In examining the relationship between the crown and the provincial nobilities of three great pays d’états, this book has sought to convey several interpretations and perspectives. First, it maintains that the nobility, revived, enlarged, and more modern, claimed social and political power within the locality that made them the major force with which the monarchy had to contend in order to increase revenue from the remote parts of the realm. Nobles dominated life in the provinces; they dominated provincial political institutions and they dominated provincial society. Although the institutional context varied somewhat from one province to the next, nobles maintained control through the local estates and as a result of venal officeholding. As magistrates and seigneurs, the political arena was theirs to control and they presented a determined obstacle to the expansion of royal authority.
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