New Critiques

  • C. D. A. Leighton
Part of the Studies in Modern History book series (SMH)


The Catholic argumentation of the decades after mid-century originated in the perception of the need for Catholics to abandon intransigence and make an effective approach to the Protestant body. It thus challenged Catholics considerably more than Protestants. In all the areas which were characteristically of central importance in ancien régime thought about the state — confessionalism, dynasticism, and the relationship between land and political power — the Catholics were obliged to make radical adjustments. Among Protestants, there were, of course, many who were very disturbed indeed by the emergence of a Catholic question; but it was the chief object of the Catholic apologists to reduce their fears to a minimum. Much reassurance was offered and few concrete concessions were requested. Furthermore, the supporting argumentation generally made use of trends that were already established in the thinking of the Protestant community. These, it is true, were frequently far from conducive to the maintenance of the established order; but, as they were familiar, the expression of them created little alarm.


Penal Code Established Order Relief Measure Ancien Regime Constitutional Argument 
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© C. D. A. Leighton 1994

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  • C. D. A. Leighton

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