The State in Early Modern France / Edition 2

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A new edition of James B. Collins's acclaimed synthesis that challenged long-standing views of the origins of modern states and absolute monarchy through an analysis of early modern Europe's most important continental state. Incorporating recent scholarship on the French state and his own research, James B. Collins has revised the text throughout. He examines recent debates on "absolutism"; presents a fresh interpretation of the Fronde and of French society in the eighteenth century; includes additional material on French colonies and overseas trade; and ties recent theoretical work into a new chapter on Louis XIV. He argues that the monarchical state came into being around 1630, matured between 1690 and 1730, and, in a new final chapter, argues that the period may 1787 to June 1789 was an interregnum, with the end of the Ancien Régime coming not in 1789 but with the dissolution of the Assembly of Notables on 25 May 1787.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Collins' work provides an excellent introduction to the workings of the French state while eschewing theoretical considerations and methodological debates beyond the immediate needs of students....the book proves itself to be a valuable compendium of information about French political culture, foreign policy, and state organization....I would recommend this book as an excellent introduction to the organization and transformation of the French state in the early modern period." Sixteenth Century Journal

"James Collins is one of the most knowledgeable and perceptive students of early modern France, especially in matters of taxation. Therefore, when he sets out to provide a new formation for the evolution of the state during this period, it merits close attention." The Historian

"This is an outstandingly good book..." William McCuaig, The Sixteenth Century Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521130257
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Series: New Approaches to European History Series, #42
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 433
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James B. Collins is Professor of History at Georgetown University. His previous publications include From Tribes to Nation: The Making of France, c.500–1799 (2002), The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution (2002) and Classes, Estates and Order in Early Modern Brittany (1994).
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations

Preface to the second edition


Chronology of events



Historical background: the growth of the French state to 1627 1

1 The crucible, 1620s-1630s 36

2 The twenty years' crisis, 1635-1654 71

3 Louis XIV: laying the foundation, 1654-1683 100

4 The debacle 152

5 The mature monarchical state 191

6 A new France takes shape 239

7 Reform, renewal, collapse 291

8 The interregnum, 1787-1789 342

Original bibliography 359

New bibliography 366

Index 375

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