Aristocracy and its Enemies in the Age of Revolution by William Doyle

By William Doyle

Considering the fact that time immemorial Europe were ruled by way of nobles and nobilities. within the eighteenth century their energy appeared larger entrenched than ever. yet in 1790 the French revolutionaries made a decided try and abolish the Aristocracy solely. "Aristocracy" turned the time period for every thing they have been opposed to, and the the Aristocracy of France, so lately the main impressive and complicated elite within the eu international, discovered itself persecuted in ways in which horrified opposite numbers in different nations. Aristocracy and its Enemies lines the roots of the assault on the Aristocracy at the present, taking a look at highbrow advancements over the previous centuries, particularly the influence of the yankee Revolution. It strains the stairs through which French nobles have been disempowered and persecuted, a interval in which huge numbers fled the rustic and plenty of perished or have been imprisoned. after all abolition of the aristocracy proved very unlikely, and nobles recovered a lot in their estate. Napoleon got down to reconcile the remnants of the outdated the Aristocracy to the implications of revolution, and created a titled elite of his personal. After his fall the restored Bourbons provided renewed reputation to all varieties of the Aristocracy. yet 19th century French nobles have been a bunch remodeled and traumatized through the innovative adventure, they usually by no means recovered their previous hegemony and privileges. As William Doyle exhibits, if the revolutionaries failed of their try to abolish the Aristocracy, they however started the long run technique of aristocratic decline that has marked the final centuries.

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Extra resources for Aristocracy and its Enemies in the Age of Revolution

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No existing ducal title, by contrast, went back beyond the sixteenth century, and many of their holders could not boast immemorial nobility. Most had reached this eminence by generations of royal service or favour, and all sustained it by great wealth. The king would not think of creating a ducal peerage without the certainty that the candidate could sustain his new dignity with appropriate revenues. Existing ducal peers, whose ambitions or improvidence had strained their resources, instinctively looked to the king to maintain their pretensions with pensions and sinecures.

G. ), Marquis de Bombelles: Journal, 4 vols. (Geneva, 1978- ), i, 138, 13 Aug. 1782. aristocracy ascendant 27 and members of pressure groups who had helped them to power. All of these would be nobles, too. Louis XIV had also made it a principle never to appoint ministers rich or powerful enough in their own right to be independent of his authority. He preferred noble families of recent extraction to dukes, peers, and scions of other great clans. The same applied to the intendants who exercised the plenitude of royal authority in the provinces.

Otherwise any man of honour would demand the satisfaction of a duel. Duelling was the ultimate noble conceit. ‘France’ wrote Count Alexandre de Tilly, who grew up at the Court of Louis XVI, ‘is the homeland of duels ... nowhere else have I met with that fateful susceptibility, that sad disposition to believe oneself insulted ... ’¹⁷ Personal resolution of affairs of honour offered the chance to flaunt fighting skills, universally deemed inherent in true nobility. It demonstrated the courage without which these skills were meaningless.

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