Throughout the time period of the sixteenth century to the eighteen century the understanding of what nobility is and what its capabilities are changed with the monarchy’s mentality. Many different disagreements aroused related to the nobility. The two most crucial were the differentiation between robe and sword nobility and whether they even possessed the right to have such a title. The sword nobility which come from a long military descendancy have the right to perform certain duties as described by Jean De La Taille in “The Retired Courtier”, the poem describes the need to be a pure noble and possess the title of courtier (doc 1). King Louis XIII announced in the Declaration of Duels and Affairs of Honors that nobles brought into nobility by money are misusing their time battling with the sword nobility instead of protecting the country that allows them to have such a title in the first place.(doc6)
Louis XIII desired political independence and this distraction and rebellion only stop him from getting there. Gilles Andre de la Roque said “You can’t just earn the title of nobility because you lack the family necessary for it”(doc9). The idea of what truly makes a noble , a noble is being shared by these documents. Marc-Antoine Millotet agreed with the rights that came with being a robe nobleman due to the fact that it was acquired by law (doc7). His ideas are mostly attached to the fact that he was a judge , therefore he pushed the idea of law.
The scene created by Moliere in “Dom Juan” represents his idea that nobility doesn’t come through being born in a noble family. You can only become a noble by having the right attitude and intentions (doc8). King Louis XVI changed the idea of how one can become noble. In the “Edict Granting Nobility” he states that nobility is no longer achieved through a noble hereditary line. It is now achieved by being good service to the king and sacrificing money to support the army (doc10). The similar idea shared between these documents is that nobility is not hereditary.
Philippe-Antoine in the “Universal Dictionary of Civil, Criminal, Canonical, and Proprietary Jurisprudence” claims that it is necessary for laws to be made against regular people claiming noble titles for business or just to be at a higher rank (doc 12). Antoine de Montchrestien in the ” newspaper obituary” shows an example of a fraud caused by a common birth person which calls himself the Baron Of Vatteville. He took the title of a noble, when he doesn’t belong to noble family and also took the name of an estate that doesn’t exist (doc5). The Villagers of Mondeville claim that nobleman bought titles and now claim that their statuses permit them to assault and beat the villagers (doc3). All these documents share examples of the frauds that went on during that time period. They also show the influence the battle between the sword and robe nobility had on the regular people.
During the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries there was a different understanding of what a true noble was and what allowed you to become a noble. There were two different versions of how to become a noble. Either by sacrificing money to the army and being under the service of the king or by being born in a noble family. Both of these versions had their own ups and downs and influenced the people differently.
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