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Feudalism, Venality, and RevolutionProvincial Assemblies in Late-Old Regime France$
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Stephen Miller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526148377

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526148384

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
(p.iii) Feudalism, venality, and revolution
Author(s):

Stephen Miller

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526148384.00004

Alexis de Tocqueville’s The Old Régime and the French Revolution has long been the starting point for students of this era. Tocqueville argued that a centuries-old process of royal centralization stripped the nobles of any role in the government. Nobles no longer levied taxes, published edicts, or called out the militia to uphold the law. France thus differed from Austria and Prussia, where the coercive aspects of feudalism continued to bind the peasantry to the manor. France also differed from England, where the great landowners administered the country and settled disputes as justices of the peace. In France, the nobles’ defining attributes were ranks, titles, and privileges, which did not create common interests with other royal subjects. Their lack of power made it impossible for them to do anything constructive on behalf of their compatriots, shape public opinion, or lead the rest of society....

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