Absolute monarchy on the frontiers
Louis XIV’s military occupations of Lorraine and Savoy
Publication Year: 2016
Published by: Manchester University Press
Half Title Page, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
A note on terms
The slow process of expansion by which France took the form of l’hexagone has been the object of much historical interest over the years. Louis XIV’s reign has naturally been the focus of much of this, as the Sun King presided over the acquisition of several new provinces which added significantly to the kingdom’s dimensions. ...
Part I: The eastern frontiers of France in the age of Louis XIV
1. Lorraine, Savoy and the frontiers of France
Lorraine and Savoy existed in the political and cultural borderlands that separated France from, respectively, the Rhenish imperial principalities and Reichsitalien. Through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the rulers and elites of these frontier territories found themselves caught in the ongoing power struggle between the Valois/Bourbons and the Habsburgs, who jostled for influence in these small but strategically vital territories.1 ...
2. Military occupation in French frontier strategy
In the context of foreign policy, Louis XIV viewed the defence of the kingdom as his most important duty; any loss of territory resulting from foreign aggression would have led to a significant diminution of the king’s gloire. At the time Louis assumed personal control of his government in 1661, there remained several weak points in the kingdom’s frontiers leaving it open to invasion, ...
Part II: Administration on the frontiers
3. The structures of occupation
A number of territories bordering on France were subject to military occupation during Louis XIV’s personal rule. If strategic necessity dictated that the French army occupy a territory, it was up to the king and his ministers to devise a suitable system to administer it. Chapter 2 identified France’s strategic aims in the occupied territories and how these aims changed over time; ...
4. The burdens of occupation
Over the course of the early modern period, a clear evolution took place in the way occupied territories were treated by conquering powers, particularly in terms of the material and financial burdens imposed on the territory, and of civil-military relations. While military occupations of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century were usually horrific for the affected populations, ...
Part III: The local elites under French occupation
5. The nobilities
Although they made up only a few per cent of the population, noble elites in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century were crucial in all areas of human activity: social relations, political and religious life, and economic enterprise.1 When the French Government occupied a territory, therefore, circumspection and sensitivity in their dealings with the local nobles were usually more expedient than repression. ...
6. The administrative elites
Of all the territories conquered or annexed by France in this period that have been subject to detailed study, none suffered a wholesale shutdown or replacement of the existing institutional apparatus. Conquests were usually followed by a confirmation of corporate and provincial privileges, signifying that the traditional contractual relationship of the ruler with his subjects was to be maintained.1 ...
7. The church
The French Government was well aware of the importance of religion in managing conquered populations.1 The church was central to the diffusion of pro- (or anti-) French views; as with the lay elites, the co-operation of the clergy was vital in maintaining order. Lorraine and Savoy were predominantly Catholic societies, ...
The occupations of these territories reflected various strategic concerns of the French Government. The overarching priority of Louis XIV’s reign was to secure France’s frontiers; how the government did this, given its limitations in resources and energy, varied greatly between one territory and another, and over time. ...
Appendix Officers of the sovereign companies of Savoy, 1690–1713
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2016
OCLC Number: 980820607
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