Royal Taxation in Fourteenth-Century France: The Development of War Financing, 1322-1359

Royal Taxation in Fourteenth-Century France: The Development of War Financing, 1322-1359

Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 406
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    Royal Taxation in Fourteenth-Century France: The Development of War Financing, 1322-1359
    Book Description:

    The capture of the French king John II at Poitiers in 1356 marked the end of royal taxation as a temporary, wartime expedient and its beginning as an annual assessment. John Henneman's detailed treatment of war financing in the period immediately preceding, from 1322 to 1356, is the first volume in a proposed study of royal finances in France during the fourteenth century. Mr. Henneman has chosen a chronological approach to his subject in order to show how the evolving theory and practice of taxation were affected by these turbulent years of war and negotiation, political faction and dynastic feuds, social and economic change.

    Mr. Henneman discusses the king's requirements for money over and above his normal revenues, the methods he used to raise the funds, the responses of his subjects, and the changes these procedures made in the development of French institutions. His study is based largely on unpublished sources, especially the manuscripts found in French provincial archives. As the royal financial records in Paris have been dispersed or destroyed, these manuscripts arc of particular importance.

    Originally published in 1971.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6943-5
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Genealogical Table
    (pp. xvii-xvii)
  6. Map
    (pp. xviii-2)
  7. CHAPTER I The French Crown and Its Finances at the Beginning of the Fourteenth Century
    (pp. 3-39)

    To understand the financial position of the French monarchy in the first quarter of the fourteenth century, one first must be acquainted with the fiscal terminology and administrative geography employed in the documents. Of even greater importance are the economic, social, and political factors which conditioned the development of royal taxing powers at the beginning of this period.

    The term “taxation” is used here to describe a set of late medieval practices which produced revenues but which often seem rather remote from “taxation” in the modern sense. The fourteenth century had no single word to describe these practices, but several...

  8. CHAPTER II The War Subsidies for Gascony and Flanders, 1324-1329
    (pp. 40-79)

    In accordance with his generally cautious policy, Charles IV did not even bring up the matter of English homage for Guyenne until the latter part of 1323. Historians have credited him with an accommodating attitude on this question,¹ but domestic politics probably were a factor. After the suspicious and hostile reaction to Philip Vs fiscal program of 1321, Charles doubtless wished to postpone the day when he might have to seek new war subsidies.

    In July of 1323, he finally summoned Edward II to render homage at Amiens between 2 February and Easter 1324.² Edward responded with delaying tactics, claiming...

  9. CHAPTER III The Fiscal Policies and Feudal Aids of Philip VI, 1329-1336
    (pp. 80-115)

    In seeking to analyze the principal sources of Philip VI’s revenue during the early 1330s, we are severely handicapped by the destruction of the Chamber of Accounts’ records in the eighteenth century. Where local archives are often rich in material dealing with subsidy negotiations or taxes which threatened privileges, they are far less informative about the more prosaic sources of income available to the king in time of peace. The same is true of representative assemblies. Of those held in the 1330s, some were apparently quite large in size, but the surviving documents tell us virtually nothing about them.¹ Fortunately,...

  10. CHAPTER IV The Beginnings of the Hundred Years’ War, 1337-1340
    (pp. 116-153)

    With war a virtual certainty, Philip VI had already proclaimed thearrière-banthroughout the kingdom on 30 April 1337.¹ This order was clearly a fiscal device. As in 1328, the war subsidy was to be based squarely upon the obligation of personal military service. Three weeks later, on 20 May, the count of Foix was ordered to have French troops muster at Marmande on 8 July.² This summons was doubtless aimed at those lords who were expected to serve in the army personally. From the outset, Philip expected to wage a two-front war, for his northern subjects were to muster...

  11. CHAPTER V The Fiscal and Political Difficulties of Philip VI, 1341-1345
    (pp. 154-190)

    Although the first real military action of the war had occurred in 1340, the failure of the English to capture Condom and Tournai left the situation deadlocked. Late in September, the truce of Esplechin was concluded,¹ the first of many truces which would cause the French government no end of financial embarrassment. As a step towards peace, the truce accomplished little. The southwest remained unsettled because of private warfare, largely the feud between the counts of Foix and Armagnac which would drag on through most of the century. The count of Foix had been an important French commander, but John...

  12. CHAPTER VI Military Disaster, The Estates, and the Plague, 1346-1348
    (pp. 191-238)

    The years 1346 to 1348 are of great importance in French political and constitutional history, but they were given little serious study before Raymond Cazelles published his important book in 1958. Cazelles has pointed to a number of interesting parallels between these years and the more famous crisis of 1355-1358, and his findings can be supported and amplified by comparing the fiscal documents for the two periods, which he did not stress.¹ It was in this period that the Estates of Languedoc first played an important role. At the same time, Languedoc became increasingly separate from the North in its...

  13. CHAPTER VII Towards More Uniform Taxation Under John II, 1349-1353
    (pp. 239-263)

    Following the plague, every government in Europe faced similar problems in seeking to regain financial stability. The population was reduced and demoralized, yet many had inherited new wealth.¹ The administration was disorganized and the economy dislocated, but costly warfare was temporarily interrupted. In studying the Italian town of Siena, William Bowsky found that the Sienese recouped municipal finances within five years’ time by laying heavy emphasis on indirect taxes and forced loans from the wealthy rather than attempting to collect on the basis of households remaining.² There are some similarities between Sienese municipal policy and the approach used by the...

  14. CHAPTER VIII The Valois-Evreux Rupture and the Fiscal Crisis of 1354-1356
    (pp. 264-302)

    The shaky equilibrium in fiscal matters attained by the government of John II in the early 1350s depended upon a low level of warfare, the goodwill of the three Estates of different regions, and the continuation of a fairly reliable income from the clerical tenth and the royal domain. Any disturbance which might increase royal expenses or reduce anticipated revenues could place the monarchy in dire financial straits. Such a disturbance was created in January 1354, when the young constable of France, Charles of Spain, was assassinated by agents of the king of Navarre and his brothers.¹ For the next...

  15. CHAPTER IX A Half-Century of Royal Taxes: Major Conclusions
    (pp. 303-330)

    In the history of French taxation, the period from the outbreak of Anglo-French hostilities in 1294 until the capture of John II at Poitiers, can properly be called the age of the war subsidy. Taking many forms and obtained in various ways, the war subsidy was by far the most important tax in this period. Prior to 1356, only military emergency could justify an extraordinary tax, and taxpayers often defined “necessity” rather narrowly. Thereafter, the “common profit” would not be tied so strictly to war or invasion and the “aids for the deliverance” of the king would gradually form the...

  16. APPENDIX I Coinage Problems and Their Efiect on Fiscal Documents
    (pp. 331-353)
  17. APPENDIX II Tabulation of Major Taxes and Extraordinary Royal Revenues, 1322-1356
    (pp. 354-358)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 361-376)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 377-388)