Politics and Political Culture in France, 1737-1794.

Review article by Kenneth Margerison, Southwest Texas State University, for H-France, September 1997.

John Rogister, Louis XV and the Parlement of Paris, 1737-1755. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. xxv + 288 pp. Illustrations, appendixes, notes, and index. $64.95 US (cloth). ISBN 0-521 40395-2.

Julian Swann, Politics and the Parlement of Paris Under Louis XV, 1754-1774. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. v + 390 pp. Notes, bibliography, and index. $69.95 US (cloth). ISBN 0-521 47349-7; $29.95.

John Hardman, French Politics, 1774-1789: From the Accession of Louis XVI to the Fall of the Bastille. Harlow: Longman, 1995. x + 283 pp. Appendixes, glossary, notes, bibliography, and index. $29.58 US (paper). ISBN 0-582-23649 5.

William S. Cormack, Revolution and Political Conflict in the French Navy, 1789-1794. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. xiii + 343 pp. Illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, and index. $59.95 US (cloth). ISBN 0-521-47209-1.

For the last decade and a half historians have been industriously ploughing the fertile field of eighteenth-century French political culture.(1) The emphasis in this endeavor has been on ideology and the language that expresses it. Historians of political culture have identified and analyzed the various discourses developed during the second half of the century in an effort to understand better the underlying bases of the political activity in this period. Discourse, as viewed by these historians, provided the means by which political opponents battled each other in the public sphere in hopes of winning the approval of public opinion. According to Keith Baker, one of the most notable scholars of this phenomenon, political power itself rested with those who controlled the language of politics. Historians who accept the legitimacy of the concept of political culture assume that political activity takes place within the framework of a variety of competing political languages.(2)

Could politics actually have been practiced in this fashion in Old Régime France with its absolute monarchy, the absence of a nationally elected representative body, and restrictions on the freedom of speech and press? Even after 1789 when representative institutions and free communications were in place, were politics actually shaped by political culture rather than personal relationships, rivalries, and ambitions? Traditional political and social historians, accustomed to working with archival materials, may remain a bit uneasy about conclusions regarding political activity drawn from the publications of individuals who were not themselves in positions of authority. Did the language of these publications really represent the positions of the parlements or the ministry, and, if so, did they have any bearing on political practice or outcome? One might even legitimately ask if historians of political culture do not merely study words instead of a political reality which can only be recovered by empirical research on individuals and the events and situations of their political lives.

Three of the four authors--John Rogister, Julian Swann, and John Hardman--whose books are under review in this essay concentrate on aspects of the political history of Old Régime France, and all three either directly or indirectly argue that political culture provides no valid insight into the political history of France. In fact these historians, all of whom make extensive use of archival sources, argue that Old Régime political activity took place entirely apart from the public sphere. Politics in this period, according to these analyses, was practiced behind closed doors in the king's château at Versailles or within the hidden recesses of the Palais de justice in Paris. Politics was the work of the king's ministers, magistrates, and, sometimes, his courtiers, mistresses, and wife. Political disputes were not public affairs, and public opinion mattered little in the decisions reached in the halls of power. Thus, by its very nature politics could have nothing to do with discourse or ideology. If a political language was developed and propagated among the public, it had no effect on political decisions or the implementation of those decisions. Even in those instances where it might appear that ideological considerations or public opinion had influenced a political outcome, some deeply hidden motive or secret activity could be discovered to provide a more convincing rationale for a particular political result. Concentrating on revolutionary France, William S. Cormack, the fourth author, interprets political activity quite differently. Largely basing his study on archival research, Cormack, nevertheless, argues that revolutionary politics must be understood as part of a society-wide political culture. Thus all four authors raise, from different perspectives, the issue of the value of political culture as an analytical tool for better understanding the politics of eighteenth-century France.

Politics in mid-eighteenth-century France, according to John Rogister, was confined to the tightly restricted world of Louis XV, his ministers, the upper clergy, and the magistrates in the preeminent court of the realm, the Parlement of Paris. What specifically interests Rogister are the relationships between important ministers and the parlementary leaders which provide the key, he believes, to understanding the nature of the great political dispute of the 1750s, the refusal of sacraments affair. These relationships were colored by the internal workings of both the king's councils and the Parlement of Paris as well as by the political alliances and rivalries that existed within both bodies. Having undertaken an exhaustive examination of the archival evidence relevant to his subject--much of which resides in private family collections scattered across France--the author has acquired an intimate knowledge of the important personalities and the day- to-day operation of the king's government.

