Establishing a New Order: The Growth of the State and the Decline of Witch Trials in France
35 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 2, 2011
The growth of the 17th century French state contributed to the establishment to a more regular, and even liberal legal order. Higher fiscal demands on the state led to a process of legal standardization that extended the rule of law. We use data on witch trials and taxation covering twenty-one regions between 1550 and 1700 to support this claim. Regions where higher taxes were collected were also less likely to see witch trials. Thus fiscal consolidation promoted a more rational legal order.
Keywords: Economic History, Fiscal Capacity, France, Witchcraft, Legal Capacity
JEL Classification: N43, D70, H10, K40, O10
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