26 March 2020

ARTICLE: Benjamin DERUELLE, "Au préjudice de la fidélité, du droit et de la nature. Les usages de la lèse-majesté dans le discours monarchique à la noblesse de France (1560-1598)" (Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine LXVII (2020), nr. 1, 163-189)

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In France, the end of the Italian wars and the tragic death of King Henry II opened the period of the Wars of Religion. The monarchy then plunged into a religious, political and military crisis in which the nobility played a decisive role. Yet, more than ever, the king must rely on the noblemen responsible for the defence and internal order of the kingdom. Thus between the general uprising of the Huguenots, under the direction of the Prince of Condé in April 1562, and the capture of Amiens in 1597, Charles IX, Henri III and then Henri IV multiplied the declarations, the summonses of the ban and the rear ban and the general calls to the nobility. Among the arguments presented to convince the nobles to abandon the revolt or join the royal army, is that of the lese-majesty. This article focuses on the place of this legal category, its evolution in monarchical discourse and on the reshaping it undergoes during religious unrest. The discourse to the nobility is not only revealed as the place where the domains covered by the lese-majesty are redefined, but also as a place for redefining the power and the role of the nobility.
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