Cities and Social Change in Early Modern France by Philip Benedict

By Philip Benedict

Combining the efforts of French and North American students, towns and Social switch in Early smooth France includes six unique reviews exploring very important and formerly ignored points of French city heritage below the Ancien Regime. those essays are preceded by way of an in depth advent which areas them of their ancient and historiographic context and surveys the main adjustments skilled via France's towns over the interval from the 16th century to the eve of the revolution. This assortment seeks instantly to synthesize early sleek French historical past and to indicate new avenues for learn, delivering an illuminating photo of the numerous variations passed through via French society from the tip of the center a while to 1879.

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149 In any case, the equality embodied by such institutions was unquestionably an equality among men who possessed certain qualities of education and refinement. 150 Between those who did and did not possess these qualities, relations took on a new distance and formality. 151 Perhaps the clearest example of all is the change in relations between masters and servants. Well into the eighteenth century, this relationship was one of close physical proximity and a strong element of paternalism. 153 A series of broader transformations lie behind these changes: the spread of market relationships, the increasing cultivation of domestic intimacy, the weakening hold of traditional Catholicism, and the diffusion of egalitarian sentiments, which injected a new awkwardness into relationships with people of manifestly less wealth.

Figures in parentheses are those for cities acquired by the king of France over the course of this period for dates prior to their attachment to the kingdom. ) OVERVIEW 23 1Including surrounding terroir. For sources for population estimates, see Appendix, p. 60. 24 CITIES AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN EARLY MODERN FRANCE growth of cities. For the purposes of this analysis, it makes sense to divide the centuries between 1500 and 1789 into the three periods defined by the course of France’s broader economic and demographic history: the era of buoyant nationwide growth that ran from the late fifteenth century to the outbreak of the Wars of Religion in 1562; the subsequent century and a half of intermittent domestic strife and costly international warfare lasting to the death of Louis XIV; and finally the renewed demographic and economic upturn of the eighteenth century.

Above all, they became the driving force that carried through to implementation in many cities ideas already advanced by early mercantilist thinkers, urging the forced internment of the poor in workhouses. 112 Early support for the CounterReformation indeed appears to have come primarily from the officiers and lawyers, although the movement ultimately altered the behavior of all classes of town dwellers. 113 If other studies corroborate these findings, it will be clear that even the religious changes of this period were influenced by those two forces shaping urban society so powerfully in this period, the multiplication of the ranks of officiers and lawyers and the growth of state power.

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