king louis charles estates kingdom joan people marseilles
PROVENCE (Provincia), a province of France lying to the extreme south-east on the shores of the Mediterranea,n, bounded on the W. by Languedoc, on the N. by, Ven-aissin and Dauphine, and on the E. by Italy. It now forms the departments of Bouches-du-Rhone, Var, and Basses-Alpes, with portions of Vaucluse and Alpes Maritimes. Tt was divided into Upper Provence, containing the four seneschalates of Forcalquier, Castellane, Sisteron Digne, and the Valley of Bareelonnette ; and Lower Provence, containing the eight seneschalates of Aix, Arles, Brignoles, Grasse, :Marseilles, Draguignan, Hyeres, and Toulon. In ancient as in modern times the most important city was Marseilles (Massilia), a chief scat of trade for the Greek merchants of the Mediterranean, who extended their power along the coast and founded Agde, Antibes, GrFisse, and Nice. They afterwards called in the aid of the Romans (125 B.c.) against the Ligurian inhabitants of the surround-ing country, and the new-comers soon made themselves masters of the territory which later formed the provinces of Languedoc, Dauphine, and Provence. The new pro-vince, of which the capital was Aqum Sextiaa (Aix), was called Provincia Gallica until the total conquest of Gaul, when the name of the district was changed to Gallia Narbonensis. In the 4th century of the Christian era, when the greater part of Languedoc, or Narbonensis Prima, had become subject to the Visigoths, and the Burgundians had spread to the Viennois, Provincia came to be applied only to the country lying between the Rhone, the Durance, and the Alps which was still held by the Romans. But they could not withstand for long the advancing tide of barbarian power. Although the -Visi-gothic king Theodoric I. was defeated by Aetius before Arles in 425" A.D., and their united armies in turn defeated Attila in 451, yet Theodoric II. imposed the emperor Avitus on the Romans, and Euric by the capture of Arles (480) made the Visigoths masters of Provence. Their defeat at the battle of Bougie in 507 by Clovis and Gundibald, king of the Burgundians, placed Provence at the mercy of the latter, who ceded it in 511 to Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoth, as guardian of the Visigothic king. The powers so gained were, however, resigned by his suc-cessor Witiges in 536 to Theodebert, king of the Franks, who had previously overthrown the Burgundian kingdom. On the death of Clotaire I. (561) Provence was divided between his sons Sigebert, king of Austrasia, and Gontran, king, of Burgundy, Marseilles falling to the former and Arles to the latter. When Gontran died in 593 the pro-vince was united under his nephew Childebert, only to be divided again by his sons and reunited under Clotaire II. (613), until the sons of Dagobert, Sigebert II. and Clovis II. (633) parted it between them. La 719 the Saracens crossed the Pyrenees and made themselves masters of almost all Septimania, or Languedoc, and in 739 they joined with Maurontis, a Byzantine governor of Marseilles, in his attempt to drive out the Franks. Fortunately for Europe their forces were completely defeated by Charles Martel, who again united Provence to the Frankish kingdom. On the division of the Carlovingian empire in 84-3 Provence fell to Lothair, who left it with the title of king to his son Charles (855), at whose death without issue in 863 it was seized by Charles the Bald. In 879 his brother-in-law Boson, a son-in-law of the emperor Louis II., and governor of -Vienne, was elected king by the synod of Mantale, when his united provinces became known as Cisjuran Burgundy. His son, Louis the Blind, obtained the crown of Italy (900), but was deposed by- Hugo, who, in his turn obtaining the Italian kingdom, ceded Provence in 932 to Rudolph II., king of Transjuran Burgundy. The two Burgundies thus united received the name of the Kingdom of Arles, which lasted in a phantom form until vol. v. pp. 422-23), to replace the podestas by governors of his own nomination (1246). Charles died in 1285, leav-ing the states of Anjou, Provence, and Naples to his son Charles II., under whose rule peace and prosperity to some extent revived. But the efforts of his son Robert (1309) in the cause of the Guelphs called for increased taxation, and he left a troubled heritage to his granddaughter Joan of Naples (1343). To avenge the murder of his brother Andrew, the husband of Joan, at whose instigation .the crime had been committed, Louis of Hungary marched into Italy (1347), and made himself master of the kingdom of Naples. Joan fled to Provence, and by timely conces-sions to her people secured their favour in her efforts to regain the Neapolitan crown. But money was needed ; so Avignon, where the popes had resided since 1305, was sold to Pope Clement VI., and Joan won back Naples. An important part in the affair was played. by the Pro-vencal estates, which consisted of the three houses of clerg, nobility, and commons, and were supreme in all financial matters, however absolute the counts might be in other branches of government. This power of the purse was jealously guarded, and the subsidies granted to the prince were never considered as other than dons gratuit$, the name by which they were called even after the union with France, when they became an annual tri-bute. Owing to the right of '7-partition, to definite objects of the sums raised by taxation, the Provencaux were not on the whole badly governed, for, though the estates had only the right of petition for legislation, yet when the need arose they could very effectually speak with the voice of the whole people. The representation of the bulk of the nation in the tiers-etat was particularly good, for the deputies, who were paid, were returned not only by the twenty-five country electorates, or vigueries, but from thirty-seven communes as well. The English constitution may therefore be indebted to Provence for the important step which was taken by the younger Simon de Montfort in first summoning the representatives of cities and boroughs to the parliament of 1265. The earli*t re-corded session of the estates