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The political culture of absolute monarchy that structured French society into the eighteenth century is generally believed to have emerged late in the sixteenth century. This new interpretation of the origins of French absolutism, however, connects the fifteenth-century conciliar reform movement in the Catholic Church to the practice of absolutism by demonstrating that the monarchy appropriated political models derived from canon law. Tyler Lange reveals how the reform of the Church offered a crucial motive and pretext for a definitive shift in the practice and conception of monarchy, and explains how this First French Reformation enabled Francis I and subsequent monarchs to use the Gallican Church as a useful deposit of funds and judicial power. In so doing, the book identifies the theoretical origins of later absolutism and the structural reasons for the failure of French Protestantism.Read more
- Offering a new perspective on the origins of the French Old Regime, this book interweaves religious, political, legal and social elements to give a comprehensive explanation for political developments
- Extends the concept of the Reformation, both Catholic and Protestant, to politics
- Draws on extensive source evidence from pleadings before the Parlement to link legal doctrine with constitutional practice
Reviews & endorsements
"In this ambitious book on an understudied area of French history, Tyler Lange argues that the basic political structures of the French Old Regime had their roots in canon law theories and in the ecclesiastical jurisprudence of the Parlement of Paris in the last decades of the fifteenth and the first decades of the sixteenth century."
Jotham Parson, The Journal of Modern HistorySee more reviews
"Lange’s impressive research in the manuscript registers of the Parlement has produced an important book that widens our understanding of early modern France."
James K. Fargec, H-France
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- Date Published: April 2014
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107049369
- length: 310 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 160 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.57kg
- contains: 1 b/w illus. 1 table
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Introduction: the harvest of medieval ecclesiology
1. Law and political culture in late medieval France
2. 'The true Church is in the Kingdom of France'
3. Absolute monarchy and ministerial monarchy, 1515–1526
4. Heresy and the absolute power
5. The practice of sovereignty
Conclusion: the emergence of the Old Regime
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