This book is about relations between the central government of France and the provincial nobility during the early modern period. It focuses specifically on the Bourbon monarchs of the seventeenth century and their efforts to extend a measure of control over the semi-autonomous peripheral provinces and the nobilities that dominated them. I have chosen as illustrations the provinces of Provence, Dauphiné, and Brittany, which were the objects of royal designs to siphon off greater revenues in the form of taxation. In each of these pays d’états, royal policy provoked resistance and rebellion on the part of the nobility — or, more accurately, on components within the nobility — which in turn exposed the fundamental contours and structures of provincial society.
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