In The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Regime, an international team of thirty contributors survey and present current thinking about the world of pre-revolutionary France and Europe.
The idea of the Ancien Regime was invented by the French revolutionaries to define what they hoped to destroy and replace. But it was not a precise definition, and although historians have found it conceptually useful, there is wide disagreement about what the Ancien Regime's main features were, how they worked, how old they were, how far they stretched, how dynamic or inert they were, and how far the revolutionaries succeeded in their ambitions to eradicate them.
In this wide-ranging and authoritative collection, old and newer areas of research into the Ancien Regime are presented and assessed, and there has been no attempt to impose any sort of consensus. The result shows what a lively field of historical enquiry the Ancien Regime remains, and points the way towards a range of promising new directions for thinking and writing about the intriguing complex of historical problems which it continues to pose.
About the Author
William Doyle is Emeritus Professor of History and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol.
He is Emeritus Professor of History and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction, William Doyle
Section I: Government
2. Absolute Monarchy, Peter R. Campbell
3. Diplomacy, Hamish Scott
4. Armed Forces, David Parrott
5. Finance, Joel Felix
6. Parlements and Provincial Estates, Julian Swann
Section II: Society
7. Nobility, John Shovlin
8. Bourgeoisie, Sarah Maza
9. Estates, Orders, and Corps, Gail Bossenga
10. Poverty, Alan Forrest
11. Gender, Julia Hardwick
Section III: Economy
12. Demography, Jack A. Goldstone
13. Feudalism, Anthony Crubaugh
14. Agriculture, Peter M. Jones
15. Commerce, Silvia Marzagalli
16. Slavery and Serfdom, William Doyle
Section IV: Religion
17. The Established Church, Nigel Aston
18. Popular Religion, Robin Briggs
19. Jansenism, Thomas O'Connor
20. Dissent and Toleration, Marisa Linton
Section V: Culture
21. Education, Dorinda Outram
22. Sociability, Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire
23. Patronage, Mark Ledbury
24. The Public Sphere, Thomas E. Kaiser
Section VI: Solvents?
25. Enlightenment, Thomas Munck
26. Technological Change, Christine MacLeod and Alessandro Nuvolari
27. Revolution, Michael Rapport
Section VII: Test Cases
28. The Napoleonic Regimes, Michael Broers
29. Reformed and Unreformed Britain, 1689-1801, Julian Hoppit
30. Colonial America, Christopher Clark
31. The Old Reich, Peter H. Wilson
32. Conclusion, William Doyle