Read e-book online A Social History of France, 1789-1914 PDF

By Peter McPhee

ISBN-10: 0333997506

ISBN-13: 9780333997505

This quantity offers an authoritative synthesis of contemporary paintings at the social historical past of France and is now completely revised and up-to-date to hide the 'long 19th century' from 1789-1914. Peter McPhee deals either a readable narrative and a particular, coherent argument approximately this century. McPhee explores issues similar to peasant interplay with the surroundings, the altering adventure of labor and relaxation, the character of crime and protest, altering demographic styles and family members constitution, the non secular practices of staff and peasants, and the ideology and inner repercussions of colonisation.

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The extraordinary complexity of the administration was matched in the organization of the Church. The archdioceses varied enormously in size, from the massive area of the sees of Tours and Bourges to the small, thinly populated see of Embrun in Provence and other ‘évêchés crottés’ or ‘muddy bishoprics’. The priests of the Cerdagne in the eastern Pyrenees remained subject to the bishop of Seo-de-Urgel in Spain. Most striking was the contrast in the density of bishoprics, heavily concentrated in the south as a legacy of the fourteenth-century residence of the papacy at Avignon.

Nevertheless, the alacrity of the Nantais bourgeoisie’s response to the invitation to political participation reveals how much further the crisis of absolutist France went beyond friction between nobles and monarch. The calling of the Estates-General facilitated the expression of tensions at every level of French society, and revealed social divisions which belied the juridical conception of a society of ‘orders’. The remarkable vibrancy of debate in the months before May 1789 was also a function of the suspension of press censorship and of Louis’s indecision about the procedures to be followed at Versailles.

In theory based on a clear distinction of power and function between divinely-ordained king, the Church and the nobility, the political culture of the French élite was in reality a world held together by countervailing tensions. Conflicts at court – where noblewomen played an important role – advanced the special claims of factions and corporate bodies for special protection and the spoils of office. In return for the spiritual sanction it gave to kings and their powers within a Gallican tradition, a role carried out at every level from coronation to the Te Deum and the reading of royal decrees in parish churches, the Catholic Church expected guarantees of its corporate status, its privileges and its monopoly of public worship and morals.

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A Social History of France, 1789-1914 by Peter McPhee


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