Europe in the Sixteenth Century, 1494-1598, Fifth Edition Period 4 (of 8), Periods of European History

A. H. Johnson Europe in the Sixteenth Century, 1494-1598, Fifth Edition Period 4 (of 8), Periods of European History
ISBN:
2000000001699
Мова:
англійська
Автор:
A. H. Johnson
Видавництво:
Project Gutenberg
Рік видання:
2013 р.
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At the date of the Italian expedition, Charles viii. had been eleven years on the throne of France. The monarchy to which he succeeded was, perhaps, less controlled by constitutional checks than any other in Europe. The crown had earned popularity as the leader in the struggle against the English—a struggle which had created the French nation; and as the patron of the middle classes against the feudal nobles. The Estates-General, the deliberative assembly of the kingdom, had never succeeded in vindicating its claims. The class divisions which divided it, as they did the people, had prevented united action. The third estate did not adequately represent the middle classes; the knights of the shire, those valuable representatives of the country districts, who had formed the backbone of the English House of Commons, did not exist. With these defects, the Estates-General had failed to secure the command of the purse, or to control the legislation and administration of the country. All power accordingly lay with the Royal Council, a body of royal nominees who issued ordinances and levied taxes at their will, so long as they did not entrench on the privileges of the nobility to be free from all direct taxation beyond their feudal dues.

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