La société des princes : XVIe - XVIIIe siècle (Nouvelles Etudes Historiques) (French Edition)
The authors of Mercurius Politicus found virtually all these ingredients in the French monarchy, hence their withering criticism of the Court, and in particular of Mazarin and the Queen Regent. Mercurius Politicus writers aimed to promote the English revolutionary model, both on their home turf and across the Channel, 17 as they appeared to spur on French rebels and relentlessly champion the cause of liberty. Against a backdrop of intellectual cross-fertilisation in Europe, they were confident that the propensity of the French to export their way of life would be matched by the ability of the English to contribute to the liberation of other nations.
As the Independents feared that, if talks dragged on, Parliament would eventually be outmanoeuvred by the royalists, they staged a coup with the help of the Army to oust Presbyterian parliamentarians.
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England had pioneered a revolution, and its blessings would soon be felt in France, they assumed, if French people were but willing to embrace it. The events that were playing themselves out in France were seen as a copy of those that England had experienced a dozen months or so before.
By this [Letter] you may perceive what opinion most of the French setting aside the Courtiers have of the Honourable Founders of this Commonwealth, and what Humor is afloat in that Nation. It boiles high at Bordeaux, where the French Roundheads have cashiered all the Royalists, and put them sans Complement out of the lines of Communication, after the Mode of England. For all the suspicion they had of the French, their assumption was that France and England shared a common destiny. In some of his leading articles the editor conjured up both English and French history. In keeping with other anti-monarchical writings of the time, he presented the Norman Conquest as the root of oppression that had caused the Anglo-Saxon past to be consigned to oblivion.
He drew upon the history of other nations, such as France, to bolster his denunciation of monarchy; not only did France and England share a common history, but their situation in early modern times, he argued, resulted from the same historical dynamic. They were not as cautious as Commonwealth officials when they sought to whip up support for the French rebels, especially in Bordeaux. There were strong economic ties between England and the province of Guyenne, chiefly based on the export of wine, a thriving economic activity upon which English wine merchants had built huge fortunes.
Bordeaux had a Parliament of its own, a law court whose jurisdiction extended far beyond city boundaries.
L’Europe des diasporas, XVI-XVIIIe siècle
The judges sitting in the Bordeaux Parliament resented any royal encroachment on what they perceived was their authority, and there were frequent clashes between them and the provincial government. The judges in the Bordeaux Parliament were unwilling to open hostilities with the French Court.
What made the authors so confident about the ability of the people of Bordeaux to fight to the bitter end was that the latter were supposedly endowed with an English spirit, and the cause they defended, that is to say the liberty of the people, was reputed to be a good one. They pushed for the removal of Epernon as well as political reform which went as far as the establishment of a democratic state.
This comparison with England was reminiscent of the heated debates between the Presbyterians and the Independents that occurred in the Long Parliament during the second Civil War.
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The popular rebellion in Bordeaux sparked the interest of the newsbook writers who reported on the advance of republican ideas with satisfaction. The confidence of Mercurius Politicus writers in the propagation of republicanism was further heightened, and their task as Commonwealth propagandists facilitated, by the fact that rebels in Bordeaux were seeking assistance from England:. Here arrived lately the four Deputies from the City of Bordeaux, who were sent thence with intent to have addressed themselves to the Parliament. And notwithstanding the late alteration [i.
Thus, in the summer of , an ex-New Model Army officer and Agitator, Colonel Sexby, who was serving as an English intelligence agent in France, was commissioned to Bordeaux to promote the rebellion. Interestingly enough, he translated the Leveller Agreement of the People into French, a document that was to provide the future republic of Bordeaux with a constitutional framework. True, Sexby received payment for his intelligence work, but he was a thorn in the side of Commonwealth leaders, in particular Cromwell, who had argued with him bitterly in the Putney debates in when the issue of an extended franchise was brought up.
While Sexby called for a democratic regime based on natural rights, Cromwell had opposed the idea of popular sovereignty, and the fact was that the English Commonwealth took an oligarchic turn almost from the outset. But then Spain was another potential destabilising factor for England. Would the Commonwealth as a political regime secure further legitimacy if it exported the English revolution to France?
