Search results

The assertion of royal authority
Author: John J. Hurt

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.

John J. Hurt

President Harlay’s fealty to the government. As soon as the Parlement of Paris had agreed to pay, Le Peletier used its example to 71 Louis XIV and the parlements persuade the provincial tribunals that it was their turn to step forward.15 Under Louis XIII, a finance minister would have found this a hard job, but times had clearly changed. Most provincial tribunals compliantly promised to pay from 200,000 to 300,000 livres, with tiny Pau settling on 54,000 livres. In sum, the controller general collected an unscheduled 3.15 million livres from the parlements with no more

in Louis XIV and the parlements
Open Access (free)
John J. Hurt

as ‘restrained’ and ‘passive’ and its remonstrances as ‘moderate’, the occasional fracas over Unigenitus aside. Much the same has been said for the provincial tribunals. Recent scholarship has attributed this relative calm to the skill with which the ministers of Louis XV, especially his prime minister, Cardinal Fleury, bribed key magistrates and outmanoeuvred others, knowing when to compromise and when to stand firm. On this reading of things, ‘management’ took precedence over coercion, manipulation overshadowed issues, and the influence of personal relationships

in Louis XIV and the parlements
John J. Hurt

on the provincial tribunals, citing the nominal consent of the Parlement of Paris as an example to them all; and he repeated his threat to create new offices if the provincials did not agree to pay the new loan in full. Most agreed to pay the sums demanded soon after they received Chamillart’s letter; those which demurred did so in vain, with the exception of Metz. Because the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) had taken away some of its territory, Metz obtained a reduction, bringing the anticipated yield of the new loan to 5.4 millions. Overall, the controller general had

in Louis XIV and the parlements
John J. Hurt

, the Conseil d’État et des Finances, which also issued decrees concerning the tribunals. Even before he became controller general of finances in 1665, Colbert had taken over all political and financial relations with the law courts, having driven the aging Chancellor Séguier out of most areas of domestic administration, a sharp break with traditional practice.2 For the most part, Colbert approached the Parlement of Paris and the provincial tribunals with firmness but with no a priori intention of reducing their role in French public life, let alone in the registration

in Louis XIV and the parlements
The bid for cooperation
John J. Hurt

declaration scarcely altered other aspects of title I of the ordinance of 1667 or of the declaration of 1673, both of which retained their standing as law. Like the ordinance, the new declaration imposed time limits on the use of remonstrances, giving the Parlement of Paris one week in which to submit a remonstrance, starting from the day that it voted to issue one, and setting six weeks as the term for the provincial tribunals. Like the ordinance and the declaration, Vincennes avoided the word remonstrances and perpetuated the circumlocution, ‘what it [the Parlement

in Louis XIV and the parlements
Open Access (free)
John J. Hurt

7 Sequels The regent’s victory in the lit de justice came opportunely, as his government still faced two troublesome, leftover issues. The first involved the Parlement of Rennes. Lethargic in the first half of 1718, the Breton tribunal roused itself that summer in sympathy with the Parlement of Paris and opened another political front, so to speak. Had the Bretons prevailed, they might have cancelled the advantages accruing to the government from the lit de justice, setting a bad example for other provincial tribunals and possibly inspiring the Parisian

in Louis XIV and the parlements
John J. Hurt

the provincial tribunals, where dissident groups 40 Victory over the parlements were stronger, sought instead to impede registration in all the ways that they had perfected, continuing their sublime disregard for title I of the ordinance of 1667. Colbert began by arranging for the first presidents of the parlements and the Vialet farmers to work together in support of these edicts, a benefit he derived from the client networks that included both groups. The meetings went quite well. Brûlart of Dijon strongly supported the interests of the domain farm with his

in Louis XIV and the parlements