The Origins of French Absolutism, 1598-1661 / Edition 1

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"In 1598, France emerged exhausted from nearly forty years of damaging civil and religious warfare. By 1661 this same country was the leading power in Europe and set to embark on one of the most celebrated periods of its history. The system of government founded during this period became known to historians as royal 'absolutism'. It was closely associated with both Cardinal Richelieu and his successor Cardinal Mazarin who, in turn, were seen as instrumental in brokering the changes that took place within both government and society at this time." Alan James argues that there was no conscious plan to modernise France or to create a new, more centralised and bureaucratic form of government. Instead the ministries of Richelieu and Mazarin were based on the traditional values of religion, war, and privilege. Organised thematically, the book examines the key priorities of government in turn to come to an assessment of the success of French absolutism, defined in its own terms.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

On Alan James, 'He writes capably, is scholarly in approach and backs up his arguments with judiciously chosen documents.'

Richard Wilkinson, History Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582369009
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/26/2006
  • Series: Seminar Studies Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan James is a lecturer in the Laughton Naval History Unit of the Department of War Studies, King's College London. His is author of The Navy and Government in Early Modern France, 1572-1661 (Boydell, 2004) for which he was awarded the prize of 'Best Young Academic Author of the Year' by the college.

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Table of Contents

1 Early Bourbon monarchy 3
2 Religion 17
3 War 33
4 Government 48
5 Social order 67
6 The origins of French absolutism? 83
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