Establishing a New Order: The Growth of the State and the Decline of Witch Trials in France

35 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2011

See all articles by Noel D. Johnson

Noel D. Johnson

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Mark Koyama

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

John V. Nye

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center; National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: October 2, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Noel D. and Koyama, Mark and Nye, John V. C., Establishing a New Order: The Growth of the State and the Decline of Witch Trials in France (October 2, 2011). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 11-43. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1937308 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1937308

Noel D. Johnson (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
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George Mason University - Mercatus Center

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Mark Koyama

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~mkoyama2/About.html

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

John V. C. Nye

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-4272 (Phone)

Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

National Research University Higher School of Economics

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Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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