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By Peter McPhee

This quantity offers an authoritative synthesis of modern paintings at the social heritage of France and is now completely revised and up to date to hide the 'long 19th century' from 1789-1914. Peter McPhee bargains either a readable narrative and a particular, coherent argument approximately this century. McPhee explores topics reminiscent of peasant interplay with the surroundings, the altering adventure of labor and rest, the character of crime and protest, altering demographic styles and relations constitution, the spiritual practices of staff and peasants, and the ideology and inner repercussions of colonisation.

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In November 1789, church lands were ‘put at the disposal of the nation’, nationalized in April 1790, and, from November 1790, sold at auction. These lands were also used to back the issue of ‘assignats’, paper currency which soon began to decline in real purchasing power. Then, in 1791, a new uniform taxation system on property was introduced. Secondly, within the general context of popular sovereignty, the precise forms of the exercise of power had to be detailed. While an English bicameral system was repudiated because of deep mistrust of the nobility, Louis was left with a suspensive veto (though not on finance or the constitution) and extensive executive powers.

26 However, the message of the Gospels, then as now, was inherently ambiguous: Was it indeed harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? Should the meek wait to inherit the earth? And, in the face of the worldliness and opulence of the upper clergy, was not the Bible (especially the books of Daniel and Revelations) replete with warnings to which priests, no less than the congregation, might listen? The Church offered more than negative answers to the eternal questions: Why is the world as it is?

Neverthless, the peasants, labourers and artisans who drew up Erceville’s cahier were remarkably blunt, urging that, ‘without any distinction of title or rank, the said seigneur be taxed like them’, that ‘the tithe and champart be abolished, or at least converted into an annual payment in money’, and – clearly aware of the looming issue of the locus of political power – that all taxes should require ‘the consent of the whole Nation assembled in Estates-General’. Here, as everywhere else, the pivotal issues were noble privilege and seigneurialism.

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