The major focus of the volume is the denial of sacraments affair which began in 1752 when the archbishop of Paris, Christophe de Beaumont, began enforcing a policy of refusing the sacraments to dying clergy and members of religious orders who refused to accept the Bull Unigenitus, the papal condemnation of Jansenist principles issued in 1713. The intervention of the Parlement of Paris, designed to prevent the implementation of this policy, ultimately led to bitter and acrimonious relations between Louis XV and the magistrates of the court. Rogister describes in great detail how this situation ultimately degenerated into open political hostilities. The actions of the Parlement were to a large extent the result of First President René Charles de Maupeou's belief that the government was trying to undercut his authority. When the Parlement decided to draft remonstrances in January 1753, Maupeou refused to play a role in the process, thus leaving the way open for more radical elements among the magistrates to influence the document's form (p. 163). The resulting Grand Remonstrances of 3 April 1753 made particular claims for the Fundamental Laws of the realm including an insistence on the rule of law and the requirement of the sovereign to obey this law. Louis XV's refusal to accept the remonstrances and the subsequent judicial strike by the magistrates ultimately led to the exile of the Parlement in 1753-1754, to the arrest of its least temperate members, and to its replacement by the Chambre royale du Louvre. Rogister argues that Louis, with the encouragement of the prince de Conti, also played an active personal role in the resolution of the crisis by making overtures to Maupeou and drafting the Law of Silence on Unigenitus.

For all of the detail provided on the various political maneuvers surrounding this affair, Rogister's study has some strange omissions. The parti janséniste, for instance, hardly appears in the narrative of events. There are indeed radical magistrates, identified as zélés, but Rogister makes clear that these are not all Jansenists. After a brief description of Jansenism and the nature of the Bull Unigenitus, the account proceeds as if the refusal of sacraments issue had virtually no connection to the Jansenist attack on this papal pronouncement. The Grand Remonstrances were drafted by Jansenist partisans including the abbe Mey, the author of Apologie de tous les jugements, a major contribution to Jansenist political theory. Rogister mentions the authors, but says little about their motivations and nothing about their Jansenist convictions. In describing the importance of the remonstrances for the concept of the Fundamental Laws, he makes no references to the Jansenist influence on this argument.

Rogister's view of politics in the eighteenth- century is one of secret transactions within a closed circle of influential men. Whereas much of the Jansenist program had been developed in the public sphere by numerous Jansenist theoreticians. The Grand Remonstrances would seem to be an example of the point of convergence between public and non-public political activity. Apparently refusing to consider the possibility that the magistrates might have found some of the Jansenist-inspired political language appealing, Rogister provides no convincing explanation as to why the entire Parlement accepted such a document outside of Maupeou's refusal to take a hand in its drafting and difficulties among the four commissioners charged with the task. Surely the magistrates did not adopt the Grand Remonstrances simply because the traditional discipline imposed on them by their leadership had broken down.

Rogister is equally disdainful of that other pillar of Old Régime political culture: public opinion. Although a flurry of publication activity accompanied the entire refusal of sacraments affair, he is probably correct in concluding that public opinion had little direct influence on the final form of the compromise between Louis XV and the Parlement. However, to argue that "the King and the Parlement eventually resolved their differences and agreed on the compromise solution of 1754 without any pressure from outside the existing narrow political structure" presumes a very restricted definition of political pressure (p. 258). The fact that the Chambre royale du Louvre attracted little legal business certainly placed pressure on the government to restore public confidence in the judicial system. More to the point, Controller General Jean-Baptiste Machault d'Arnouville urged Louis to take a more moderate attitude toward the magistrates because the government would inevitably need to register new financial legislation (p. 228). Such legislation would never have been accepted by the public without proper registration by the Parlement. Finally, even Rogister concedes that the government could not overlook the rising tide of publications dealing with the constitutional nature of royal authority (p. 231).

Rogister's evidence regarding the role of personal rivalries and ministerial intrigues adds much to our understanding of the refusal of sacraments affair and reveals that ideology alone cannot explain events in the 1750s. Rogister's scepticism about the power of public opinion to affect directly royal decisions in this period is not without merit. Nevertheless, the political history of this episode cannot blithely ignore the Jansenist influence on the actions of the magistrates. Yet, Rogister appears to be determined to demonstrate that the entire history of the relationship between the Parlement of Paris and Louis XV can be understood through the political maneuvers of the ministers and the most important magistrates. In following this course he ignores well-documented evidence, much of which appears in Dale Van Kley's The Damiens Affair, regarding the power of ideas on the Parlement.(3) If Van Kley's arguments are unconvincing, then they should be addressed rather than simply passed over in silence. But Rogister has so immersed himself in the minutia of the refusal of sacraments affair that he seems to be almost unaware of its larger ramifications.

