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Urban Protest in Seventeenth-Century France

Urban Protest in Seventeenth-Century France
The Culture of Retribution


  • Date Published: February 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521575850

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About the Authors
  • This lucid and wide-ranging survey is the first study in English to identify a distinctive urban phase in the history of the early modern crowd. Through close analysis of the behaviour of protesters and authorities in more than fifteen seventeenth-century French cities, William Beik explores a full spectrum of urban revolt from spontaneous individual actions to factional conflicts, culminating in the dramatic Ormee movement in Bordeaux. The 'culture of retribution' was a form of popular politics with roots in the religious wars and implications for future democratic movements. Vengeful crowds stoned and pillaged not only intrusive tax collectors but even their own magistrates, whom they viewed as civic traitors. By examining in depth this interaction of crowds and authorities, Professor Beik has provided a central contribution to the study of urban power structures and popular culture.

    • First comparative study of French urban unrest in seventeenth-century France
    • Based on primary sources
    • Makes a substantial contribution to the history of crowd behaviour
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521575850
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 2 maps 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of maps and illustrations
    List of tables
    1. Introduction: urban protest
    2. Everyday resistance
    3. The culture of retribution
    4. The position of the magistrates
    5. The ambivalence of the magistrates
    6. Notable uprisings before 1661
    7. Notable uprisings under Louis XIV
    8. Factional parties and popular followings
    9. Princely leaders and popular parties
    10. Popular parties in Bordeaux's Fronde
    11. Conclusion: the culture of retribution
    Select bibliography.

  • Author

    William Beik, Emory University, Atlanta

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