Le Gisant de la féodalité dans l'ombre des Lumières. View larger

Le Gisant de la féodalité dans l'ombre des Lumières.

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Philippe HUPPÉ - Le Gisant de la féodalité dans l'ombre des Lumières. La féodalité dans la baronnie du Pouget et la vicomté de Plaissan [Hérault] au 18e siècle (suivi de l'armorial des seigneurs), (préface de J. Michaud), 1998, 244 p., 24 pl. dt. 4 cou, (ISBN : 2-907303-22-8)

Under the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI, feudalism no longer exists in the countryside of Languedoc as a coherent sociopolitical system, but some of its aspects endure and can be observed from Gignac to Bélagra. The aftereffects of feudalism survive in this ever changing society : in the domain of feudal rights (quitrent, slaughtering rights), of seigneurial rights (oil crushers and grain mills, communal ovens, brokerage rights), and in the legal proceedings that are faithfully documented in the archives.

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A careful study of the notarial, judicial and seigneurial sources reveal the conflicts and compromises that existed in these village societies in the central valley of the Hérault. Most of the legal proceedings concern disputes over property, thefts of agricultural produce, and physical assaults. While landlords get richer, the poorest farmers loose the use of communal lands, on which their very existence depends. Some disputes over paternity also set the rich and the poor against one another.
Enriched with an armorial of local lords, of which 36 coat of arms are reproduced, this work will interest not only those who specialize in legal history and the 18th century, but also those who would like to delve into the local history of these villages in Languedoc on the eve of the Revolution.

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