrounded by bigger and more beautiful gardens and hunting forests, than those of any subject. And with some exceptions (churchmen) royal builders, at least from the l3th century on, had a 'built-for-eternity' quality in their workmanship (e.g. the château of Najac puts to shame all lay seigneurial construction in the region). The pavé du roi in France was (and is) always immediately observable for its larger size and quality of stone. Here, certainly, was Monarchy in Action, representing itself as bigger, richer, more powerful, and the fount of wealth. Certainly the state came to provide the resources for this dominance of scale over subjects, but it was monarchy alone that generated this insistence on size, quality, and glory, more than did estates, towns, and provinces.
1. Garrett Mattingly's essay on the Italian meanings of the state in the early sixteenth century best describes the essential meaning -- something that can be held, lost, diminished, enhanced. "Changing Attitudes toward the State during the Renaissance," Facets of the Renaissance, ed. by W.H. Werkmeister (Los Angeles, 1959) 19-40.
2. The standard work on the historiography of the concept, state, for France, is Bernard Guenée, "L'Histoire de l'Etat en France à la fin du Moyen Age, vue par les historiens français depuis cent ans," Revue historique 232(1964) 331-60.
3. Quoted by André Bossuat, in Lewis, ed., l88, a translation of his "La Formule 'le Roi est empereur en son royaume'," Revue Historique de droit français et étranger 4th series, 39 (l96l) 37l-8l.
4. E. Lavisse, Histoire de France (Paris, l9ll) VII, part 2, 28l.
5. See D. Clouatre's brilliant doctoral thesis "From Order to Class: the
Delegitimation of the Conceptual Foundations of Hierarchy" (University of
California, Berkeley, 1990), on the social consequences of the nominalist
critique of realist 'concepts' such as nobility. In Eastern Europe, the success
of mobilities in combatting absolute monarchy left states prey to foreign
empires. Orest Subtelny, Domination of Eastern Europe: Native Nobilities
and Foreign Absolutism, 1500-1700 (New York, 1986).
7. Trans. by J.S. Holmes and H. van Marle, Men and Ideas (New York, l959) 77-96.
8. Is there not a tinge of anachronistic and analytical contradiction in Dr. Mia Rodrigues-Salgado's observations about the Spanish Empire of Charles V when she says: "[...] the empire had neither been planned nor desired; it made no geographic or cultural sense, and it was almost impossible to defend...Nevertheless dynastic ties, ambition and the semi-sacred law of inheritance determined their will to keep what death and fortune had brought together." Dynasticism and inheritance were planning and desire in Early-Modern monarchies. "The Problem of Empire: the Spanish Monarchy in the Early Modern Period," Historical Journal 3l, 2 (l988) 435.
9. War and Society in Renaissance Europe, l450-l620 (Baltimore, l985) 97.
10. The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, l500-l800 (Cambridge, UK, l988) 62.
11. Differences in accounting procedures, and the difficulty in measuring what is, in fact, military expenditure, or simply pensions to local nobles, make it impossible to go beyond speculation on this point. See R. Doucet, Les Institutions de la France au XVIe siècle (Paris, 1948), II, 596-607.
12. Rodriguez-Salgado's summary phrase: 'If we look to the origins of the empire, it is evident that defence had always been a source of unity--indeed the key to the sovereign's ability to tap the resources of all his possessions,' is also certrainly true of monarchies other than the Spanish. Rodriguez-Salgado, The Problem of Empire..." 438
13. M. Antoine, Louis XV (Paris, 1990), 602-604.
14. J. R. Lander, The Limitations of English Monarchy in the Later Middle Ages (Toronto, 1989) Chapter I; and the brief summary of the older literature in C. Wilson, England's Apprenticeship, l603- l763 (London, l965) l3l, 3l3-3l5.
15. Peter Mathias and Patrick O'Brian, "Taxation in Britain and France, l7l5-l8l0," Journal of Economic History 5 (l976) 60l-50. See the general review by John B. Wolf, The Emergence of the Great Powers, l685-l7l5 (New York, l95l) l70-208.