Julian Swann's exhaustively researched account of the Parlement of Paris during the last two decades of Louis XV's reign is in many ways similar to Rogister's work on the earlier period. Like Rogister, Swann makes extensive use of archival sources and stresses the importance of the relationships between magistrates and particular ministers for understanding political realities of the era. Swann also demonstrates an excellent grasp of the internal operations of the Parlement and the king's councils. Swann's study, however, possesses several strengths not present in Rogister's work. Spending considerable time on the problems posed by the Bull Unigenitus and the political ramifications of the refusal of sacraments controversy for parlementary authority, he provides considerably more insight into the operation of the parti janséniste in the Parlement. In marked contrast to Rogister, Swann makes considerable use of secondary sources to support his own argument as well as to challenge the assertions of historians with whom he disagrees. Finally, Swann creates a more clearly defined analytical framework for the events he describes.

Swann argues that the Parlement of Paris's actions between 1754 and 1771 were more limited in scope and wielded less influence than historians sometimes claim. Controller-General Henri Léonard Jean-Baptiste Bertin's attempt to extend direct taxation in the form of the vingtiemes after the Seven Years' War, for example, failed primarily as a result of complicated ministerial politics, not parlementary opposition. During the Brittany affair the Parlement's ire centered on the narrow issue of the violation of legal procedure in the case against Louis-René de Caradeuc La Chalotais, the procureur general of the Parlement of Rennes, and his associates. In turn, Chancellor René Nicolas Charles Augustin de Maupeou created his famous reform largely to shelter the duc d'Aiguillon from parlementary attacks stemming from the Brittany Affair. Thus, instead of expanding royal authority at the expense of an increasingly radical political institution, Maupeou merely sought to secure his own position by protecting the influential d'Aiguillon. Viewed from this perspective, the magistrates were less concerned with advancing constitutional issues than protecting judicial precedents. The government, on the other hand, acted to fulfil the personal ambitions of its ministers rather than to bring meaningful reform to France.

Swann, unlike Rogister, does not try to remove Jansenists from the political history of the 1750s and 1760s, but he puts their activity into the broader perspective of the entire membership of the court. The success of the parti janséniste, which consisted of only 15 to 20 magistrates out of a voting membership of 150, rested with its ability to link Jansenist causes with general judicial maxims and historical precedents which upheld the authority of the Parlement. Furthermore, the Jansenist magistrates were skilful in exploiting to their own advantage divisions among their non-Jansenist colleagues, as demonstrated by Swann's masterful accounts of the Parlement's major debates. Such tactics were perfectly suited to the refusal of sacraments affair where the court's ability to maintain what it understood to be the rule of law was seriously challenged by the church hierarchy and the government. However, the Jansenist successes were dependent on political circumstances. In the 1760s, for instance, the parti janséniste, described here by Swann as "puppets on [Etienne François, duc de] Choiseul's string", were able to bring about the expulsion of the Jesuits only because this minister and Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress, sought such an outcome (p. 213).

Well aware of the work of Dale Van Kley and others who have emphasized the importance of the Jansenist influence on the development of parlementary constitutionalism, Swann, nevertheless, pays scant attention to the publication activity of the Jansenist avocats who did much to develop and advance the language of constitutionalism which dominated public opinion in the decades before 1789. Swann neglects this aspect of parlementary political activity due to his scepticism about its importance. In his view, parlementary political actions seldom bore a direct relationship to fashionable discourse in the public sphere because politics was always conducted far from the public view. Instead of a grand political struggle between the government and the magistrates over the constitutional structure of France, the actions of the magistrates were a more down-to-earth affair resulting from political maneuvering at Versailles or defense of specific legal precedents. In the author's words: "In order to understand the behavior of the Parlement... it is necessary to leave the disembodied world of 'discourse' behind, and return instead to the personalities, social and institutional background, and arguments of the magistrates themselves" (p. 366).

