Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

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Later in the 1750s, the Parlement turned its attention from religious controversy to royal fiscal policy. With the outbreak of yet another war—the Seven Years’ (or French and Indian) War against Britain—the royal treasury needed even more…

In 1763, with the Seven Years’ War having gone badly for France and the treasury facing ever greater shortfalls, the crown issued a series of new edicts on fiscal matters, necessary in large measure to pay off the war debts, which would extend the…

The Court of Aides was a special chamber of the Parlement of Paris dealing with taxation. It, too, could issue "remonstrances" to protest against royal edicts that it opposed. In this remonstrance, the Court of Aides protests against reforms proposed…

In 1774, the newly ascendant Louis XVI appointed as his minister of finance a pro–Enlightenment economist and administrator named Anne–Robert–Jacques Turgot, a baron from a noble family with many generations of service to the kings of France.…

François–Marie Arouet, who wrote under the name Voltaire, was both the best–known and most tireless advocate of the Enlightenment and also a close associate of several European kings and many French aristocrats. In his widely read history, The…

In 1783 Charles Alexandre de Calonne, a provincial noble, became royal finance minister. At first, he, like Vergennes, saw no need to rationalize the royal treasury or to appease the Parlements. By 1786, however, the deficit had become so…

In 1783, Charles Alexandre de Calonne, a provincial noble, became royal finance minister. At first, he, like Vergennes, saw no need to rationalize the royal treasury or to appease the Parlements. However, by 1786 the deficit had become so…

Laborie provides the perspective of the planter himself. He gives a detailed description of the organization of slave labor in the production of coffee. Although he shared quite negative views of the African slaves, he recognized that extreme…

Village priests served as community leaders in a variety of respects, including keeping a register of births, marriages, and deaths. One such curate, the abbé Lefeuvre, also included in his register impressions of life during the severe winter of…
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