16. Hale, l59. Pierre Chaunu, drawing on Clamageran, proposes state revenues in l500 to be 63 tons of silver, and 209 in l659. "la véritable flambée de l'Etat correspond au règne de Henri II." Histoire Economique et Sociale de la France, l450-l660 (Paris, l977) 46. James Collins puts the comparison in more general terms, and for a bit earlier in the l7th century, "Given the inflation of the period between the l520's and the l620's, royal direct taxation did not reach its real level of the l620's until the very end of the l620's, or even l630." Fiscal Limits of Absolutism (Berkeley, l988) 2l8.
17. Parker, The Military Revolution, 58, drawing on recent research by J.A. Lynn, "The Growth of the French Army in the Seventeenth Century," Armed Forces and Society 6 (l980) 568-585.
18. D.A. Parrot, The Administration of the French Army, as summarized by Parker, The Military Revolution, 58.
19. See the magisterial review of all the issues in J. Dupâquier, Histoire de la Population Française (Paris, l988) II, 5l5. For the seventeenth century there was zero population growth, 52l.
20. See note l6.
21. A. Corvisier, Louvois (Paris, l983) 330, 5l4-5l6; and A. Corvisier, Les Français et l'armée sous Louis XIV (Vincennes, 1975), passim.
22. Dupâquier, Histoire de la Population... 5l4.
23. Parker, The Military Revolution, l02.
24. Ibid., 42f.
25. Ibid., 43.
26. Hale, War and Society..., l58f.
27. A. Corvisier, L'Armée Française de la fin du XVIIème siècle au Ministère de Choiseul (Paris, l964) I 54ff. M. Marion draws on the March l7, l788 ordonnance to give the figure l87,000 'sur le pied de la paix' and 224,000 'sur le pied de la guerre,' Dictionnaire des Institutions de la France au XVIIème and XVIIIème siècles (Paris, l923) 23. C. Sturgill's "The French Army in Roussillon" is a model study of army expenditures at the local level. Over 90% of the expenditures for the army in Roussillon were actually spent there, making the military a major distributor of wealth. M. Ultee, Adapting to Conditions (Univ. of Alabama Press, 1986) 16-25.
28. Collins, Fiscal Limits of Absolutism, "The direct tax system of seventeenth-century France was largely in place by l379", 27.
29. The standard work is R. Major, Representative Government in Early Modern France (New Haven, l980). See his contribution to the debate about centralization and decentralization, 3-4. Further research on the question of why members of local estates expressed a desire to have local parlements would probably confirm the hypothesis that Robe professionalization had more influence on the l5-l6th century conditions of government, than clientage, in the enjeu that is played out in the founding of more and more provincial sovereign courts. The possibilities of a clientage interpretation are superbly illustrated by C. Stocker, "Clientage interpretation and Lineage in the l5th century Parlement," Proceedings, Western Society for French History l3 (l986) l0-20. The most subtle, erudite, and convincing case study of the extension of crown fiscal powers as a result of local divisions and differences prompted by royal fiscal pressures, is Daniel Hickey, The Coming of French Absolutism: the Struggle for Tax Reform in the Province of Dauphiné, l540-l660 (Toronto, l986). I subscribe fully to his observation, 'Rather than finding the evolution of a whole new absolutist power based upon philosophic principles and a new social order, what we see in Dauphiné is an alliance of interests.' l78.
30. "Tax Commission and Public Opinion, l438-l56l" to appear in Renaissance Quarterly. "The king's enemies came to be the province's enemies, and the crown's victories became those of the provinces as well. The crown may not have been the most reliable source of political information in Renaissance France, but it assuredly was the most strategically placed...the Renaissance monarchy astutely used its opportunities to control and mold the flow of political information to advance the interests of the dynasty and of the centralized warmaking state it was creating. In their use of eloquence to mask the emergence of a modern state, the Valois kings were in the truest sense Renaissance monarchs." This analysis of how the discours royal seemed to be univocal to provincials (were they so naive?) now needs to be explored from where it emanates, that is, the royal council and chancery. The process by which debates, rivalries, and family-party divisions within the council came to be submerged in a rhetoric that projected images of authority, planning, and good sense needs to be scrutinized much more closely by historians of the center, in order to help clarify what is being read and heard on the periphery. Exemplary of this approach is Paul Sonino, Louis XIV and the Origins of the Dutch War (Cambridge, l988).
