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Historically ­ much admired.
Compared Colbert's `le bon sens' with Louis XIV's `la
gloire' ­ peaceful priorities compared with Louis'
willingness to fight
Also contrasted with Louvois ­ depicted as "evil
genius who supplanted Colbert" as the dominating
influence over the king
More recent view: Above is an oversimplification.
More critical of Colbert and his policies.…read more

Slide 3

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Protégé of le Tellier faction, client of Mazarin: his
personal intendent and close confidant
Subordinate of Fouquet ­ his rise depended on
Fouquet's fall. Took him down partly for his
benefit, partly for the king
C&F disagreed over how to solve the king's
indebtedness. L14 backed Colbert ­ glad of the
opportunity to show no one was above royal
justice.…read more

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The fall of Fouquet
After Mazarin's death, Colbert revealed irregularities in Fouquet'
s accounts and denounced the financial operations by which he
had enriched himself.
F arrested in September 1661, and his trial, which lasted three
years, excited great public interest. NB: Colbert suppressed the
papers that would have proved Mazarin's personal responsibility
for many of the financial transactions in question!!
F condemned to banishment, but Louis XIV "commuted" the
sentence to life imprisonment.
F taken to the fortress of Pignerol, where he died just before a
measure of clemency could be issued.…read more

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Colbert joined Lionne and le Tellier on the king's
inner council
1665: made Controller-General of Finances
1669: Secretary for the navy and royal household
From 1664 directed Louis' building projects and
patronage of the arts
Kept all these posts (and Louis' confidence) until his
death.…read more

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The man, the plan!
Wilkinson argues Louis was right to back
Colbert ­ just the man he needed!
C saw himself as the king's servant
Was responsible for finding the king money
whilst the king focused on war ­ which was
expensive. Their success depended on
Colbert's expertise.…read more

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