By Philip Benedict
Combining the efforts of French and North American students, towns and Social swap in Early sleek France includes six unique stories exploring vital and formerly ignored points of French city historical past lower than the Ancien Regime. those essays are preceded via an intensive creation which locations them of their ancient and historiographic context and surveys the most important adjustments skilled by way of France's towns over the interval from the 16th century to the eve of the revolution. This assortment seeks immediately to synthesize early glossy French historical past and to indicate new avenues for study, providing an illuminating photo of the numerous modifications gone through by means of French society from the top of the center a while to 1879.
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Additional resources for Cities and Social Change in Early Modern France
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.
120 With a rising population and a stable or declining number of legal officials, this level of taxation could support increasing peacetime military expenditures; the growth of cities such as Cherbourg and Brest in this period was fuelled by their large naval installations, and the impact of military spending on towns such as Belfort or Metz has already been suggested. Still, the great age of the growth of the state was over. The expansion of aristocratic and rentier elements within France’s cities did not entirely cease as a result.
With time, this guet and its companion, the royal guards, effectively replaced the old citizen militia, giving the capital something approximating a modern police force. 94 In the final analysis, the erosion of the effective independence of most cities probably resulted at least as much from the simple growth of royal military power as it did from the administrative changes just detailed. The events of the Wars of Religion demonstrated with particular clarity the serious difficulties that rebellious cities could still cause for the crown and thus the need to retain their loyalty.