Présentation de l'éditeur
How does authority become power? How does power justify itself to achieve its ends? For over two hundred years, the Valois kings relied on a complex mixture of ideologies, ruling a monarchical commonwealth with a coherent theory of shared governance. Forged in the Hundred Years War, this commonwealth built on the defense of the public good (bien public) came undone both practically and theoretically during the Wars of Religion. Just as certain kings sought to expand the royal prerogative, so, too, elites fought to preserve their control over local government. Using town archives from more than twenty cities to complement traditional sources of political theory, The French Monarchical Commonwealth, 1356–1560 establishes the relationship between seemingly theoretical constructs, like the Salic Law, and the reality of everyday politics.
James B. Collins, Georgetown University, Washington DC
Draws on local sources and archival records from all over France to examine political vocabulary and reveal how this spread over time and space
Compares the rhetoric of well-known elite political writings with the rhetoric of ordinary political actors
Examines the connections between practical politics, state function, and political discourse across a wide range of society