Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne
|Director-General of Finance|
|Preceded by||Charles Alexandre de Calonne|
|Succeeded by||Jacques Necker|
|Born||9 October 1727|
|Died||16 February 1794 (aged 66)|
|Political party||Louis XVI|
He was born in Paris, of a Limousin family traceable back to the 15th century. After a brilliant career as a student, he entered the Church, this being the best way to attain a distinguished position. In 1751 he became a doctor of theology, though there were doubts as to the orthodoxy of his thesis. In 1752 he was appointed grand vicar to the Archbishop of Rouen. After visiting Rome, he was made Bishop of Condom (1760), and in 1763 was translated to the archbishopric of Toulouse. His many famous friends included A. R. J. Turgot, André Morellet and Voltaire, and in 1770 he was elected to the Académie française. He was three times head of the bureau de jurisdiction at the general assembly of the clergy. He also took an interest in political and social questions of the day, and addressed to Turgot a number of memoires on these subjects, one of them, treating of pauperism, being especially remarkable.
In 1787, in the Assembly of Notables, he led the opposition to the fiscal policy of Calonne. He was then appointed head of the conseil des finances in April. Once in power, he succeeded in making the parlement register edicts dealing with internal free trade, the establishment of provincial assemblies and the redemption of the corvée. In May 1788 the process of tax collection was faulting and the loyalty of the army was slipping. As a result, Louis XVI suspended parliaments in May 1788 and created 47 courts. When the parlement refused to register edicts on the stamp duty and the proposed new general land-tax, he persuaded Louis XVI to hold a lit de justice, to enforce their registration. To crush the opposition to these measures, he persuaded Louis to exile the parlement to Troyes (18 August 1787). When the parlement agreed to prolong the direct tax on all kinds of income, he recalled the councillors to Paris. A further attempt to force the parlement to register an edict for raising a loan of 120 million livres met with determined opposition. The struggle of the parlement against the incapacity of Brienne ended on 8 May in its consenting to an edict for its own abolition, with the proviso that the Estates-General should be summoned to remedy the disorders of the state. He resigned as finance minister on 25 August 1788.
Brienne, who had in the meantime been made Archbishop of Sens, now faced almost universal opposition. He was forced to suspend the Cour plenière which had been set up to take the place of the parlement, and to promise that the States-General should be summoned. Even these concessions were not enough to keep him in power, and on 29 August he had to retire, leaving the treasury empty. On 15 December following, he was made a cardinal, and went to Italy, where he spent two years. After the outbreak of the French Revolution he returned to France, and took the oath of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1790. He was repudiated by Pope Pius VI, and in 1791 had to give up the biretta. He was also one of the few prelates of the old regime to swear the civic oath required by the revolutionary civil constitution.
He retired to an abbey confiscated in the Revolution. He repudiated Catholicism in 1793, at the height of the French Revolution.
Both his past and present conduct made him an object of suspicion to the revolutionaries; he was arrested at Sens on 9 November 1793, and died in prison, either of an apoplectic stroke or by poison.
The chief works published by Brienne are:
Pope Pius VI (r. 1775–1799) created 73 cardinals in 23 consistories.Causes of the French Revolution
The causes of the French Revolution can be attributed to several intertwining factors:
Cultural: The Enlightenment philosophy desacralized the authority of the monarchy and the Catholic Church, and promoted a new society based on reason instead of traditions.
Social: The emergence of an influential bourgeoisie which was formally part of the Third Estate (commoners) but had evolved into a caste with its own agenda and aspired to political equality with the clergy (First Estate) and the aristocracy (Second Estate).
Financial: France's debt, aggravated by French involvement in the American Revolution, led Louis XVI to implement new taxations and to reduce privileges.
Political: Louis XVI faced strong opposition from provincial parlements which were the spearheads of the privileged classes' resistance to royal reforms.
