Societies in Upheaval: Insurrections in France, Hungary, and Spain in the Early Eighteenth Century

Societies in Upheaval: Insurrections in France, Hungary, and Spain in the Early Eighteenth Century

Societies in Upheaval: Insurrections in France, Hungary, and Spain in the Early Eighteenth Century

Societies in Upheaval: Insurrections in France, Hungary, and Spain in the Early Eighteenth Century

Excerpt

From the banks of the Tisza to the mountains of the Cévennes to the shores of the Mediterranean, insurrections broke out in the early eighteenth century. The almost simultaneous eruption of insurrections in three widely scattered locations--Hungary, France, and Spain--during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1714) prompted us to examine the nature and causes of revolution and the preconceptions and mythology surrounding that term. More specifically, an inquiry that focuses on these crises reveals much about the manifestations of discontent and about the role and limitations of the state in early modern Europe. It was an era in which the discontented could still win concessions from the central government, an era in which alternatives to the existing socioeconomic system were not available and were not envisioned. In all three instances traditions of protest molded the course of the revolt, the agrarian depression and the fiscal pressures set the stage, and autonomous organizations threatened the power of the absolute state. Comparative history, for all its inherent and formidable difficulties, offers the possibility of providing a different perspective on seemingly disparate events in Hungary, France, and Spain. This study underscores the gap between early modern and modern Europe and provides a vehicle for examining the validity . . .

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