The Institutions of France Under the Absolute Monarchy, 1598-1789: v. 2: The Organs of State and Society

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Mousnier continues his massive and masterly history of France's transition from the Old Regime to the New. Mousnier's subject is the organization of the state, from the Council at the summit to the most humble clerks, guards, and attendants. He traces the gradual transformation of France from a judiciary state to a financial and executive bureaucracy, from a state and society based on hereditary statuses to one based on talents, personal capacities, and achievements, from the might of the sword to the power of the pen.