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History Document Based Assessment

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Introduction

1. Describe and analyze concepts of nobility in France over the period from the late sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century. With the growing need of financial support for the French monarchy in the sixteenth century, government offices were sold which would confer nobility upon those who purchased them. These newer nobles were known as "robe" nobles, in contrast to the traditional "sword" nobility who earned their titles through military service. The distinction and separation of the "sword" nobility and the "robe" nobility brought about new views on the concept of nobility throughout France from the late sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century which largely included the ideas that of the "sword" nobility which asserted their superiority to the "robe" due to the sacrifice their ancestors gave in battle, that which stated the financial sacrifice of the "robe" nobility to be equal to that of the "sword," and that which spoke out against the corruption of the noble title. The "sword" nobility would often view itself as superior to the "robe" nobility. In Document 9, a quote from Gilles Andr� de La Roque's Treatise on the Nobility, in 1678 says "The great nobles of the sword are drawn from a race ...read more.

Middle

Now it seems to be all that is required to aspire to any office." On the opposing side, some viewed the authenticity and authority of the "robe" nobility to be equal to that of the "sword" nobility. In his preamble to an edict granting nobility, King Louis XIV said that "An individual who sacrifices his wealth to support the armies that protect the state can merit, in a manner of speaking, the same reward as those who shed blood to defend it." Though his high position lends credibility to the document, as the monarch of the state and the one who is appointing the title to the "robe" nobles for financial support, Louis's statements can easily be drawn to bias. However, interestingly enough, Pierre de La Primaudaye states in his 1577 work, The French Academy, that "It does one no good to boast of an ancient lineage or to live for the luster of one's noble and virtuous ancestors if you are worth nothing by yourself." As Pierre de La Primaudaye is a sword noble himself, it is interesting that he would bring equality to the argument by declaring nobility to be the truly derived from one's own doings instead of that of a lineage which has no course on one's own actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

" Merlin emphasizes the need of laws against such fraudulent claims which asserts the assumption to the reader that such claims are common in society. One such case is that of Antoine de Montchrestien in 1621. A newspaper obituary for de Montchrestien states "He studied, devoted himself to French poetry, and succeeded in writing some good verses. Then, at the age of twenty, he learned fencing and horseback riding from masters. While keeping company with nobles, he played the noble, the gallant one, the hardy one, the quarrelsome one, so as to fight a duel. He called himself the Baron of Vatteville, but in fact there was no land or estate of Vatteville." Though the concepts of nobility in France from the late sixteenth to the late eighteenth century differed from person to person, there was a general line between the robe and sword nobility. There generally existed those who stood for the superiority of the "sword" nobility to the "robe" nobility, those who stood for the equality of the two, and those who stood against the corruption of either and nobility through one's own personal actions rather than those of one's ancestors, be it financially or through battle. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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