Economic: The deregulation of the grain market, advocated by liberal economists, resulted in an increase in bread prices. In periods of bad harvests, it would lead to food scarcity which would prompt the masses to revolt.All these factors created a revolutionary atmosphere and a tricky situation for Louis XVI. In order to resolve the crisis, the king summoned the Estates-General in May 1789 and, as it came to an impasse, the representatives of the Third Estates formed a National Assembly, against the wishes of the king, signaling the outbreak of the French Revolution.College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. Its membership is 222, as of 14 March 2019. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in the size of the College.Since the emergence of the College of Cardinals in the Early Middle Ages, the size of the body has historically been limited by popes, ecumenical councils, and even the College itself. The total number of cardinals from 1099 to 1986 has been about 2,900 (excluding possible undocumented 12th century cardinals and cardinals appointed during the Western Schism by pontiffs now considered to be antipopes, and subject to some other sources of uncertainty), nearly half of whom were created after 1655.Corbie Abbey
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List of Mont-Saint-Michel abbey abbots, of the Benedict order, starting in 966 after the removal by Duke Richard I of Normandy of the previous order, present since 709, and originally funded by Saint Aubert of Avranches.List of Prime Ministers of France
The Prime Minister of France is the head of the Government of France.
During earlier periods of French history, the French head of government was known by different titles. Most recently, during the Second, Third and Fourth Republics, the Head of Government was called President of the Council of Ministers (Président du Conseil des Ministres), generally shortened to President of the Council (Président du Conseil).List of members of the Académie française
This is a list of members of the Académie française (French Academy) by seat number. The primary professions of the academicians are noted. The dates shown indicate the terms of the members, who generally serve for life. Some, however, were "excluded" during the reorganisations of 1803 and 1816 and at other times.Louis XVIII of France
Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as "the Desired" (le Désiré), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a period in 1815 known as the Hundred Days. He spent twenty-three years in exile, from 1791 to 1814, during the French Revolution and the First French Empire, and again in 1815, during the period of the Hundred Days, upon the return of Napoleon I from Elba.
Until his accession to the throne of France, he held the title of Count of Provence as brother of King Louis XVI. On 21 September 1792, the National Convention abolished the monarchy and deposed Louis XVI, who was later executed by guillotine. When his young nephew Louis XVII died in prison in June 1795, the Count of Provence succeeded as (titular) king Louis XVIII.Following the French Revolution and during the Napoleonic era, Louis XVIII lived in exile in Prussia, England, and Russia. When the Sixth Coalition finally defeated Napoleon in 1814, Louis XVIII was placed in what he, and the French royalists, considered his rightful position. However, Napoleon escaped from his exile in Elba and restored his French Empire. Louis XVIII fled, and a Seventh Coalition declared war on the French Empire, defeated Napoleon again, and again restored Louis XVIII to the French throne.
Louis XVIII ruled as king for slightly less than a decade. The government of the Bourbon Restoration was a constitutional monarchy, unlike the Ancien Régime, which was absolutist. As a constitutional monarch, Louis XVIII's royal prerogative was reduced substantially by the Charter of 1814, France's new constitution. Louis had no children, so upon his death the crown passed to his brother, Charles X. Louis XVIII was the last French monarch to die while still reigning, as Charles X (1824–1830) abdicated and both Louis Philippe I (1830–1848) and Napoleon III (1852–1870) were deposed.Louis XVI of France
Louis XVI (French pronunciation: [lwi sɛːz]; 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793), born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.
The first part of his reign was marked by attempts to reform the French government in accordance with Enlightenment ideas. These included efforts to abolish serfdom, remove the taille, and increase tolerance toward non-Catholics. The French nobility reacted to the proposed reforms with hostility, and successfully opposed their implementation. Louis implemented deregulation of the grain market, advocated by his economic liberal minister Turgot, but it resulted in an increase in bread prices. In periods of bad harvests, it would lead to food scarcity which would prompt the masses to revolt. From 1776, Louis XVI actively supported the North American colonists, who were seeking their independence from Great Britain, which was realised in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The ensuing debt and financial crisis contributed to the unpopularity of the Ancien Régime. This led to the convening of the Estates-General of 1789. Discontent among the members of France's middle and lower classes resulted in strengthened opposition to the French aristocracy and to the absolute monarchy, of which Louis and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, were viewed as representatives. Increasing tensions and violence were marked by events such as the storming of the Bastille, during which riots in Paris forced Louis to definitively recognize the legislative authority of the National Assembly. Louis XVI was iniciated into masonic lodge Trois-Frères à l'Orient de la Cour.