But was the world of discourse as disembodied as Swann implies? Swann's own evidence seems to indicate that such was not always the case. For instance, he recognizes the influence that the Jansenist avocat Adrien Le Paige had on the language of parlementary remonstrances (p. 185), and he describes the ability of Jansenist magistrates to provide a theoretical underpinning, developed largely by the Jansenist political theoreticians among the court's corps of avocats, for parlementary action (pp. 103 & 207). The Parlement's decisions were, of course, also influenced by alliances which certain of its members had formed with particular ministers or by the evident desire of some Jansenist magistrates to advance their own positions. Nevertheless, the importance of the work of Jansenist publicists in shaping the parlementary political program remains. Furthermore, these publications, especially after the Maupeou reform, had a very real political influence upon the public which was still being felt in the late 1780s. As in Rogister's case, Swann's fascination with the nitty-gritty of politics--ministerial maneuvers and self serving magistrates--and his apparent irritation with historians who have dealt with words more than action appear to have blinded him to the full range of human political activity in eighteenth- century France.

John Hardman shares Rogister and Swann's conception of Old Régime politics as a contest hidden from public view in which a very limited set of players conducted affairs. Hardman, however, develops his topic from the viewpoint of the king's government rather than the Parlement of Paris. The account rests on a wide variety of archival and printed sources, but Hardman especially relies on the detailed manuscript journal of the abbe de Veri, the confidant of Louis' chief minister, Jean Frédéric Phélypeaux, comte de Maurepas, for insight into the politics of the period. Hardman's work provides the reader with considerable factual and anecdotal information including the reasons for appointment and dismissal of every minister who served Louis XVI up to the fall of the Bastille. In short, Hardman has produced a very detailed history of the ministers and ministries of Louis XVI.

A number of themes emerge from this study of politics in the late eighteenth century. The disunity of the ministry is perhaps the most important. Each minister carried out the responsibilities of his office with little regard for any general governmental or royal policy. Determined to be his own prime minister in the manner of Louis XIV, Louis XVI refused to appoint anyone to shape ministerial policy, but also remained unwilling to take this responsibility upon himself. Each minister met with Louis XVI in a weekly travail where the goals and activities of a particular ministry were established. Louis XV's old minister Maurepas, who was recalled to the council on the advice of Louis' aunts, attempted to provide some unity to the ministry by sitting in on the travail of the various ministers and influencing the appointment of new ones. However, his efforts did not yield anything like the kind of solidarity that one associates with modern ministerial government. Unity also proved elusive because small groups of ministers often met with the king apart from the entire council as committees. While these meetings facilitated the conclusion of certain business, they often undertook action--most notably the calling of the Assembly of Notables--without the support of the entire council. Additionally, each minister exercised independent budget authority no matter what limits the controller-general might have established on annual expenditures. Because of these arrangements, the government of Louis XVI, like that of his grandfather before him, remained unable to develop a consistent direction.

Complicating this problem was the increasingly perilous state of royal finance. Historians, well aware that the monarchy's financial woes ultimately led to its destruction, have devoted much attention to the plans and policies of the government's principal financial officer, the controller-general. Nowhere does the failure of the government appear more starkly than in the series of failed financial reforms undertaken during Louis XVI's reign. Far from being the most powerful and important of Louis's ministers, however, Hardman informs the reader that the controller-general in fact possessed an inferior status within the ministry. Although able to draft elaborate financial plans to deal with the monarchy's fiscal problems, this official lacked the stature and simple authority to limit the departmental expenditures of any of the secretaries of state thus negating almost any efforts undertaken to rectify budgetary problems. Attempts by the controller-generals to obtain authority over the expenditures of the secretaries of state led to much ministerial infighting and the ultimate defeat of the controller-general as demonstrated most vividly by the dismissals of Anne Robert Jacques Turgot and Jacques Necker. Charles Alexandre de Calonne differed from his predecessors, however, in that his reform plan was developed on a grander scale and his fall was intimately related to his rivalry with the Louis Charles le Tonnelier, baron de Breteuil (the minister for the maison du roi), his deteriorating relationship with the Parlement of Paris, and his decision to convoke the Assembly of Notables.

Historians of the period will find much of value in Hardman's research and analysis. Hardman's reconsideration of Necker's financial practices, which contests some of the more recent laudatory evaluations of his first ministry, makes clear the objections of contemporaries to Necker's published account of the state of royal finances, the famous Compte rendu of 1781. His examination of Calonne's policies places the failure of his program in the context of the long standing rivalries between the leading figures in the ministry and the Parlement of Paris. Hardman also provides his reader with a very precise examination of the influence, or in many cases the lack of influence, that Marie Antoinette exercised over the decisions of the Louis XVI.

