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Réflexions sur l'État en Angleterre (XVIe-XVIIe siècles)

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  • Michael Braddick
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    [eng] This article argues that the insights of cultural history and micro-sociology are essential to an understanding of the large-scale processes of state formation. Starting with the well-established historiographical concern in histories of the state with the establishment of effective fiscal and military systems, it argues against a strong distinction between administrative and political matters and draws attention to the importance for all areas of state activity of a compact between local elites and central governments. At the same time that local elites brokered state authority in the locality they were securing their own social position. Processes of elite formation and state formation were, in other words, inter-related and the terms of the compact conditional, that is to say they were negotiated, contestable and political in nature. Analysis of the legitimation of the social and political position of local elites leads the historian into consideration of the representation of social and political power and, hence, into the domain of cultural history and micro-sociology. Similarly, the establish ment of "bureaucracies" has to be located in the context of the legitimation of power and, hence, of a study of political culture. However, cultural history approaches are often seen to be more powerful as tools for the analysis of structures than of dynamic processes. The final part of the article therefore offers some thoughts about how to reconcile this tension between the synchronie analysis of (political) culture and the analysis of change over time commonly associated with histories of the state. It does so through a brief discussion of the author's work in progress on the English revolution. [fre] Cet article avance que les apports de la micro-sociologie et de l'histoire culturelle sont indispensables pour comprendre les processus de la formation de l'État. Il part des préoccupations historiographiques à présent bien connues sur l'établissement de systèmes militaires et fiscaux efficaces puis il conteste l'idée d'une distinction trop nette entre les questions politiques et les questions administratives. Il attire l'attention sur l'importance dans toutes les aires de compétence de l'État d'un accord entre les élites locales et les gouvernements centraux. En imposant l'autorité de l'État dans les communautés locales, les élites renforçaient en même temps leurs positions sociales. Les processus qui ont conduit à la formation des élites et à la formation de l'Etat sont étroitement liés et les termes de l'accord étaient conditionnels c'est-à-dire qu'ils pouvaient être négociés et qu'ils étaient contestables et de nature politique. L'analyse de la légitimation de la position sociale et politique des élites locales conduit l'auteur à s'intéresser à la représentation des pouvoirs politique et sociaux et donc à l'histoire culturelle et à la micro-sociologie. L'établissement des « bureaucraties » doit également être replacé dans le contexte de la légitimation du pouvoir et donc dans le cadre d'une étude d'histoire culturelle. Cependant, les approches liées à l'histoire culturelle sont souvent considérées comme des outils plus puissants pour l'analyse des structures que pour l'étude des dynamiques. La dernière partie de cet article livre quelques réflexions sur la manière de réconcilier la tension entre l'analyse synchronique de la culture (politique) et l'analyse du changement à travers le temps communément associé aux histoires de l'État. Elle s'appuie alors sur les travaux en cours de l'auteur sur la Révolution anglaise.

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    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Histoire, économie et société.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 29-50

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2005_num_24_1_2534
    Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2005.2534
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