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MO4912   French Absolutism: Richelieu to Louis XIV

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 60

ECTS credits : 30

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: Full Year

Availability restrictions: Available only to students in the Second Year of the Honours Programme.

Planned timetable: See

This module studies the establishment of stability and the growth of the royal state in France during the period 1610-1715. It examines both the theory and the practice of absolute monarchy and the way such a system of governance related to the wider French society. From the late 1620s traditional mechanisms of government were gradually recast and replaced by more centralised methods of political, social and cultural control. However, the encroachment of the royal state upon civil society met with both popular and elite resistance that had to be either crushed or defused through compromise deals before stability could emerge under Louis XIV. Students will focus not only upon political and administrative history but also upon associated religious, social and cultural developments, such as the growth of the royal court, the influence of the counter-reformation, the emergence of educational and artistic academies, and changing attitudes towards personal and political conduct. French is not required.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 2.5-hour seminar, plus 1 office hour.

Scheduled learning hours: 55

Guided independent study hours: 545

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2 x 3-hour Written Examinations = 60%, Coursework = 40%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 60%
Practical examinations : 7%
Coursework: 33%

Re-assessment: New Coursework: 1 x source exercise (2,000 - 2,500 words) and 1 x 4,000- to 5,000-word essay = 100%


Module teaching staff: Professor Guy Rowlands