27 January 2011

A "state of the kingdom" address given by Chretien-Francois de Lamoignon* on November 19th, 1787:

[five years from now] His Majesty in the midst of his estates, surrounded by his faithful subjects, confidently presenting to them the comforting picture of order restored to finances, of agriculture and commerce mutually encouraged under the auspices of freedom, of a formidable navy, the army regenerated by a more economical and military constitution, of abuses eliminated......of laws reformed, public education perfected...
from Simon Schama, Citizens, Chapter 7 'Suicides'

*president of the Parlement of Paris. Old regime France had thirteen judicial bodies called parlements, each serving a historic region of the kingdom. They had to ratify every royal decree before it became law, and based their decisions on a nebulous idea of "fundamental law."

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