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State Building

This is an era in which states became self-conscious - aware that their power rested in part on their ability to reproduce their hold over the behaviour, opinions and imaginations of their subjects. Under Louis XIV this realiation issued in a systematic attempt to subdue the aristocracy by their subordination to the rituals of kingship - for which the creation of spaces of royaal power were essential - hence Versailles. By the end of the 18th and in the early 19th century, states more widely had come to see that their power could not be sequestered away from the capital city of the realm, and that state architecture, memorials, and performances and rituals were required to order and displine substantially wider sections of their populations. We will explore designs of state projects that sought to use public space and ritual to reproduce their power - from the festivals of the French Revolution, though to the reordering of cities the better to enable their policing in the middle of the 19th century.

Versailles 1664


Haussmann's Paris