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    Parlements and political crisis in France under Louis XV: the Besançon affair 1757-61

    Swann, Julian (1994) Parlements and political crisis in France under Louis XV: the Besançon affair 1757-61. The Historical Journal 37 (4), pp. 803-828. ISSN 0018-246X.

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    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 afresh look at the Besançon affair of 1757–1761. In one of the most heated political battles of the reign, thirty judges were exiled from the parlements of Besançon, provoking a lively response from the other parlements, headed by that of Paris. By examining the origins of the dispute in Franche-Comté, 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.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 14:09
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:32


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