31. In writing about Spain and France in the l630's, J.H. Elliott remarks: 'The demands of war provoked intensive fiscalism, which itself often had strong reformist characteristics because it extended taxation, whether direct or indirect, to regions and social groups which had hitherto been shielded by customary privileges.' Richelieu and Olivares (Cambridge, l984) 141.
32. Michel Antoine, Le Conseil du Roi sous le règne de Louis XV (Geneva, l970), and John Bosher, French Finances, l770-l795: from Business to Bureaucracy (Cambridge, l970).
33. P. Blet, Le Clergé de France et la Monarchie; étude sur les Assemblées Générales du Clergé de l6l5 à l666 (Rome, l959).
34. "La géographie administrative de la France à la fin du Moyen Age: Elections et bailliages," Moyen Age (l96l) 293-323.
35. See the particularly harsh view of Francis I's state in the classic, A. Chéruel, Histoire de l'Administration Monarchique en France (Paris, l855) l44-6l. More balanced views are to be found in R. Doucet, Etude sur le gouvernement de François I (Paris, l921).
36. Chéruel, Histoire de l'Administration... I, 77.
37. Chaunu, Histoire Economique et Sociale... 36. R. Mousnier's thesis, La Vénalité des Offices sous Henri IV et Louis XIII (Rouen, l945, 2nd ed., Paris, l97l) is an exemplary work on the ways venality altered hierarchies of rank and dignity in a province (Normandy).
38. Dictionnaire..., 405, citing Forbonnais, who based his figures on research ordered by Colbert.
39. J.B. Wood, The Nobility of the 'Election' of Bayeux, l463-l666 (Princeton, l980) 26. On the police-state side, attempts were made to impose respect for engaging in commercial activity by sword nobles. See R. B. Grassby, "Social Status and Commercial Enterprise under Louis XIV," The Economic History Review, ser. 2, l3 (l960-6l) 19-38.
40. F. Bayard, Le Monde des Financiers au XVIIe siècle (Paris, l988), and D. Dessert, Argent, Pouvoir et Société au grand siècle (Paris, l984)
41. D. Buisseret, Sully (London, l968) and B. Barbiche, Sully (Paris, l98l). See also R. Bonney, The King's Debts (Oxford,l98l).
42. H. Leclercq, Histoire de la Régence (Paris, l922) 3 vols.. For an original, if somewhat out-dated general review, E. Hamilton, "Origin and Growth of the National Debt in Western Europe," American Economic Review 37 (l947) ll8-40. A brief review of the political context may be found in J.D. Hardy, Jr., Judicial Politics in the Old Régime (Baton Rouge, l967).
43. C. Petit-Dutaillis, in E. Lavisse, Histoire de France (Paris, l9ll) 4, pt. 2, 228ff. and Philippe Contamine, Guerre, Etat, et Société à la fin du Moyen Age (Paris, l972). See also, H. Miskimin, Money and Power in l5th century France (New Haven, l984).
44. The Royal General Farms in l8th century France (New York, l958); The Single-Duty Project (London, l964); and La Banque Protestante en France... (Paris, l959-6l). See also A. J. Bourde, "Deux registres du contrôle général des finances...," Annales de la Faculté des Lettres, Aix-en- Provence, new series, n. 45 (1965).
45. Bayard, Le Monde..., 303. James Collins takes a contemporary tack when he remarks that "the tax system was the largest employer in France, giving work to at least 75,000 people for the collection of indirect taxes alone." Fiscal Limits..., l6. The point is important, because, unlike the direct tax administration or the judiciary, the farmers and their employees had no claim whatever to monarchical-service status, or to dignity of office in the state, until after about l730. Putting it simply, they were employees in the 'private sector.'
