The Economic Origins of the French Revolution

2747 Words Jul 11th, 2018 11 Pages
The inflated opinion the French monarchy had about themselves and other nobles lent itself to how they contributed to and handled the economic downturn in France for centuries prior to the French Revolution. Forming the foundation of many of France’s financial issues, the monarchial system granted royals and the nobles who surrounded them the ability to feel as if they are intended to be superior to the rest of France, a mentality that would last until the French Revolution began. With this monarchial system, each king of France from 1610 to 1789 would contribute in both positive and negative ways, depending greatly on the Chief Ministers they appointed. [ADD]

Marking a significant beginning stage of the economic downturn was the Seven
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One of Richelieu’s main areas of focus was with the country’s military forces and wars, as he wanted to expand and modernize the French Navy, while he is also credited with beginning the legacy of French Kings being involved in unnecessary wars. Despite having been mentored by Richelieu, Cardinal Jules Mazarin as Chief Minister for both Louis XIII, following the death of Richelieu, and Louis XIV was not interested in economic or cultural development. Due to his lack of interest in such developments, Mazarin encouraged the appointment of Nicolas Fouquet as Superintendent of Finances, however, King Louis XIV eventually imprisoned Fouquet after eight years in the position. His imprisonment is relatively ironic, as it was a punishment for Fouquet’s overt extravagance, which would be an issue that plagued Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI until the French Revolution.

Four years following Mazarin’s death and Fouquet’s imprisonment in 1661, Jean-Baptiste Colbert assumed the position of Minister of Finances under Louis XIV. Colbert’s eighteen years in office were productive, as he would encourage the development of colonies belonging to France, such as Quebec and Louisiana, realizing the potential of using them to create an economically self-sufficient unit within France. Colbert would also promote industry with the use of tariffs, subsidies and other
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