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The Financial Decline of a Great PowerWar, Influence, and Money in Louis XIV's France$
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Guy Rowlands

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199585076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585076.001.0001

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

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

(p.157) 8 The Crisis of Spending and Appropriations in Louis XIV's Personal Rule
The Financial Decline of a Great Power

Guy Rowlands

Oxford University Press

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

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