This is a study of the domestic application of armed coercion during the reign of Louis XIV. It examines the coercive aspects of tax collection, the royal response to tax revolts, and the use of force to convert the king’s Protestant subjects and to wage a devastating counterinsurgency campaign against Protestant rebels in the mountains and plains of Languedoc. Relying heavily on archival sources, the study demonstrates that both the coercive inclination of Louis XIV and the coercive capabilities of the French army have been overstated. This raises questions about some common assumptions regarding the role of the army in the projection of state power and its contribution to the process of state formation in Early Modern France.
Roy L. McCullough, Ph.D. (2005) in History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is a Project Manager with the Defense Policy Analysis division of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Mclean, Virginia.
“At one level, the book is an interesting read expounding aspects of day-to-day life several hundred years ago. But more important, it succeeds in its campaign to demonstrate that the armies of Louis XIV have been the subject of much exaggeration of both their abilities and their commitment to coercing the population of late seventeenth-century France into new ways. I imagine that _Coercion, Conversion and Counterinsurgency in Louis XIV's France_ will become a corrective reference for the period.” Tom Lewis (Department of Defense, Australia) in
H-War (April, 2008). “...scholars already familiar with seventeenth-century France will gain the most from this work, but all readers will come away appreciating more fully the difficulties of using royal troops as tools of coercion in the age of absolutism.” Jamel Ostwald in
Journal of Military History, Oct 2007, Vol. 71/4
Table of contents
List of Abbreviations. . vii Introduction. . 1 Chapter One. ‘Huissier, Garnisaire et Soldat’: Coercion and Tax Collection Under Louis XIV . . 11 Introduction. . 11 The ‘Voie Ordinaire’: Collecteurs, Huissiers, and Sergents . . 15 The ‘Voie Militaire’: Garnisaires, Fusiliers, and Brigades . . 21 Huissiers vs. Garnisaires: The Debate Under Colbert . . 28 The Army and the Collection of the Taille. . 34 The Gabelle . . 42 Conclusion . . 50 Chapter Two. The Response to Popular Revolt, 1662–1670. . 53 Introduction. . 53 The Boulonnais Revolt, 1662. . 56 The Audijos Revolt, 1664–1665 . . 59 The Roure Revolt, 1670 . . 68 Conclusion . . 76 Chapter Three. Regional Crisis and Royal Consolidation: The Revolts of 1675 . . 79 Introduction. . 79 April–June, 1675: Troubles at Rennes and Nantes and the Response of Local Authorities . . 81 The Military Response and Renewed Violence . . 86 June–August, 1675: Rural Uprising . . 93 The Royal Response to the Rural Revolt . . 96 The Military Occupation of Rennes and the Exile of the Parlement. . 99 The Exile of the Parlement . . 103 The Provincial Estates . . 105 Winter Quarters . . 108 The Revolt at Bordeaux . . 110 Conclusion . . 121 Chapter Four. ‘Les Missions Bottés’: Religious Coercion Under Louis XIV. . 125 Introduction. . 125 The First Dragonnades . . 127 The Revolt of 1683. . 133 The Grand Dragonnades . . 140 From Conversion to Counterinsurgency: Languedoc, 1683–1698 . . 153 The Strategy of Conversion . . 170 Conclusion . . 177 Chapter Five. The Revolt of the Camisards, 1702–1704 . . 181 Introduction. . 181 Preparations . . 182 The Revolt Begins . . 186 The Strategy of the Count de Broglie . . 196 Montrevel Arrives. . 203 Montrevel’s Strategy . . 205 The Grand Design. . 211 The Arrival of Marshal Villars . . 227 Conclusion . . 236 Conclusion . . 243 Bibliography . . 253 Archival sources . . 253 Published primary sources. . 253 Secondary sources . . 254 Index . . 263
All those interested in the history of Early Modern France, the history of European absolutism, state formation, military history and historical counterinsurgencies.