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"Sous le ciel des Estatz" : les Etats généraux de Lorraine sous le règne personnel de Charles III (1559-1608)

Abstract : As sovereign Duke of Lorraine and Bar, Charles III convened the Estates General common to both principalities to obtain council and assistance from the Three Orders (clergy, nobility & commoners). The agility which with Charles III was able to use this ancient state tool reinforced both his power and sovereignty. During a reign troubled by the French Wars of Religion, the prince resorted time and time again to his subjects to raise troops and fortify city walls. To raise extraordinary taxation, the consent of the Estates General was necessary – though rarely was it refused. Nevertheless, the increase of these taxes and their semi-permanence brought the prince into conflict with the bourgeoisie of Bar. They appealed to the Parliament of Paris which compelled the Duke to hold separate Estates General, one for the portion of the fief ultimately subject to the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of France (the so-called Barrois mouvant), the other within the sovereign jurisdiction of the Duke. The lack of institutional unity between the two duchies is particularly blatant in terms of court structure. Civil matters are exclusively presided by the old and powerful Knights of the Duchy of Lorraine at the heart of the assizes. This system is, however, antiquated and highly contested in the Estates General. The Duke strived to divert litigation from the feudal courts into his own courts and, in responding to the wishes of the Third Order, to ensure the proper administration of justice. In the remaining territory subject to the Duke’s sovereign jurisdiction (the Barrois non mouvant), the Duke established a Sovereign Court of Great Days of Saint-Mihiel (Cour Souveraine des Grands Jours de Saint-Mihiel), which was criticised by the local nobility for usurping their feudal jurisdiction in favour of trained lawyers. Thanks to his supporters, reform is not limited to the above feudal jurisdictions, as the Duke’s courts gradually also supplant the manorial courts. Horrified by these developments, the nobility protested in the Estates General. It is under the reign of Charles III that the Estates General reform the custumals to keep pace with the social evolution of the Duchy of Lorraine.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 10:00:21 AM
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Julien Lapointe. "Sous le ciel des Estatz" : les Etats généraux de Lorraine sous le règne personnel de Charles III (1559-1608). Droit. Université de Lorraine, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015LORR0029⟩. ⟨tel-01751815⟩



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