Actes Royaux Francais, 1256-1794 (French Royal Acts, 1256-1794)

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One of the largest collections of its kind, Archives Unbound: Actes Royaux Français, 1256-1794 offers a wealth of information on the legislative and administrative history of France, as well as other aspects of French life. About 16,000 pamphlets covering this important period in French history are available in this collection. Dealing with the financial and political administration of France proper from the late 13th century to the end of the monarchy, nearly three-quarters of these pamphlets are concentrated in the 18th century; a considerable number are of earlier origin. Many of the early pamphlets are reprints of materials published by officials during the period of the monarchy as a reminder of the established rights or obligations of their constituency.

Date range: 1256-1794

Source library: New York Public Library

Among the topics covered in this collection are:

  • Fiscal matters in the Chambre des Comptes, including annuities, appointments and sales of offices.
  • Taxation and tariffs on goods.
  • Toll collections, primarily of the 18th century, including tax on river passage through land-owners’ property, with names of owners of genealogical or historical interest.
  • Bridge and road toll disputes.
  • Salt taxation, trade and smuggling.
  • Criminal justice, primarily from 1720 forward.
  • John Law’s attempts at reorganization of the financial system, including Compagnie des Indes and currency devaluation.
  • Military administration, including Army and Navy.
  • Book printing and prohibitions, especially those of religious or political nature.
  • Persons of significance of the period.

Sample Documents:

  • Arrets (final judgments of an edict of the King by Parliaments or the royal courts or councils).
  • Memoires (official reminders).
  • Lettres Patentes (which established privileges).
  • Royal Ordonnances (in response to petitions).
  • Remonstrances, Extraits...

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    Archives Unbound Series

    Introducing Archives Unbound -- a vast new resource that combines the best of legacy microfilms from Gale and Primary Source Media and new, never-before-filmed collections. Specifically developed to address the needs of individual scholars, universities, and organizations, Archives Unbound is unique not only for its expansive, multi-disciplinary content but also for the distinct new intuitive search platform by which it is accessed.

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