Absolute monarchy on the frontiers

Louis XIV’s military occupations of Lorraine and Savoy

Author: Phil McCluskey

This book investigates the occupations of two of the territories, Lorraine and Savoy, both of which were occupied twice during the course of Louis's personal rule: Lorraine in 1670–1697 and 1702–1714, Savoy in 1690–1696 and again in 1703–1713. It first provides some necessary background in terms of French frontier strategy during the seventeenth century, and also relations between France, Lorraine and Piedmont-Savoy in the longer term. It includes a brief account of the occupation of Lorraine under cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, to provide useful comparison with an earlier occupation. The book then gives a narrative analysis of the occupations from the point of view of France's strategic priorities. It also considers the administrative side of the occupations, in terms of the structures and personnel put in place by the French regime and the financial and security burdens imposed on the occupier and the occupied. The book further investigates French policy towards elite groups, and their reactions to French occupation. It looks at the ways in which the nobilities responded: whether they chose to collaborate with or resist the French, and what forms that collaboration and resistance took. The attention then turns to those who held offices in occupied territories, in the sovereign courts, where they continued to exist, as well as in the lower, subaltern courts and the towns. Finally, the book considers the French church policies towards, and the responses of, the episcopate, the religious superiors and the lower regular and secular clergy.

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