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[Translation of French états généraux.]
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Still, such criticisms are offset by the breadth of sources used in The Catholicisms of Coutances, and among these sources perhaps the most convincing are the cahiers de doleances that were sent on behalf of the Third Estate to the Estates-General of 1789.
As its title indicates, the scope of the work is the two years prior to the summoning of the Estates-General, which precipitated the French Revolution of 1789.
In the fevered atmosphere caused by the monarchy's financial collapse and the elections to the Estates-General assembly all the old resentments at noble tax exemptions and social privileges suddenly surfaced.
The king escaped to Blois, called the Estates-General there, and condemned the Duke of Guise to death, as well as his brother, the Bishop of Lorraine, in 1588.
This leads him to pick out events Pinagot was likely to have heard or known about, including the cahiers for the Estates-General, chouannerie, periods of dearth and popular protest (of which an account is given), conflicts over the local church, the impingement of the outside world in the invasions of 1815 and 1870-1, but not Napoleon.
To help get him out of the financial glue, the king recalled the Estates-General, an assembly that had not met for more than 150 years.
The third estate's reconstitution of the Estates-General as a National Assembly (p.
It examines the manner in which the limited aspirations for the Estates-General of 1789 became transformed into the much broader movement that came to be known as the French Revolution.
Section three, consisting of three 'chapters, focuses on popular pamphlets; the voices of the peasantry (an issue that has been more amply addressed by John Markoff, Gilbert Shapiro, and Peter Jones); and a final, quite interesting chapter on the array of local meetings and assemblies that took place across France between May 1788 and January 1789, during the period when the form of the upcoming Estates-General was being vigorously debated, particularly among members of the Third Estate.
Sometimes the unkind thought arose that Andress was basing his narrative on movies--Jefferson in Paris, The Madness of King George and Mutiny on the Bounty come to mind--but he has shrewdly seen that a long and comprehensive rehearsal of the arcana of the Estates-General and the Third Estate would probably bore the readership he is aiming for.
Michael Fitzsimmons is one of a handful of anglophone historians who have reoriented our approach to the political history of the Estates-General and National Assembly during the last two decades.
L'Estoile describes vividly the meeting of the Estates-General at Blois at which Henri III was coerced by a deputation led by the cardinal de Guise, who seems to have been even more militant than his brother, the duke.