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By Philip Benedict

Combining the efforts of French and North American students, towns and Social switch in Early glossy France comprises six unique reports exploring vital and formerly missed features of French city historical past lower than the Ancien Regime. those essays are preceded by means of an in depth creation which locations them of their ancient and historiographic context and surveys the foremost adjustments skilled by way of France's towns over the interval from the 16th century to the eve of the revolution. This assortment seeks straight away to synthesize early glossy French background and to signify new avenues for examine, delivering an illuminating photograph of the numerous variations gone through by means of French society from the top of the center a long time to 1879.

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74 Above all else, the rise of Protestantism divided many cities into increasingly polarized confessional groups and turned rituals such as the feast of Corpus Christi, which had once been ceremonies of civic solidarity, into the occasion for violent confrontations. III During the 150 years between the outbreak of the Wars of Religion and the death of Louis XIV, France alternated between periods of prolonged crisis and eras of recovery and expansion. The civil wars quickly disrupted much of the country, although certain regions were largely spared until the 1580s.

Certain of these changes furthered the separation of an emerging elite from the rest of urban society. 71 Aspects of that festive life also came under fire. 74 Above all else, the rise of Protestantism divided many cities into increasingly polarized confessional groups and turned rituals such as the feast of Corpus Christi, which had once been ceremonies of civic solidarity, into the occasion for violent confrontations. III During the 150 years between the outbreak of the Wars of Religion and the death of Louis XIV, France alternated between periods of prolonged crisis and eras of recovery and expansion.

93 As the kingdom’s capital and largest city, Paris was the object of particularly thoroughgoing changes designed to ensure its security and proper administration. In 1667 Nicolas La Reynie was installed as the first lieutenant general of police, with extensive authority over the full range of police matters. In that same year, the crown more than tripled in size the previously small corps of paid, permanent night watchmen charged with keeping the peace. With time, this guet and its companion, the royal guards, effectively replaced the old citizen militia, giving the capital something approximating a modern police force.

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