The Estates of Blois and the Bien Public
This chapter examines the estates general of Blois, a national assembly summoned at the Palace Academy of Henry III of France on November 15, 1576. The delegates arrived equipped with cahiers which had carefully considered the issues of peace and reform, committed to a sense of the ‘commonwealth’. The chapter looks at what the deliberations at the estates general mean about the depth of commitment to the reformation of the French kingdom, and why the estates were a failure. The debate over catholicity at Blois is discussed, along with the delegates' concern to live up to the expectations of reform of the common weal that had been laid upon them, the so-called Gallican liberties of the French Catholic Church, dilemmas confronting the monarchy and the estates general in working together for the common good (bien public), and the engagement of the deputies in diplomacy in hopes of achieving the bien public.
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