Calonne's Reform Programme and its Adoption by the King

John Hardman

in Overture to Revolution

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585779
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595325 | DOI:
Calonne's Reform Programme and its Adoption by the King

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This chapter briefly examines the career of Calonne before analysing his reform programme and the complex and protracted business of ‘selling’ it to the king. The breakdown of the classical political system of the old regime based on crown and Parlement which led to the convocation of the Assembly of Notables is examined and the distinction between the latter and the Estates-General explained. The ‘French’ reforming tradition (higher but fairer taxes) to which Calonne belonged is distinguished from the ‘Anglo-Genevan’ one (loans and economies, publication of budgets) exemplified by his arch-rival, Jacques Necker. The narrow basis of the ministerial discussion leading to the convocation of the Notables is emphasized and Calonne's main ministerial opponents, Miromesnil and Castries are introduced. Finally, the mixed public response, suspended between hope and fear, to the convocation of the Assembly is examined.

Keywords: Calonne; king; Necker; Miromesnil; Castries

Chapter.  14672 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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