46. Dessert, Argent..., 346.
47. O. Ranum, The Fronde, a French Revolution (l648-l652), forthcoming.
48. J Bousquet, Enquête sur les Commodités du Rouergue en l552 (Toulouse, l969) passim.
49. The threat to establish élections where there had previously been none became one of the many bargaining chips used by royal councilors and governors to coerce local political elites to accept higher taxes and 'loans.' Some councilors, however, were sincere believers in centralization and uniform institutional arrangements ofr tax collection in the entire realm. Marillac is an interesting example. Major, Representative Government..., 568-7l. See also Collins, Fiscal Limits..., 4l, 94. And D. Hickey, The Coming of French Absolutism..., passim.
50. Collins, Fiscal Limits..., l48.
51. O. Ranum, Richelieu and the councilors of Louis XIII (Oxford, l963) passim.
52. O. Ranum, "Richelieu, l'Histoire et les Historiographes" in Richelieu et la Culture, Colloque de la Sorbonne (Paris, l988) l25-l37.
53. Collins, Fiscal Limits..., l64.
54. W. Beik, Absolutism and Society in l7th century France (Cambridge, England, l985) passim.
55. Ibid., 55.
56. Regencies were therefore periods of political reflection, indeed, politicization, of larger segments of the population. Note J. Corette's observation: "le seul catalogue de la Bibliothèque Nationale contient 7,500 titres de pamphlets entre l610 et l7l5, la majorité concernant les années l6l4-l628, c'est à dire à chaque affaiblissement de l'autorité centrale ou lors de la minorité du Roi." L`Etat Baroque, ed. by H. Mechoulan (Paris, l985) l0. It is possible to test the hypothesis that depoliticization occurred as kings became older, or very old, but to do so would take us beyond the scope of this paper.
57. N. Elias, State Formation and Civilization; the Civilizing Process, trans. by E. Jephcott (Oxford, l982).
58. J. P. Labatut, Les Ducs et Pairs de France au XVIIe siècle (Paris, l972), and Noblesse Pouvoir, et Société en France au XVIIe siècle (Limoges, l987) A glimpse into the competition for offices and pensions among the grands is provided in the secret clauses of the treaty of Loudon (May 3, l6l6) published by J. Corette, Etat Baroque 66-70.
59. C. Petit-Dutaillis, in E. Lavisse, Histoire de France (Paris, l9ll) 4, pt. 2, 229.
60. O. Ranum, " Courtesy and Absolutism, and the Rise of the French State," Journal of Modern History 52 (l980) 426-5l.
61. At his death the royal town criers intoned this attribute along with his courage and piety, in the streets of Paris. R. Giesey, The Royal Funeral Ceremony in Renaissance France (Geneva, 1960).
62. In a lecture on the origins of the republic of letters given at the Johns Hopkins University in l987.
63. See the graph showing the decline of publications in jurisprudence, and theology (not works of piety) in H.-J. Martin, Livre, Pouvoir, et Société en France au XVIIe siècle (Geneva, l969) II, l065.
64. David Hume, Letter to Gilbert Elliot of Minto, July 2, l757, in The Letters of David Hume (Oxford, l932) I, 255, "Is it not strange that, at a time when have lost our Princes, our Parliaments, our independent Government, even the Presence of our chief Nobility, are unhappy, in our Accent & Pronunciation, speak a very corrupt Dialect of the Tongue which we make use of; is it not strange, I say, that, in these Circumstances, we shou'd really be the People most distinguished for literature in Europe?" The question comes just after noting that Robertson is about to publish a book of history.
65. P. Bénichou, Le Sacre de l'Ecrivain, l750-l830 (Paris, l973) passim.
66. A. de Tocqueville, L'Ancien Régime et la Révolution (Paris, l887) II, and war saved the bureaucracy from destruction by the Revolution. J. Solé, Questions of the French Revolution (New York, l989) l78.
67. A. Joanna effectively reaffirms the classic interpretation of exclusionism by the state of the nobility, not only corporately, but individually. The absence of concern about control of seigneurial justice in noble pamphlet literature may be deceptive. Le Devoir de Révolte (Paris, l988). See also Klaus Malettke, Opposition und Konspiration unter Ludwig XIV (Goettingen, l976).
