The Ancient Regime
Free

The Ancient Regime

By Hippolyte Taine
Free
Book Description

Part of the series Origins of contemporary France. [v.1]

Table of Contents
  • THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY FRANCE, VOLUME 1
  • THE ANCIENT REGIME
  • INTRODUCTION
  • PREFACE:
  • THE ANCIENT REGIME
  • PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR: ON POLITICAL IGNORANCE AND WISDOM.
  • BOOK FIRST. THE STRUCTURE OF THE ANCIENT SOCIETY.
  • CHAPTER I. THE ORIGIN OF PRIVILEGES.
  • I. Services and Recompenses of the Clergy.
  • II. Services and Recompenses of the Nobles.
  • III. Services and Recompenses of the King.
  • CHAPTER II. THE PRIVILEGED CLASSES.
  • I. Number of the Privileged Classes.
  • II. Their Possessions, Capital, and Revenue.
  • III. Their Immunities.
  • IV. Their Feudal Rights.
    • These advantages are the remains of primitive sovereignty.
  • V. They may be justified by local and general services.
  • CHAPTER III. LOCAL SERVICES DUE BY THE PRIVILEGED CLASSES.
  • I. Examples in Germany and England.—These services are not rendered by
  • II. Resident Seigniors.
  • III. Absentee Seigniors.
  • CHAPTER IV. PUBLIC SERVICES DUE BY THE PRIVILEGED CLASSES.
  • I. England compared to France.
  • II. The Clergy
  • III. Influence of the Nobles.
  • IV. Isolation of the Chiefs
  • V. The King's Incompetence and Generosity.
  • VI. Latent Disorganization in France.
  • BOOK SECOND. MORALS AND CHARACTERS.
  • CHAPTER I. MORAL PRINCIPLES UNDER THE ANCIENT REGIME.
  • The Court and a life of pomp and parade.
  • I. Versailles.
  • The Physical aspect and the moral character of Versailles.
  • II. The King's Household.
  • III. The King's Associates.
  • IV. Everyday Life In Court.
  • V. Royal Distractions.
  • VI. Upper Class Distractions.
  • VII. Provincial Nobility.
  • CHAPTER II. DRAWING ROOM LIFE.2201
  • I. Perfect only in France
  • II. Social Life Has Priority.
  • III. Universal Pleasure Seeking.
  • IV. Enjoyment.
  • V. Happiness.
  • VI. Gaiety.
  • VII. Theater, Parade And Extravagance.
  • CHAPTER III. DISADVANTAGES OF THIS DRAWING ROOM LIFE.
  • I. Its Barrenness and Artificiality
  • II. Return To Nature And Sentiment.
  • III. Personality Defects.
  • BOOK THIRD. THE SPIRIT AND THE DOCTRINE.
  • CHAPTER I. SCIENTIFIC ACQUISITION.
  • I. Scientific Progress.
  • II. Science Detached From Theology.
  • III. The Transformation Of History.
  • IV. The New Psychology.
  • V. The Analytical Method.
  • CHAPTER II. THE CLASSIC SPIRIT, THE SECOND ELEMENT.
  • I. Through Colored Glasses.
  • II. Its Original Deficiency.
  • III. The Mathematical Method.
  • CHAPTER III. COMBINATION OF THE TWO ELEMENTS.
  • I. Birth Of A Doctrine, A Revelation.
  • II. Ancestral Tradition And Culture.
  • III. Reason At War With Illusion.
  • IV. Casting Out The Residue Of Truth And Justice.
  • V. The Dream Of A Return To Nature.
  • VI. The Abolition Of Society. Rousseau.
  • VII: The Lost Children.
  • CHAPTER IV. ORGANIZING THE FUTURE SOCIETY.
  • I. Liberty, Equality And Sovereignty Of The People.
  • II. Naive Convictions
  • III. Our True Human Nature.
  • IV. Birth Of Socialist Theory, Its Two Sides.
  • V. Social Contract, Summary.
  • BOOK FOURTH. THE PROPAGATION OF THE DOCTRINE.
  • CHAPTER I.—SUCCESS OF THIS PHILOSOPHY IN FRANCE.—FAILURE OF THE SAME
  • I. The Propagating Organ, Eloquence.
  • II. Its Method.
    • Owing to this method it becomes popular.
  • III. Its Popularity.
  • IV. The Masters.
  • CHAPTER II. THE FRENCH PUBLIC.
  • I. The Nobility.
  • II. Conditions In France.
  • III. French Indolence.
  • IV. Unbelief.
  • V. Political Opposition.
  • VI. Well-Meaning Government.
  • CHAPTER III. THE MIDDLE CLASS.
  • I. The Past.
  • II. CHANGE IN THE CONDITION OF THE BOURGEOIS.
  • III. Social Promotion.
  • IV. Rousseau's Philosophy Spreads And Takes HOLD.
  • V. Revolutionary Passions.
  • VI. Summary
  • BOOK FIFTH. THE PEOPLE
  • CHAPTER I. HARDSHIPS.
  • I. Privations.
  • II. The Peasants.
  • III. The Countryside.
    • Aspects of the country and of the peasantry.
  • IV. The Peasant Becomes Landowner.
  • CHAPTER II. TAXATION THE PRINCIPAL CAUSE OF MISERY.
  • I. Extortion.
  • II. Local Conditions.
  • III. The Common Laborer.
    • Four direct taxes on the common laborer.
  • IV. Collections And Seizures.—Observe the system actually at work. It
  • V. Indirect Taxes.
    • The salt-tax and the excise.
  • VI. Burdens And Exemptions.
    • Why taxation is so burdensome.—Exemptions and privileges.
  • VII. Municipal Taxation.
  • VIII. Complaints In The Registers 5272.
  • CHAPTER III. INTELLECTUAL STATE OF THE PEOPLE.
  • I. Intellectual incapacity
  • II. Political incapacity
  • III. Destructive impulses
  • IV. Insurrectionary leaders and recruits
  • CHAPTER IV. THE ARMED FORCES.
  • I. Military force declines
  • II. The social organization is dissolved
  • III.--Direction of the current
  • CHAPTER V. SUMMARY.
  • I. Suicide of the Ancient Regime.
  • II.--Aspirations for the 'Great Revolution.'
  • END OF VOLUME
    • NOTE 1.
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