Comte de Purchase
- Jun 28, 2007
France from 1453 to 1814 gives us a strange image: while she rose to the rank of Great Power and remained suzerain throughout this period, her power was undercut by massive institutional in-competencies. While France produced the phrase "L'etat: C'est Moi" and the concept of the absolutist monarchy, this absolute monarchy was moderated by a several corporate groups which dominated French governance. The Aristocracy, the Army, the Church, and the Burghers all vied for power throughout this era, with the Aristocracy winning out most of the time.
Institutional capture, a concept familiar to contemporary readers, occurs when a government agency becomes 'captured' by the interest of corporate groups. This concept will greatly help the reader understand the dilemmas and solutions that the French government came across through the early modern period. Even in the home of absolutism, the king rarely had much room for independent action, as policies were generally implemented by aristocrats. This is not to say that the actions of the French King were consistently high minded. The concepts of liberty, democracy, or even utilitarianism had not been developed yet, the concept that policy may bring about economic development would not come about until the Industrial Era. So actions which expanded the strength of the state were generally done for just that: to expand the strength of the state, and to increase the power of the King.
The one major goal of the French government through the early modern era was to remain suzerain through military might. France consistently endeavored to retain one of the largest armies in Western Europe. This goal frequently threatened the French state with bankruptcy. And who fought these wars, paid for the massive army? The Burgers. Locked out of governance for centuries, it is little question why the rage of the urban poor ended up tearing the whole system of French governance apart.
In this study I plan to go over the history of France in the early modern era, her rise to dominance, and the reasons why she ended up falling to a Revolution.
Hello, and welcome to Lords of France! I am Merrick Chance', writer of Lords of Prussia, a similar AAR (history-book style, MMP2 mod) primarily written last summer. A couple of things happened which ended that AAR. Firstly my game was corrupted during the winter, and given the amount of time that my senior project was taking out of my life, I thought it prudent not to reinstall. Secondly, in an attempt to free up space, I accidentally deleted my images on the last chapter of the 50 Years War section. I may end up finishing Lords of Prussia, mostly because it ends at a huge cliff hanger, but there are other reasons why I am choosing another country and creating another AAR rather than finishing Lords of Prussia (or writing a Lords of Prussia II which I thought about).
It's understandable that as someone interested in policy and international relations, that I was taken in by the 'Prussian image', the idea that, without the messiness of democratic politics and with a competent King, you can have consistently good policy for possibly centuries. I was so taken in by this idea that even though I knew about the problems present in Whig history, I ended up writing a version of Whig history: the impossibly competent series of Kings (I was really lucky) was augmented by the fact that I, as a player, knew precisely what to do.
In this game I'm going to try to play as a King, rather than as a player. Part of the reason why I think that players often get unhistorical results is that a player will lead a country in a far more efficient way than any real life government. I'm going to try to play like a King, accepting the flaws of my rulers: another reason for unhistorical results is that a player will still play well with a 4/4/4 King. I will try to play within the capabilities of my Kings.
Beyond that, I'll try to pick ideas as seems appropriate, focusing on ideas that increase my force limits and my economic abilities. In the end I'll try to do the trifecta of LEF, Scientific Revolution and Military Glory though I may end up not being able to get all of them. Some suggestions for a good idea for my first idea would be very welcome.