By David Potter

A survey of French heritage from the reign of Louis XI to the outbreak of the Wars of faith that isolates a few of the arguable theories of the interval: nation construction, the Aristocracy and clientage and the Reformation and discusses them with complete consciousness to the neighborhood variety of France. It additionally introduces the reader to fresh study at the courtroom and govt set within the context of the elemental social and financial hobbies of the interval. it truly is argued that the elemental identification of France as a state was once strengthened lower than the aegis of monarchical legitimacy subsidized via the the Aristocracy and the church, surroundings the trend for the remainder of the Ancien Regime.

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A century later, Charles Loyseau, in a period when 'mixed monarchy' was still under discussion, could still envisage a form of 'limited absolutism'. We must distinguish between Absolutism as a political theory, as a de jure political system and as a de facto practice. 29 Roland Mousnier long ago sought to show that Absolutism was indeed a constitutional system to be differentiated from despotism. Chancellor Duprat's remark to the Parlement in 1518, therefore, that 'we owe obedience to the king and it is not for us to question his commands' should be seen as part of an extended debate on the nature of power rather than a statement of fact.

Bernard Guenee has to some extent refined Fawtier's original view by pointing out the increasingly sharp awareness of physical space in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe. Whether Charles V's portolan, drawn up by Abraham Cresques to illustrate his reconquests from the English, can be classified as a truly geographical enterprise, as Philippe Contamine implies, is open to question. 99 28 A HISTORY OF FRANCE, 1460-1560 However, an ability to visualise the territory of France was not a new phenomenon but rather one built up gradually by the accumulation of a 'geographical consciousness' throughout the late Middle Ages, whether it produced maps or not.

In effect, however, the Habsburg government successfully resisted this and from the treaties of Madrid and Cambrai these territories were removed from the kingdom for the first time since 843. 88 It is significant that such disputes should concern the northern and eastern frontiers of the kingdom, where the overlap between the ideas of mouvance and territory was at its greatest. Already under Louis XI, a distinction was drawn in military administration among those mercenaries 'of the French language, Savoyards, Gascons, Lorrainers and others who are not of the German nation' and other subjects of the Empire, the crown refusing to treat the former as true German formations.

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