The Treasury of the Extraordinaire des Guerres in the Era of the Spanish Succession

Guy Rowlands

in The Financial Decline of a Great Power

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199585076
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744600 | DOI:
The Treasury of the Extraordinaire des Guerres in the Era of the Spanish Succession

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The Extraordinaire des Guerres treasury was an offshoot of the War Ministry run as an agency by two or three venal treasurers general, increasingly in conjunction with associates and investors as the financial burdens mounted and revenue shortfalls built up. It employed around 200 officials and clerks, who often slipped the control of the treasurers general. This treasury had a complicated relationship with the central government, for it received the bulk of its resources through the Finance Ministry and the Trésor royal but remitted them to soldiers, suppliers, and bankers according to War Ministry orders. With Chamillart running both the War and Finance Ministries in 1701–08 oversight was confused and the Extraordinaire had no proper protector in government, though some treasurers general grew wealthy and were able to climb the social ladder to penetrate inner court circles. Furthermore, accounting procedures were extremely slack, generating a considerable principal-agent problem.

Keywords: military treasurers; co-investors; ministerial oversight; accountability; army funding

Chapter.  12924 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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