This study examines the political and economic relationship between Louis XIV and the parlements of France, the parlement of Paris and all the provincial tribunals. It explains how the king managed to overcome the century-old opposition of the parlements to new legislation, and to impose upon them the strict political discipline for which his reign is known. The work calls into question the current revisionist understanding of the reign of Louis XIV and insists that, after all, absolute government had a harsh reality at its core. When the king died in 1715, the regent, Philippe d'Orleans, after a brief attempt to befriend the parlements through compromise, resorted to the authoritarian methods of Louis XIV and perpetuated the Sun King's political and economic legacy.
The revolt of democratic Christianity and the rise of public opinion
least, there was a great deal of difference between royal and governmental rhetoric on the absolutist power of the King and actual reality. Indeed, in these years the parlementsofFrance (although we
must remember that some provinces did not have parlements) asserted themselves as representatives and defenders of France. In the
Remonstrances of 1755, for example, it was stated that ‘the
Parlement of Paris and ... the other parlements form a single body
and are only different divisions of the royal Parlement’, and the
parlements of Rouen, Rennes, Bordeaux