Political radicalisation could not be ruled out. Reports on events in France became less polemical and more neutral as the s edged on, coinciding in fact with the end of the Fronde, the establishment of the Protectorate and the subsequent rapprochement between England and France. Primary Sources. Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution Samuel R. Oxford: Clarendon P, Secondary Sources. Frank , Joseph. The Beginnings of the English Newspaper Gardiner , Samuel Rawson. History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate Giry-Deloison , Charles.
Knachel , Philip A. England and the Fronde. Pastoureau , Michel. Ranum , Orest. The Fronde. For example, concerning inflation, Malestroict posited that although the price of land and property may have increased since the reign of St. Louis IX, inflation was not the culprit. Instead he believed that it was the decreasing amount of gold and silver which the money contained that caused prices to rise. Malestroict was convinced, following the opinions of the time, that gold and silver were representative values that were not influenced by the fluctuations of world markets.
Also, while the price of various items might increase, the items were worth a constant amount of gold or silver which did not fluctuate. Bodin refuted this argument and concentrated on the question of the abundance of gold and silver which he considered the principal and singular cause for the high prices of his era.
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In this matter he added two other secondary causes for high prices: the monopolies of merchants and craftsmen, who gathered in guilds and confraternities to establish the price of goods according to their own whims, as well as the scarcity of luxury goods. According to Bodin, war was another cause of rising prices: it creates shortages and therefore causes goods to become more expensive.
Bodin posited that the solution to this lay in ending conflicts, since then the parties could occupy themselves with trade amongst themselves rather than waging war. For Bodin, the price of gold and silver should be set by the laws of the market, in other words by supply and demand. Hoping to advance these new ideas, Bodin was worried for people overwhelmed by inflation.
His treatment of demonism is written as an antidote to the outbreak of sorcery. The work is divided into four books. The first introduces the reader to his basic ideas: the definition of a sorcerer; the association of demons with men; the difference between good and bad spirits; the human and divine means of understanding the mysteries of the occult, and the illicit means for influencing human events. The second book initiates the reader to magic in general and to silent and spoken invocations of evil spirits.
Then he comes to the most debated questions, are those who renounce God bodily possessed by demons? What is lycanthropy? Can one change humans into animals? Can sorcerers cause illness, sterility, hail, storms, the death of men and animals? Book III proposes licit remedies against charms and incantations, and considers whether it is true that sorcerers have the power to heal.
Here Bodin also addresses whether sorcerers have the ability to influence the finding of favor with the powerful, beauty, honors, riches, knowledge, and fertility. He discusses illicit means to prevent and heal evil spells, and the method for driving out evil spirits. The fourth book concludes the work by tackling the issues of magical practice and most importantly, the inquisition of sorcerers.
He examines the methods for proceeding against them, the proof required, and the penalties to be inflicted. In most cases Bodin recommends the death penalty by burning.
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In the last years of his life Bodin dedicated himself ambitiously to his work, with which he hoped to penetrate the secrets of the universe. His Theater of Universal Nature Theatrum is a treatment of the science of nature, or natural philosophy. The first book examines the principals of nature and the origin and decline of the world.
The second book addresses the natural elements of meteors, of rocks, metals and fossils. The third books explores types of animals; the fourth addresses the spirit, and the fifth book concerns the number, movement, and grandeur of the heavens respectively. This is an example of those works of natural philosophy, which wished to be exhaustive, and were typical of the Renaissance. Biographies have attributed religious, political, and philosophical doctrines to Bodin that he may have held.
Unfortunately these historians have not sought sources on which to base this claim. In fact, there are no sources that support this argument. The struggle of the Huguenots from the beginning of the civil wars, was to convert the king and realm to the true religion. Tolerance was not an ideal since one cannot tolerate what one cannot possibly accept. For example how could one allow Christ to coexist with Belial, or a false religion to coexist with the one and only true religion?
No further proof of this conviction is needed than the fierce struggle both Calvin and Beza waged against Castellion. This example causes one to ask the question: if Castellion supported freedom of religion, why did the leaders of the Reformation, who professed the same desire, denounce him so fervently? At the beginning of the wars of religion, they wanted to obtain the recognition of the reformed religion as the sole religion in the realm. Yet, after thirty-six years of war, and after the conversion of Henry of Navarre, they understood that their project was too ambitious and had to be limited.
Only through true religious tolerance could they convert the remainder of the kingdom at a later time. The unity of faith, and Calvinist religious concord were the ideal of Reformers too.