Middle-class of Marseilles
the Middle-class of Marseilles , the third town of France, from the time of the Old Mode, profits from different privileges, but equivalent with those of the second order. Besides the nobility plays a part of second plan in the life of the city. This town of Provence itself is privileged compared to other French ports.
Privileges of the middle-class men of Marseilles
To become middle-class of Marseilles in 1735, is not easy matter to achieve. The quality of middle-class man is with Marseilles in general hereditary. In Paris, the time before becoming middle-class is only one year and a day, but in Marseilles it is 12 years. It is also necessary to buy a house of a value of at least 10.000 books. An oath with the king, lord of Marseilles, is required to be allowed among the middle-class men of the city and a vote in favor of the candidate to the Council of the city.
This right of middle-class in Marseilles gives privileges almost more important than those of the nobility. The noble ones pay certain taxes, whereas the Marseilles middle-class men pay neither sizes, nor direct taxes, or almost.
Like, the middle-class men are aldermen, the Municipal council prefers to tax the food products with first need, like the bread, rather than the luxury articles.
The privileges of Marseilles date almost all from the time of the fastening of Provence to the kingdom of France, the January 15th 1482. But actually the city from time immemorial will thrive in the shade of its ancient freedoms and will be a kind of republic under its Viscounts and the time of the kings, who they are of Provence or France.
The aldermen play very early, in the history of the city, an important role in the Marseilles political life. The first concern for Louis XIV is to remove the consular magistrature, reserved to the gentlemen and to replace it by new administrators, who under the title of aldermen are selected among the traders and the tradesmen. This system will function during one century and half, of 1660 to 1789.
Since 1767, the city is directed by a noble mayor, four aldermen (two traders and two middle-class man), an assessor (always a lawyer), and 36 advisers elected for three years and renewable per third annually (9 noble, 3 lawyers, 9 traders, 9 middle-class men, 6 merchants holding shop). The whole of the advisers and the municipal magistrates elects each year, on October 28th, the persons in charge who must be renewed. The procedure combines the drawing lot, the presentation of candidates, and votes it.
All the members of the municipality are fixed in conditions of fortune. Administration of Marseilles east thus firmly held by an oligarchy, within which the trade plays a very great part. A proportion from approximately 15% of the Marseillais is devoted to the trade and the activities which are dependant for him. Within this category, the 3% traders hold the top of the paving stone.
In 1789, Marseilles clearly takes party in the question of the General states. At the time of a deliberation of December 29th, 1788, the municipal council begs the king to grant to the Third in this assembly a number of deputies higher than that of the deputies of the clergy and the nobility joined together. The Council claims moreover that one practices the vote per capita within the States.
Privileges of the town of Marseilles
The privileges of the middle-class men of Marseilles are limited only to certain taxes. The traders who are a composite socio-professional group have a preeminent economic role, if not dominating. However, the traders with overseas can make exchanges with the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, without paying a right of 20% on the goods of Raising, like the other French ports. 400 Marseilles ships attend the scales of the Raising and the Côte of Barbaresque the.
The Edict of 1669, in conformity with the policy colbertist, has even assured the frankness from the port and founded the monopoly of the Marseilles trade, reinforced by the stop of the July 1703. The traders develop the exchanges with the American the Antilles and colonies.
Marseilles is the 1st port for the the Mediterranean, but he is the second for the Atlantique.
Marseilles is a very gravitational city. The most current goods that it there negotiates or transports are thus exonerated from tax. The traders are very few at the end from the 17th century, 275, but 600 at the end of the 18th century. It is a world vivified permanently by the emigration… Talents, richnesses, projects: all on our premises tends towards Marseilles , written Bérenger the writer of Provence of the 18th century.
