doubled the licence

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US- English
What does this phrase mean in this context?:

"France, when she let loose the reins of regal authority, doubled the licence, or a ferocious dissoluteness in manners, and of an insolent irreligion in opinions and practices.

Note: I did not misspell licence. This is from the text of the late 18th century author, Edmund Burke.
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    No, you didn't misspell licence ~ not in British English, anyway;)

    I reckon it means here like in licentious ~ looseness of morals, degradation of civilized behaviour.
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