The thematic organizational scheme the author employs to analyze the operation of Louis XVI's ministry detracts from the readability of the book, but Hardman's unwillingness to connect court politics to the larger political arena, especially in the late 1780s, is the study's most glaring weakness. Although Hardman, unlike Rogister and Swann, does recognize that public opinion (of a very limited public to be sure) had some effect on the conduct of government, his single-minded focus on the alliances and quarrels between ministers, courtiers, and the king himself, with little reference to the larger political world, leaves the reader with an incomplete picture of political life under Louis XVI. Necker's Compte rendu and the attacks on this publication by his opponents played to the political world at Versailles as well as the larger audience of France. Calonne also recognized the importance of politics beyond Versailles which accounts for his convening the Assembly of Notables and his attempts to appeal over the head of these assembled worthies to the general public when his program ran into trouble. By the time Louis XVI had signalled the revival of the Estates General, politics had moved far beyond the confines of the royal court. Hardman does not adequately deal with the attempts of Calonne or Necker to connect government policy to public opinion or with the failure of the ministry in general to recognize its inability to continue to function as if the political world was limited to the intrigues at Versailles. Hardman's book makes a significant contribution to the understanding of political history in the last years of the Old Régime in France; it provides an exhaustively detailed study of the workings of the royal ministry and the activities of its ministers; but it is not a complete history of politics in those years.

Unlike the other volumes discussed here, William Cormack eagerly embraces the connection between political culture and political history. Although much of the book presents a traditional narrative of events, the author suggests that his study of the French navy "will contribute to the development of the new interpretative paradigm suggested by Furet, Baker, and others..." (p. 16) by linking events to the manifestation of revolutionary ideology. The ideological development which most interests Cormack is that of national sovereignty as described by Keith Baker in Inventing the French Revolution. Specifically he is interested in the influence of popular sovereignty on the traditional command structure of the fleets in the port cities of Toulon and Brest. According to his argument, beginning in 1789 the French navy experienced serious political turmoil due to interference in its operations by the municipal governments, the Jacobin Clubs, the general populace of Toulon and Brest, and the various national assemblies. As mutinies and general disorder supported by local authorities swept through the navy, the officers lost control of their fleets. Not only did the navy prove to be an ineffective force during the entire revolutionary decade, but its chaotic state led to such humiliating consequences as the municipality of Toulon's opening its port to the British in 1793.

The breakdown of naval authority began during the Toulon affair of 1789 when a work stoppage in the arsenal followed Commandant François-Hector, comte de Albert de Rioms' disciplining of two arsenal employees who had disobeyed his directive not to join the local national guard. In Cormack's analysis, the municipality's arrest of Albert de Rioms and the Constituent Assembly's refusal to support the action of the commandant demonstrated that the sovereign will of the people had begun to replace traditional naval authority. At Brest a mutiny spread throughout the fleet with the implementation of the reformed, but still harsh, naval Penal Code and the arrival of Albert de Rioms in 1790. The sailors, supported by the local Jacobin Club, persuaded the municipality to intervene on their behalf, and the affair ultimately escalated into a general attack on the aristocratic officer corps. The assembly's willingness to accept a modification of the Penal Code demonstrated, according to Cormack, that once again popular sovereignty had bested executive authority.

Cormack is convinced that the problems regarding the naval command structure had little to do with the aristocratic character of the officers. Unlike the army, where the officers refused to accept the new egalitarian standards of the Revolution, destabilization of the navy followed the interference of local political authorities into its line of command. The opening of the port at Toulon to the British fleet was a particularly disastrous example of local influence over the navy. Despite efforts on the part of the fleet's officers to resist the plans of the newly installed anti-Jacobin municipal authorities to make an alliance with the British navy, the sailors refused to contest the authority of the local officials. Cormack concludes that the navy had been so effectively dominated by local political authority that by 1793 the sailors identified the municipality with the nation and remained loyal to it to the point of surrendering the fleet to British control. This situation was finally reversed, and then only temporarily, when Andre Jeanbon Saint-André arrived at Brest determined to use Terror to bring order and respect for national authority to the navy.

Cormack's study is based on extensive research in the Archives de la Marine as well as the Service historique de la Marine at Toulon and Brest. These sources provide much insight into the relationships between the naval leadership and the municipal and national political authorities during the first half of the revolutionary decade. In particular, Cormack emphasizes the limits which the assemblies placed on the activities of a succession of ministers of marine, the frustrations of the commandants in preparing the fleets for naval engagements, and the various attempts of the revolutionary government to bring the navy up to fighting capacity. Less well developed are the popular movements and political motivations and activities of the municipal governments in Toulon and Brest. Cormack's understanding of these political situations rests largely on secondary literature which appears to limit his ability to develop the underlying relationships between the local inhabitants and the sailors of the fleets.

