Class and State in Early Modern France explores the economic,
social, ideological and political foundations of French Absolutism.
David Parker's challenging interpretation presents French
Absolutism as a remarkably successful attempt to preserve the
political and ideological structures of the traditional order. This
reassessment runs contrary to much revisionist historiography,
rejecting the widespread tendency to treat French Absolutism either
as an instrument of capitalism or political modernisation. It also
discusses a number of contentious issues such as the agrarian
foundations of capitalism, the relationship between class and
status, as well as the structure and ideology of the absolute state
itself. It will be of interest to early modern historians of
France, Britain and Europe.
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