Répertoire international des études révolutionnaires

Il y a actuellement 1 dans ce répertoire commençant par la lettre H.
Huang Hao [Docteur 2021]
Sujet: Research on the French Local Administrative Reform in the 18th Century:Thought and Pratice.
Directeur: Gao Yi
Université: Pékin / Doctorant invité à l'IHRF-Paris1 par Pierre Serna (2016-2018)

Since the 15th century, "province" began to replace all kinds of duchess or earldoms that were once independent or semi-independent in the administrative language of the Kingdom of France. This concept erased the memories of separate feudal territories and bound them to the ideal of a unified French kingdom. However, in the process of further integration of the country, the king's demand for cooperation with local dignitaries and the possible income from selling the official system resulted in a political culture of  "innovating the new and not dilapidated" in the old Regime, making it difficult for the kingdom to integrate complex administrative divisions. Starting in the mid-17th century, the contradiction between the old regime and the kingdom's rapidly expanding financial needs has become increasingly acute. The intendant system with modern governance color was gradually promoted in the kingdom. While achieving certain results, it also encountered insurmountable obstacles. It also shook the tacit understanding of cooperation between the king and the privileged orders in the old Regime, which caused the latter’s worries and dissatisfaction. This worry and dissatisfaction reached its peak at the end of the reign of Louis XIV and formed a wave of thoughts reflecting absolutism. This wave continued to develop in the 18th century and proposed two ideas for solving the drawbacks of absolutism.

The "Aristocratic School" representing aristocratic liberalism tried to reform the system established during the reign of Louis XIV. They appealed to social traditions and historical experiences that were older than the old Regime itself, hoping to restrict the power of the king through estates, through local intermediate organizations, and established a barrier between the absolutist central government and local society.

The "royal powers" represented by the Abbé de Saint-Pierre and the Marquis d’Argenson hoped to further improve the administrative power. They believe that they can use rationality to reform politics and make administrative power better serve the public interest. *

Although the two sides took different paths, they coincidentally adopted a local governance model with local autonomy.

The Physiocrats, which were born after the middle of the 18th century, absorbed and borrowed many ideas from the "Royal Power School" and incorporated them into its own unique political economy system. The Marquis of Mirabeau first started the Physiocrats’ thinking on local administrative issues; Turgot and Dupont de Nemours tried to establish an election-based parliament; Le Trosne tried to solve the fiscal and tax crisis by reorganizing the local governance system., to further strengthen local administrative power.

In the 18th century, various schools' discussions on local administrative reform provided ideological resources for the monarchy to reform the local governance system. However, the government of Louis XVI was fundamentally unable to carry these reforms: on the one hand, the royal power was restricted by the privileged orders, and on the other hand, it relied heavily on the privileged orders on financial issues. The local reform plan of the Physiocrats with a strong color of equality touched the foundation of the society of order. In the end, the representatives led by the Constituent Assembly put an end to the old French administrative division and build a local governance system in the spirit of breaking with the past, but the cornerstones they used to build the new system were based on the discussion of local administrative reform in the 18th century.

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