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Michael P. Breen
Reed Institute dba Reed College (Portland, OR 97202-8199)
Courts and Communities: Local Justice, Culture, and Society in Early Modern France

This monograph analyzes four local French courts during one late seventeenth century decade. Courts and Communities moves away from earlier studies of institutions and criminal justice, taking a comparative, micro-historical approach to the social and cultural interactions between law courts and their users. Through an intensive description of the bailliage of Bourg-en-Bresse in the east; the senechausee of Angers in the west; the senechaussee of Montmeliar in the southern region that adhered to Roman law; and the colonial prevote of Quebec, this project examines the structural similarities and common facets of local justice while calling attention to the ways local conditions, traditions, and practices mediated the experience of royal authority. Courts and Communities provides a more detailed and complex analysis of how justice functioned in practice, thereby improving our understanding of how law courts shaped and transformed early modern French culture and society.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
European History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2009 – 6/30/2009