More seriously, Cormack's decision to place his analysis of the political history of the revolutionary navy entirely within the context of the ideology of popular sovereignty artificially constrains the investigation of his subject. Examples of this constraint can be found in his analysis of the origins of the Toulon affair of 1789 and the Brest mutiny of 1790. One might reasonably ask why the new revolutionary ideology of popular sovereignty was a more likely cause of these affairs than the long- standing disputes between local constituted bodies and the ministry of the marine, the chronic under funding of the navy which often meant sailors and arsenal workers went unpaid for months at a time, or long-standing resentment against naval officers due to the harsh discipline meted out to sailors. Cormack makes clear that there were many points of tension between the navy and the port cities during the Old Régime, but the revolutionary events appear to have no connection with past abuses and are portrayed as simple manifestations of a new political ideology.

Historians of political culture are insistent that the underlying meaning of events can only be understood through an examination of political language or languages. With this purpose in mind Keith Baker undertook his intensive examination of the deputies' language regarding the nature of the nation's sovereign will in the Constituent Assembly.(4) Cormack, however, attempts to apply Baker's conclusions to the circumstances in Toulon and Brest without examining the language of those challenging naval authority. Did the municipalities, the Jacobin Clubs, and the mutinous sailors utilize such language in their protests? Even if they did, were they motivated by ideology or by something more concrete such as resentment over harsh discipline? Cormack is unable to determine in a meaningful way the influence of a new revolutionary political culture on these events because he does not examine discursive evidence in conjunction with the archival materials at his disposal.

The work of the historians here reviewed indicates that traditionally conceived political history has benefitted little from recent studies of political culture. Rogister, Swann, and Hardman dismiss the elements of France's Old Régime political culture as either irrelevant or simply misleading when it comes to revealing political reality before 1789. In the revolutionary period, Cormack would like to develop a clear connection between political culture and political events, but he is either unwilling or unable (because of the state of the sources) to examine revolutionary language with the critical eye necessary to the task. One can hardly refrain from concluding that these studies demonstrate the difficulty that some political historians will find in making use of political culture as an analytical tool. For some, hostility to the very concept of political culture will prevent them from utilizing even the most concrete examples of the influence of language or ideology on political activity. For others, the methodology will prove to be so far removed from traditional archival research as to make their understanding of its value of limited usefulness.

Nevertheless, the thorough research of Rogister, Swann, and Hardman dramatically demonstrates the limitations of relying exclusively on discourse to arrive at conclusions regarding political practice. Political figures often operated from motives that these historians have shown to have little or no connection to ideology or concern with public opinion, and historians of political culture would do well to make better use of hard historical data to keep their own work from taking off on flights of fancy. However, as these studies also demonstrate, excessively narrow interpretations of human political motivation and activity can provide a picture of political reality just as misleading as overly speculative accounts of the role of language and ideology on the course of events. There is thus a compelling need for each school to utilize more fully the methods of the other.


1. Notable examples of work in French political culture include Keith Baker (ed.), The Political Culture of the Old Regime (Oxford, 1987); Joan Landes, Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution (Ithaca, 1988); Keith Baker, Inventing the French Revolution: Essays on French Political Culture in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 1990); Roger Chartier (trans. Lydia G. Cochrane), The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution (Durham, N.C., 1991); Sarah Maza, Private Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes Célèbres of Prerevolutionary France (Berkeley, 1993); David Bell, Lawyers and Citizens: The Making of a Political Elite in Old Régime France (Oxford, 1994); and Dale Van Kley, The Religious Origins of the French Revolution: From Calvin to the Civil Constitution, 1560-1791 (New Haven, 1996). For a succinct definition of political culture see Keith Baker's introduction in The Political Culture of the Old Regime, p. xii.

2. Keith Baker, "On the Problem of the Ideological Origins of the French Revolution," in Inventing the French Revolution, pp.17-18.

3. Dale Van Kley, The Damiens Affair: And the Unravelling of the Ancien Régime, 1750-1770 (Princeton, 1984).

4. Keith Baker, "Fixing the French Constitution," in Inventing the French Revolution, pp. 285-95; 301-5.

Kenneth Margerison
Southwest Texas State University