Affordable Access

Parlements and political crisis in France under Louis XV: The Besancon Affair, 1757-1761

Authors
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date
Source
Legacy
Keywords
  • History
  • Classics And Archaeology
Disciplines
  • History
  • Law
  • Political Science

Abstract

The causes and consequences of the quarrels between Louis XV and the parlements in the third quarter of the eighteenth century continue to provoke a lively debate amongst historians. In France, the traditional thesis of a reforming monarchy confronted by the selfish obstructionism of the judiciary has many adherents. However, few Anglo-American scholars favour such an interpretation and some have gone as far as to reject the existence of a crisis altogether. Research is also concentrated upon the consequences of these disputes, and their importance to the development not only of parlementaire constitutionalism, but even of a new political culture. In order to contest these conflicting interpretations, this article takes a fresh look at the Besancon affair of 1757-1761. In one of the most heated political battles of the reign, thirty judges were exiled from the parlements of Besancon, provoking a lively response from the other parlements, headed by that of Paris. By examining the origins of the dispute in Franche-Comte, and the subsequent reaction of both the government and the Parisian magistrates, this article offers a new picture of the causes of crisis and of how judicial politics actually worked.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Statistics

Seen <100 times
0 Comments