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Overture to RevolutionThe 1787 Assembly of Notables and the Crisis of France's Old Regime$
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John Hardman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199585779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585779.001.0001

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Calonne's Land Tax

Calonne's Land Tax

(p.148) 5 Calonne's Land Tax
Overture to Revolution

John Hardman

Oxford University Press

The reformation of the land tax was the central plank of Calonne's reform programme. He aimed to raise an additional 50 million livres purely by ending the favoured treatment of certain regional and social categories. These categories, however, were heavily represented in the Assembly and they developed a sophisticated and sophistical defence of their privileges based on the need for consent to taxation which threatened the basis of the regime. The question of their sincerity was much debated and it still is by historians today. The second part of this chapter provides a detailed analytical narrative of the critical first week of the Assembly, in which through unscheduled meetings with key groups of Notables, Calonne attempted to re-assert control over events.

Keywords:   Calonne, consent, land tax, privilege, sincerity, analytical narrative

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