Louis's indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime, and his popularity deteriorated progressively. His disastrous flight to Varennes in June 1791, four months before the constitutional monarchy was declared, seemed to justify the rumors that the king tied his hopes of political salvation to the prospects of foreign intervention. The credibility of the king was deeply undermined, and the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic became an ever-increasing possibility. Despite his lack of popular approbation, Louis XVI did abolish the death penalty for deserters, as well as the labor tax, which had compelled the French lower classes to spend two weeks out of the year working on buildings and roads.In a context of civil and international war, Louis XVI was suspended and arrested at the time of the Insurrection of 10 August 1792; one month later, the absolute monarchy was abolished; the First French Republic was proclaimed on 21 September 1792. He was tried by the National Convention (self-instituted as a tribunal for the occasion), found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793, as a desacralized French citizen under the name of "Citizen Louis Capet," in reference to Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty – which the revolutionaries interpreted as Louis's family name. Louis XVI was the only King of France ever to be executed, and his death brought an end to more than a thousand years of continuous French monarchy. Both of his sons died in childhood, before the Bourbon Restoration; his only child to reach adulthood, Marie Therese, was given over to the Austrians in exchange for French prisoners of war, eventually dying childless in 1851.Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette (; French: [maʁi ɑ̃twanɛt]; born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre, which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.
After eight years of marriage, Marie Antoinette gave birth to Marie Thérèse, the first of her four children. A growing percentage of the population came to dislike her, accusing her of being profligate and promiscuous and of harboring sympathies for France's enemies, particularly her native Austria. The Affair of the Diamond Necklace damaged her reputation further. During the Revolution, she became known as Madame Déficit because the country's financial crisis was blamed on her lavish spending and her opposition to the social and financial reforms of Turgot and Necker.
Several events were linked to Marie Antoinette during the Revolution after the government had placed the royal family under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in October 1789. The June 1791 attempted flight to Varennes and her role in the War of the First Coalition had disastrous effects on French popular opinion. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the royal family to take refuge at the Assembly, and they were imprisoned in the Temple Prison on 13 August. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished. Her trial began on 14 October 1793, and two days later Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason and executed by guillotine on the Place de la Révolution.Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toulouse
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toulouse (–Saint Bertrand de Comminges–Rieux) (Latin: Archidioecesis Tolosana (–Convenarum–Rivensis); French: Archidiocèse de Toulouse (–Saint-Bertrand de Comminges–Rieux-Volvestre); Occitan: Archidiocèsi de Tolosa (–Sent Bertran de Comenge–Rius (Volvèstre))) is an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese comprises the Department of Haute-Garonne. Its see is Toulouse Cathedral, in the city of Toulouse, and the current archbishop is Robert Jean Louis Le Gall, appointed in 2006 and translated from the Diocese of Mende.Roman Catholic Diocese of Condom
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Condom was a French bishopric based in Condom from 1317 to 1801.
It comprised four archdeaconries : Condom itself, Bruilhois, Villefranche and Nérac. In 1763 these totaled circa 140 parishes.Society of the Friends of the Blacks
The Society of the Friends of the Blacks (Société des amis des Noirs or Amis des noirs) was a group of French men and women, mostly white, who were abolitionists. They opposed slavery, which was institutionalized in the French colonies of the Caribbean and North America, and the African slave trade. The Society was created in Paris in 1788, and operated until 1793, during years of the French Revolution. It was led by Jacques Pierre Brissot, with advice from British Thomas Clarkson, who led the abolitionist movement in the Kingdom of Great Britain. At the beginning of 1789, the Society had 141 members.
During the five-year period that it operated, it published anti-slavery literature and frequently addressed its concerns on a substantive political level in the National Assembly of France. In February 1794, the National Assembly passed the Universal Emancipation decree, which effectively freed all colonial slaves and gave them equal rights. This decision was later reversed under Napoleon, who tried unsuccessfully to reinstitute slavery in the colonies and to regain control of Saint-Domingue, where a slave rebellion was underway.
Several articles and monographs have explored the question of how influential the Society was in bringing about the abolition of slavery. Historians disagree about their influence, with some crediting the Amis des Noirs as instrumental in abolition, to others who say the Society was nothing more than a "société de pensée" (philosophical society).