The Dynastic State and the Army under Louis XIV: Royal Service and Private Interest, 1661-1701

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The book seeks to explain the development of the army between the end of Cardinal Mazarin's ministry and the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession. During this period the army was reshaped, not simply through the assurance of an adequate money supply, the promulgation of reforming edicts and the imposition of tighter ministerial control. Of even greater significance was the awareness of Louis XIV and his ministers of the need to pay careful attention to the condition of the king's officers, and to take account of those officers' military, political, social and cultural aspirations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rowlands's book is monumental in scope, superbly researched and written, and highly original, overturning many accepted interpretations. It is an impressive tour de force."
- Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Valuable.... Based on solid archival research..."
- The Journal of Military History

"In this generally excellent and important study, Guy Rowlands displays a mastery of military administration, monachical practice, and elite society that raises the bar for discussing the state and the army of Louis XIV."
- Journal of Modern History

"...represents an important contribution to our understanding of seventeenth-centruy France... Rowlands' study of the nuts and bolts of army administration sheds considerable light not only on the history of war, but also on the history of the nobility, of finance, and of the state."
- Sixteenth Century Journal, Paul Cohen, Université de Paris-VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis)

"Guy Rowlands has given us an important book, indespensable reading for everyone in the field."
- Canadian Journal of History, John J. Hurt, University of Delaware

"...ambitious and provacative..."
- Seventeenth-Century News

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Guy Rowlands was lecturer in early modern history at Exeter College, Oxford, 1995-98, and is now Pybus lecturer in European history at Newnham College, Cambridge. This is his first book.

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Table of Contents

List of maps
List of abbreviations
General introduction: 'Absolute monarchy', dynasticism and the standing army 1
Pt. I 'Patrimonial bureaucracy': The Le Tellier dynasty and the Ministry of War
1 The Secretary of State for War and the dynastic interests of the Le Tellier family 32
2 The ebb and flow of Le Tellier power, 1661-1701 51
3 The use and abuse of servants: the Ministry of War, venality and civilian power in the army 73
4 Financing war: the treasury of the Extraordinaire des Guerres 109
5 Corruption and the pursuit of self-interest in the Ministry of War 135
Pt. II The forging of the French officer corps and the standing army under Louis XIV
6 In the name of sustainability: reforming the structure of the standing army and the officer corps 161
7 The business of a regiment 200
8 The pressures and temptations of service 232
Pt. III The high command of the French armies
9 The commanders-in-chief and the delegation of royal authority 275
10 The appointment of general officers 296
11 The summits of ambition and the rewards of good service: the bienfaits du roi and the high command 318
Conclusion: The preservation of the dynasty 336
App. 1 Defining the grands 363
App. 2 The proportion of revenue generated by the Extraordinaire des Guerres as a 'primary receiver' 365
Bibliography 367
Index 388
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