Lawyers and Citizens: The Making of a Political Elite in Old Regime France

Hardcover | January 1, 1994

byDavid A. Bell

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David Bell's new book traces the development of the French legal profession between the reign of Louis XIV and the French Revolution, showing how lawyers influenced, and were influenced by, the period's passionate political and religious conflicts. Bell analyzes how these key "middling"figures in French society were transformed from the institutional technicians of absolute monarchy into the self-appointed "voices of public opinion," and leaders of opposition political journalism. He describes the birth of an independent legal profession in the late seventeenth century, itsalienation from the monarchy under the pressure of religious disputes in the early eighteenth century, and its transformation into a standard-bearer of "enlightened" opinion in the decades before the Revolution. His work illuminates the workings of politics under a theoretically absolute monarchy,and the importance of long-standing constitutional debates for the ideological origins of the Revolution. It also sheds new light on the development of the modern professions, and of the middle classes in France.

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From Our Editors

Among the men who rose to power in France in 1789, lawyers were heavily represented. To a large extent, they also shaped the evolution of French political culture of the ancien regime. Lawyers and Citizens traces the development of the French legal profession between the reign of Louis XIV and the French Revolution, showing how lawyers...

From the Publisher

David Bell's new book traces the development of the French legal profession between the reign of Louis XIV and the French Revolution, showing how lawyers influenced, and were influenced by, the period's passionate political and religious conflicts. Bell analyzes how these key "middling"figures in French society were transformed from th...

David A. Bell is at Yale University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.49 × 6.34 × 0.94 inPublished:January 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195076702

ISBN - 13:9780195076707

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From Our Editors

Among the men who rose to power in France in 1789, lawyers were heavily represented. To a large extent, they also shaped the evolution of French political culture of the ancien regime. Lawyers and Citizens traces the development of the French legal profession between the reign of Louis XIV and the French Revolution, showing how lawyers influenced, and were influenced by, the period's passionate political and religious conflicts. David Bell analyzes how these key "middling" figures in French society were transformed from the institutional technicians of absolute monarchy into the self-appointed "voices of public opinion", and leaders of opposition political phamphleteering. He describes the birth of an independent legal profession in the late seventeenth century, its alienation from the monarchy under the pressure of religious disputes in the early eighteenth century, and its transformation into a standard-bearer of "enlightened" opinion in the decades before the Revolution. Lawyers and Citizens also illuminates the workings of politics under a theoretically absolu

Editorial Reviews

"...it is a superb example of the "new political history""--The American Journal of Legal History