Introduction: sovereignty and registration of the laws

John J. Hurt

in Louis XIV and the Parlements

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780719062353
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700372 | DOI:
Introduction: sovereignty and registration of the laws

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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Recent scholarship on the parlements has minimized their differences with royal administrations. According to the current view, any disputes involving the parlements were less than fundamental, involving no vital interest, an artificial or ritual ballet in which both sides accepted unwritten rules and kept inside invisible boundaries. Thus the basic issue of royal sovereignty could never come into play, by mutual consent. This view is only partially correct. It is true that the parlements did not openly challenge sovereignty or the nature of the monarchy. They looked for no Bastille to storm. But it is not true that they posed no fundamental obstacle to royal government, merely that their behaviour was insidious, marked by stealth.

Keywords: Parlements; royal administrations; ritual ballet; royal sovereignty; monarchy

Chapter.  8347 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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