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Power and politics in old regime France 1720-1745

posted on 2023-06-07, 21:14 authored by Peter Campbell
A 180,000 word (double-length) monograph which is the first research book on French politics 1720-1745 in English or French, based upon a very large documentary basis. It reconstructs the period's politics in a detailed way almost entirely upon a documentary basis, many never used before, and is widely used by authors of books on eightenth-century France. It offers a diferent analysis of the state, which I call the 'baroque stae' and how power functions in terms of patronage and clientage. Political management is shown to be of key iportance in resolving crises. Part 2 offers a new analysis of relations between crown and parlement that is credited with renewing the subject in France and has been influential elsewhere. It was in RAE 2000.


Publication status

  • Published



Page range

xii +420pp





Department affiliated with

  • History Publications


180,000 words and a deeply archival reconstruction of French political practice from 1720 to 1745, a period entirely neglected until this study. Beyond providing the first in depth study of the period and the first study of the career of Cardinal Fleury (who governed France), it argues for the importance of patronage as a key element in political management. It reinterprets the nature of the 'baroque state' and contains in Part 1 an analysis of the role of the court, and Part 2 constitutes an influential interpretation of the history of the Parlement de Paris. Its identification of the parti jansniste and its practices has also been influential.

Full text available

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  • Yes

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