Traders with overseas
Ten families of traders with overseas and Europe have part of the city: Rémusat, Russet-red, Boréli, Payan, Samantan, Seimmandy, Hugues, Rabaud, Tarteiron, Latil, Clary, Audibert… and hold the échevinat during 150 years. Gaspard Rey is merchant, storekeeper, contractor of vivres and ammunition for the armies in the arsenals of the King. In this Rey family, they choose to become secretaries of the King in 1735. This load was creates by Louis XIV in order to anoblir the middle-class men of the trade. But the ennoblement is not the condition to become rich and powerful in Marseilles. It in is only the consequence. Red-headed Georges, trader, corsair, obtains the erection of his ground of Brue in marquisat, because of the services which it rendered to colonization Martinique.
The capitalist company and the capitalist mode of accumulation of the capital - born from the profits of the trade - made their appearance well before the French revolution, in Marseilles, with Cadiz, Leghorn, London or Amsterdam. A trader with overseas who often started by being a Patron of boat and a merchant, often becomes at the end of his life (or before) a banker and a ship-owner, owner of several companies, even abroad, in particular with Cadiz and Seville.
See also: Owner of boat
We can generalize with Europe the commercial this observation of the historian Raoul Busquet: In this city the most interesting group, it is the world of the great merchants . It is in these large traders, in their families, their charming hotels which we note the virtue of the richness. These business men successors of merchants often happy twenty centuries , carried of number with fortune in the dash of prosperity determined by the will of Louis XIV form an aristocracy which is not only any more one aristocracy of the money. They are accustomed then to a life of living room where the intellectual tastes hold a great place and of which they embellish the framework of Article passionately They do not refuse from now on any luxury.
Great names of this commercial and world aristocracy, large traders of reformed religion, or new catholics, as remarkable by their culture as their professional virtuosity maintain with the philosophers, with the encyclopedists, lastly with Necker and its entourage, of the followed correspondence.
The academy of Marseilles
Since 1726, Marseilles has an academy, whose Maréchal of Villars was the guard. It should be noticed that starting from 1760 its perpetual secretaries are several times of the middle-class men. The artists, painters and sculptors, whose works at that time are sought more and more, and form since 1753, a meeting and soon after, open a school. In 1780, their group is officially recognized like Académie of painting, sculpture and civil architecture and naval
The Marseilles middle-class of the time of Louis XV and Louis XVI is not entirely francized. The count of Villeneuve writes that even the women of the Marseilles high society include/understand French in 1777 badly. Correspondences of years 1750 preserved at Nimes present alternations of French and of Provence. The academy of Marseilles is interfered above all with economy and history. In spite of the vogue of the troubadours at the XVIIIe century, it is interested only four times in it.
Turned towards the remainder of the kingdom, the living rooms of the cities of Provence draw their inspiration in the movement of the Lights, with the example of the local writers with audiences Frenchwoman or European like Vauvenargues, Boyer d' Argens, Sade or Mirabeau. The libraries collapse under the French or foreign works.
Neither Romance writings by Marseillais, neither philosophy, neither account of voyage, neither scientific literature, nor even religious literature apart from the canticles, even at the XVIIIe century. At the 16th century the book of grammar of Honorat Rambaud was one of the very rare works published in Marseilles.
The theater and the academy of Music
This middle-class which buys their works likes the theater. At the beginning of the XVIIIe century, the representations are given in a wood room built recently to the entry of the street Saint-Ironwood. A new room is built in the street Vacon. It passes to be most beautiful of France.
But the elites of Provence ignoring for a long time their national culture, they did not produce these talents which give, especially with the language, prestige and goes down for hearing. The theatrical work of Bonnet-Bonneville, Coye, Pélabon is abundant.
As regards music, well before 1789, in the weekly concerts join together their subscribers with the academy of music, founded in 1717 and recognized by letters patent eleven years later. One made excellent music there.
The 18th century the festivals follow one another, in particular, one dazzling festival on water. The officers and the noble administrators from Versailles are hardly tolerated there.
The nobility is very few, about 80 families, of which much leaves the trade. The others are often royal naval officers or army.
In 1785,7 dowries of wives are higher than 40.000 books. Two husbands are lawyers and commoners, three are traders. Only two noble is quoted, one captains of the king, the other naval officer, both are also traders. The same year, on the level of the purchasers of real goods of more than 100.000 books two are traders and two are noble.
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