War and Government in the French Provinces

War and Government in the French Provinces

by David Potter
     
 

Few studies of the history of provincial France have hitherto spanned the conventional medieval/early-modern divide, and David Potter's detailed examination of war and government in Picardy, a region of France hitherto neglected by historians, has much to say about the development of French absolutism. Picardy emerged as a province after the conquests effected by… See more details below

Overview

Few studies of the history of provincial France have hitherto spanned the conventional medieval/early-modern divide, and David Potter's detailed examination of war and government in Picardy, a region of France hitherto neglected by historians, has much to say about the development of French absolutism. Picardy emerged as a province after the conquests effected by Louis XI between 1470 and 1477, but its character was profoundly shaped by the impact of the Habsburg-Valois Wars between 1521 and 1559. Picardy became the most exposed frontier region of the French kingdom and suffered repeated devastations, which culminated in the 1550s. Though the province had in the main no regularly organised estates and was relatively close to the centres of royal government and power, it had to be incorporated in the kingdom by inducements to its numerous nobility and urban oligarchies. Its experience of the first period of absolutism provides an enlightening contrast with that of other, more outlying provinces: the Picard nobility was notable for the extent of its participation in the army, the court and the government of France. David Potter provides a detailed analysis of the organisation of French military power in the province and the effects of war on town and countryside, and the work concludes with Picardy about to enter a new and difficult period of civil war.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521431897
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/17/1993
Pages:
412
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
Notes on transcriptions of documents, units of money and measures
Introduction1
1Return to allegiance: Picardy and the Franco-Burgundian Wars, 1470-9329
2The provincial governors and politics65
3The governors' staff and household92
4The Picard nobility and royal service113
Gouverneurs et capitaines117
Criteria of appointment and contacts at court127
The lesser nobility as royal commissaires140
5Military organisation in Picardy during the Habsburg-Valois wars155
The cavalry158
The infantry168
The war commissariat179
Army finance182
Provisioning188
6'Les fruictz que la guerre rapporte': the effects of war on the
Picard countryside, 1521-60200
7War, taxation and the towns233
The administrative structures233
The scale of taxation: taille royale241
Military taxes: the solde des gens de pied246
Sales taxes247
Forced loans and special levies250
Political negotiations and patronage254
The crown and municipal office258
8Peace negotiations and the formation of the frontier in Picardy, 1521-60265
Conclusion294
Appendices308
Bibliography343
Index380

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