Slides in this set
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
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
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
Colbert joined Lionne and le Tellier on the king's
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
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