BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

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

    Swann, Julian (1994) Parlements and political crisis in France under Louis XV: The Besancon Affair, 1757-1761. Historical Journal 37 (4), pp. 803-828. ISSN 0018-246X.


    Download (2MB) | Preview


    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.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2005
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:46


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item