68. R. Sève, "Le Discours Juridique dans la première moitié du XVIIe siècle," in L'Etat Baroque, ed. by H. Mechoulan, (Paris, l985) l2l-45.
69. M. Marion echoes authentically the l8th century sources in his aritlce on seigneurial justice, Dictionnaire..., 320. A remarkable if somewhat ironic eye-witness account of seigneurial justice is in Pierre Prion, Scribe, ed. by E. Le Roy Ladurie and O. Ranum (Paris, l985) l0lf. The procedure of cruentation is carried out, that is the body of a suspect is passed over that of the deceased, while observors attempt to discern if his body changes color or otherwise reveals guilt. See also Y. Castan, "Attitudes et Motivations dans les Conflits entre Seigneurs et Communautés...," Villes de l'Europe Méditerranéene et de l'Europe occidentale (Nice, l969) 233-239.
70. The Well-Ordered Police State (New Haven, l983). See also, for France, J.C. Rule, "Royal Ministers and Governmental Reform during the Last Decades of Louis XIV's Reign, The Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850, Proceedings (Gainsville, 1973), 1-35.
71. The literature on this subject remains inchoate, but the early formulation (prior to that by M. Foucault) deserves to be cited. E. Chill, "Religion and Mendicity in l7th Century France," International Review of Social History (l962) 400-26. For an understanding of the rise of secrecy, A. Tallon, La Compagnie du Saint Sacrement (Paris, 1990), 65-78.
72. The different priorities of the monarchy and the state may be observed over the longue durée, through the study of the spaces each created and favored. Country chateaux (Loire Valley, Versailles), the capital, Paris, and city squares and urban development (eg. Marseilles and Montpellier) there is a structural opposition between the two, not two polarities of the same phenomenon. The subject merits much more research, but see Hilary Ballon's forthcoming book on Henry IV's Paris, and the author's outdated "Court and Capital.." in J. Rule, ed., Louis XIV and the Craft of Kingship (Columbus, l969) 264-85.
73. T. Brennan, Public Drinking and Popular Culture in l8th Century Paris (Princeton, l988), A. Williams, The Police of Paris in the l8th Century (Baton Rouge, l979), and R. M. Schwartz, Policing the Poor in l8th Century France (Chapel Hill, l988).
74. A. Soman's "Press, Pulpit, and Censorship in France before Richelieu" superbly elucidates the deeply religious impulses for control of thought by the state, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society l20 (l976) 439-63. H.-J. Martin, Livre, Pouvoir..., II 695ff.
75. Bibliothèque Nationale, Ms. fr. 22107. See J. Given, "The Inquisition of Languedoc and the Medieval Technology of Power," American Historical Review 94 n. 2 (l989) 35l for assertions and evidence that the church, through its investigative and recordkeeping procedures, preceded the state's judicial sphere. Given's point that the inquisitor could create projected social realities, is an interesting, if obvious (for history, not for anthropology) analytical direction that merits more research. This author sees no boundary that could or would inhibit the transfer of ecclesiastical procedure to royal procedure, and he has discerned patterns of transfer from the church to the state in other aspects of French culture. See my "Courtesy and Absolutism..., cited in n. 60).
76. The ability to create standardized blanks, and to have them printed up for use on a large scale, is confirmed for the church by this xerox of an état d'âme. G. Couton and H.-J. Martin, "Une Source d'histoire sociale: le registre de l'état d'âmes," Revue d'Histoire économique et sociale 45 (1967) 244- 253.
77. "Engendering the State: Family Formation and State Building in Early Modern France," French Historical Studies l6 (l989) 4-27.
78. Alain Lottin, "Vie et Mort du Couple: Difficultés Conjugales et Divorces...," XVIIe Siècle l0l- l03 (l974) 59-78l For evidence that seigneurs were still influential in arranging marriages, especially for women who might emigrate from the seigneury, see J.-M. Gouesse, "La Formation du Couple en Basse-Normandie," Ibid., 52.
