Chapter

Introduction: authority and society in sixteenth-century Nantes

Elizabeth C. Tingle

in Authority and Society in Nantes during the French Wars of Religion, 1559–98

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780719067266
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700860 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719067266.003.0001
Introduction: authority and society in sixteenth-century Nantes

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This study of Nantes is about the impact of the religious wars on the exercise and understanding of authority in the city, principally that of the municipal government. This chapter explores the city context of events, including the motives for Nantes' participation in the religious wars and for its revolt against the crown in 1589, also exploring why the Catholic League rebellion lasted longer here than in any other town. This is not a simple narrative of Nantes' experiences of the religious wars. The central focus is on authority, its theoretical construction, its institutional embodiment, its reception and negotiation, and changes within these over time. During the religious wars, the understanding and exercise of many different levels of authority came under close scrutiny by contemporaries, and the nature and legitimacy of authority were questioned. This book offers a study of city governance in a period of pressure and change, and also examines the changing relationship of the city government and the royal state.

Keywords: authority; Catholic League; religious wars; Nantes; changing relationship; negotiation

Chapter.  11650 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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