The Crisis of Spending and Appropriations in Louis XIV's Personal Rule

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 Crisis of Spending and Appropriations in Louis XIV's Personal Rule

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Getting money to armies and suppliers required an organised system of earmarking hundreds of revenue streams to expenditure orders, but in the 1700s revenues were shrinking, and coin was being concentrated in Paris, making the military treasurers’ job of distributing funds to the troops even harder. All this was compounded by the Finance Ministry's serious mismanagement of revenue assignments, with the system of paper ‘assignations’ all but breaking down: the same sources were allocated to cover more than one expenditure order, funds were earmarked for release far too far into the future to be useful, or they were not even designated at all. Assignment orders were consequently traded for ready cash at mounting discounts as market confidence in the appropriations system collapsed. Desmaretz struggled to regain control of allocations after 1708, and his overhaul of the entire assignment system in 1710 failed to improve the flow of funds.

Keywords: appropriations; coin shortages; revenue contraction; misallocation of funds

Chapter.  10382 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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