The Fate of Secrets in a Public Sphere: The Comte de Broglie and the Demise of the ‘Secret du Roi’

The Comte knew that there were both advantages and pitfalls in the use of secrecy in diplomacy. Introduction In every century, secrecy has been a part of the diplomatic game and the sine qua non of espionage. For Louis XV, however, secrecy became a volatile weapon that did him more harm than good, especially at[…]

Controlling Public Opinion in France’s Old Regime: Did the King Care what the Peasants Thought?

The politicization of the French peasantry before and during the Revolutionary period has been the topic of much debate. Introduction On a chilly day in late November, a peasant named Jean Marrot, who lived in the village of Brassac in the Pyrenees mountains south of Foix, went for a walk in the woods near his[…]