was in 1146, and the meet-ings continued at intervals until 1639, when they ceased until 1787. The sessions not being annual, the powers of the estates in ordinary matters were delegated to a general assembly, composed of the archbishop of Aix, the pro-cureurs joints, who were representatives of each of the estates of the clergy and the nobility, and the whole of the tiers-6tat. This assembly gradually superseded the estates until in 1639 it replaced them altogether. To meet sudden emergencies there was a " great council," which consisted of the archbishop and three tonsuls of Aix as procureurs du pays, and the procureurs joints of the three estates, under the presidency of the grand seneschal. This officer was the representative of the counts in judicial affairs, and during their absence from the country in military matters also. His powers were not only adminis-trative, but to a great extent legislative, and they were therefore fated either to increase at the expense of the sovereign or to be cut down by- a firm ruler. Joan chose the latter course, and deprived the grand seneschal of his powers over the state domains, and his right to remove judges and pardon capital crimes. And she not only reduced his power but appointed an Italian to the office, upon which the nation rose in revolt, and Louis of Anjou, seizing the opportunity to press his claims to the throne, led an army into Provence in 1368. The pretensions of Louis were met by Joan's offer to adopt him as her heir, and on her death in 1382 he succeeded to the county. The reign of Louis I. was passed in the unsuccessful pur-suit.of his claims to the kingdom of Naples, and his son Louis II. (1384) and grandson Louis III. (1417) continued the same unprofitable contest. Rene (1434), a brother of Louis III., was not less inclined to give up his rights, which had revived in force from his adoption by Joan II. of 1■1-aples, but, though fortune at first smiled on him, he was at last forced to resign his claim in favour of the house of Aragon. The count, or titular king, was an accomplished musician and a lover of literature and the arts ; and, the latter part of his reign being on the whole peaceful, he was able to give free play to his inclinations. The artistic fame of his court has lasted to the present day, but it was the interest which he took in his subjects' material welfare, and his administration of wise laws, which caused his people to lament the death of Reno the Good. He died in 1480, and, leaving only a daughter Margaret, the ill-fated wife of Henry VI. of England, bequeathed the county to his nephew Charles of Maine. Charles III. died in the following year, making Louis XI. of France his heir, and in 1486 Charles VIII. by letters patent reunited the county to the kingdom of France.
The union was confirmed by the estates with the full approval of the people ; but the emperor was not inclined to relinquish without a struggle his claims to overlordship, and he found a willing tool in the constable, Charles of Bourbon, who entered Provence at the head of the im, perialist army in 1524. His adventure met with failure, and the invasion by the emperor Charles V. himself in 1536 was equally unsuccessful. In 1501 Louis XIII., with the view of strengthening his own authority-, replaced the " conseil eminent," which in the time of the counts had been the highest court of justice, by a " parlement," consist-ing at first of the grand seneschal, a president, and eleven nominated councillors. The functions of the court wero strictly judicial, but before its abolition in 1790 it had often assumed legislative rights, and. consequently played a conspicuous part in the civil wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. The principles of the Reformation made what little progress they did in Provence from external rather than internal causes, and the people themselves never took kindly to doctrines which in many ways assumed an extremely bizarre and heretical form. The 13th century had witnessed Simon de Montfort's crusade against the Albigenses of Languedoc, and the ruin which heresy had brought on that province cannot have given the prosper-ous Provencaux any great love for new doctrines. The l'hildenses of the 16th century were therefore chiefly con-fined to the mounta,inous districts, but the persecutions ordered by the parlernent brought the horrors of civil war on the whole country. The extreme Catholics formed the Holy League against the Protestants, and the two parties were equally at enmity with Henry III., who tried to please both without satisfying either. In tiine the royal-ists and Protestants united under the name of Jiigarrats, but it was not until Henry IV. had come to the throne, and Marseilles, the last stronghold of the League, had submitted, that the worn-out country was again at peace. Richelieu tried to increase the taxation of the people with-out their consent, but the disorders of the Casca,vcons were the result, and a similar attempt by Mazarin in 1647 led to disturbances in connexion with the Fronde which lasted until 1632. In 1707, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the army of the allies under Prince Eugene invaded the province, and the horrors of war were followed by those of the plague of 1720, when 100,000 persons perished, Marseilles alone losing 50,000 out of a popula-tion of 90,000. The dispute between the Jesuits and Jansenists waxed warm about 1726, but the victory of the former only preceded their suppression by Pope Clement XIV. in 1773 in return for the cession of Avignon and the county of Venaissin, which had twice changed hands since their reunion with Provence in 1663. On the reconvocation of the estates in 1787 the two upper houses refused to bear their share of taxation, and in 1789, in the states-general of the kingdom, Mirabeau with his col-leagues renounced the freedom and independence of the province. The division of Provence into departments in 1790 finally obliterated all traces of the ancient con-stitution, but the people still preserve in the soft tones of their langue d'oc an undying reminder of their former independence. (11'. B. B.)