Saturday, August 10, 2019

How Far Were The Parlements Responsible For Bringing About An End To Assignment

How Far Were The Parlements Responsible For Bringing About An End To The Ancien Regime - Assignment Example Parlements were political institutions that developed of the previous "Kings Councils, the Conseil du Roi or Curia Regis. Originally there was just one Parlement, that in Paris, but by mid-Fifteenth Century there was one in Toulouse, which extended its authority over much of Southern France. From 1443 until the explosion of the French Revolution there were fourteen other parlements created, in cities such as Arras, Grenoble, and Perpignan. Importantly, all these cities had always been administrative capitals of their regions (often stemming from the Roman rule) and had strong traditions of independence from central control. Officially parlements were not legislative bodies, but rather courts of appeal. However, they did have the responsibility to record all edicts and laws and could refuse to apply such laws when they went against "fundamental law", or the local costumes. Increasingly, and this was particularly the case with the Parlement of Paris, the parlements began to "challenge royal edicts" (Doyle, 2001, p.1). These challenges often took the form of deliberate delaying tactics until the king held a lit de justice or sent a letter de cachet that would essentially force them to act. The parlements developed the power to pass arrests de reglement, which were laws that essentially applied within their jurisdiction. So the Parlements were, in fact, part of the bedrock foundation of the Ancien Regime, and it was their wish to preserve that regime, with bourgeois, noble and royal privilege that may have led to its demise, at least in part. The apartments often prevented central authority (ie. the King) from carrying out miscellaneous reforms, such as changes to fairer forms of taxation. The ironic part of their attitude is that the parlements' refusal to allow these reforms actually challenged the very absolute power of monarchs that was at the basis of the ancien regime.During the eighteenth century, the parlements started to increasingly challenge the authority of King, ironically because he sought to change France. Thus they "frequently protested royal initiatives that they believed to threaten the traditional rights and liberties of the people . . . in widely distributed publications, they up the image of a historically free France and denounced the absolute rule of the crown that in their vi ew threatened traditional liberties by imposing religious orthodoxy and new taxes" (Encarta, 2006) (my emphasis). The Parlements, while essentially conservative institutions in their wish not to change the precepts of the ancien regime, actually provided part of the energy that would lead to its downfall.

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