79. Ibid. l2. The French are exhorted to marry and be prolific, like the Romans, presumably the ancient Romans.
80. Honnêteté et Relations Sociales en Languedoc au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, l974).
81. D. Bien, The Calas Affair (Princeton, l960); D. Van Kley, The Damiens Affair (Princeton, l984), and J. Dewald, The Formation of a Provincial Nobility (Princeton, l980) See Dewald, Appendix A, for profoundly important conclusions on the relationship between the law and judicial decisions, in criminal cases.
82. R. Mandrou, Magistrats et Sorciers en France au XVIIe siècle (Paris, l968).
83. Hands of Honor: Artisans and their World, l550-1650 (Ithaca, l988).
84. O. Ranum, "Lese-Majesté Divine...," Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History, 9 (1982) 68-80, and D. Potter, "A Treason Trial in Sixteenth-century France: the Fall of Marshal du Biez, 1549-1551," English Historical Review 105 (1990) 595-623.
85. Joanna, Le Devoir de Révolte..., passim. While the state pressed the nobility to stop dueling in the name of preservation of nobles from violent death, it executed some of the nobles that would have, in an earlier period, been merely exiled or executed in effigy. The triumph of the Etat administratif over the Etat de Justice, to repeat Joanna's formulation, required quite new clientage networks with exclusive ministerial control. See S. Kettering, Patrons, Brokers, and Clients in l7th Century France (New York and Oxford, l986).
86. This has been shown in various ways. One of the most recent is Michèle Fogel, Les Cérémonies de l'Information (Paris, l989).
87. "The Conseil Privé and the Parlements in the Age of Louis XIV: a study in French Absolutism," Trans.Amer. Phil. Soc. 77, pt. 2 (l987) l-l62.
88. "Sovereignty, Absolutism and the Formation of the law in l7th Century France," Past and Present l22 (l989) 36-l22.
89. While still evoking a state-society dichotomy, R. Mousnier's "La Participation des gouvernés à l'activité des governants dans la France du XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles," Schweizer Beitrage zur Allgemeinen Geschichte 20 (l962-l963) offers an approach to discerning political distances, degrees, dignities, coercions, and contestation in the Ancien Régime.
90. The major exception is the Protestant minority, excluded quietly from guilds, courts, and families, a prime example of how legislation, in this instance, was modified slowly, but inexorably, to conform to the general exclusion of Protestants. A. Van Deursen, Professions et Métiers Interdits, un aspect de l'histoire de la Révocation de l'Edit de Nantes (Groningen, l960)
91. Farr, Hands of Honor..., Conclusion.
92. The codification movement lies at the heart of this subject. While there are older treatments of this matter, A. Hamscher's work on the subject will be definitive. See his The Parlement of Paris after the Fronde, l653-l673 (Pittsburgh, l976) Chapter 6.
93. T.J. Schaeper, The French Council of Commerce, l700-l7l5 (Columbus, l983). An important early precedent was the papal monarchy, P. Prodi, The Papal Prince (Cambridge, 1982) 55, for state sponsorship of alum production.
94. Maps in eighteenth-century France were designed in ways that deliberately minimized "those features of land forms and settlements which make one place look different from another...," J.W. Konvitz, "The Nation-state, Paris and Cartography in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century France," Journal of Historical Geography 16 (1990) 3-16.
P.S. I am appending James Tracy's summaries of the evaluations of three scholars who read this article for the press that was considering publication:
reader 1: rather mannered at the start, to page 5, before it gets down to tintacks (more or less) - around p. 18 re fiscalism, what about the North and Thomas argument that fiscalism did force rulers to make trade offs and so maybe decreased their power? - ver well researched and completely up with recent literature - generally an excellent piece.
reader 2: a rather confusing romp through early modern European history, full of interesting suggestions, but lacking a firm structure and coverage of the continent.
reader 3: a disaster. It is a rich, learned essay filled with insights; but it rambles all over the map; covers far too many historiographical issues that would be of interest only to western specialists; and wavers between France and other countries. Hidden within it is an outline of what monarchs in action could do, and Ranum is a brilliant historian; but the essay is sloppy and I don't think it fits in the collection.