Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Feudalism, Venality, and RevolutionProvincial Assemblies in Late-Old Regime France$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen Miller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526148377

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526148384

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 18 September 2021

Provincial assemblies and the revolutionary challenge to patrimonialism

Provincial assemblies and the revolutionary challenge to patrimonialism

(p.138) 5 Provincial assemblies and the revolutionary challenge to patrimonialism
Feudalism, Venality, and Revolution

Stephen Miller

Manchester University Press

In this chapter, I question how it came to pass that wealthy commoners with vested interests in the Old Regime, through the ownership of offices, led a revolution against it in 1789. Venal officers had status and authority within their jurisdictions, and often extracted patronage from the king in return for implementing royal policies. The crown introduced the provincial assemblies in an effort to replace office holders, interested in defending their fiefdoms, with public-spirited men focused on the problems facing the country. Tens of thousands of office holders of the Third Estate protested against this attack on their jurisdictions by extoling their record of public service. They thereby came to envision a bureaucracy immune from intrusive policies such as the assemblies. A bureaucracy, they believed, would offer regular salaries, and promotions based on experience and talent. They associated such an administration with the national interests and relinquished their attachment to venal posts within a failing monarchy. As a result of this process, venal jurists, in great numbers in the National Assembly, spearheaded the abolition of privileges and the creation of a modern bureaucracy in the first years of the Revolution.

Keywords:   venality of office, parlements, state breakdown, National Assembly, Bureaucracy

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.