Marie Antoinette then obtained that ascendancy over her husband which was partly responsible for the extravagance of the ministry of Calonne, and brought on the Revolution by the resulting financial embarrassment.'
It was Madame de Polignac who obtained the appointment of Calonne as controller-general of the finances,' and who succeeded Madame de Guemenee as "governess of the children of France" after the bankruptcy of the prince de Guemenee in 1782.4 Again, in response to Mercy and Joseph II.'s urgent representations, Marie Antoinette exerted herself on behalf of Austria in the affairs of the opening of the Scheldt (1783-1784) and the exchange of Bavaria (1785), in which, though she failed to provoke active interference on the part of France, she succeeded in obtaining the payment of considerable indemnities to Austria, a fact which led to the popular legend of her having sent millions to Austria, and aroused much indignation against her.
CHARLES ALEXANDRE DE CALONNE (1734-1802), French statesman, was born at Douai of a good family.
In the terrible crisis of affairs preceding the French Revolution, when minister after minister tried in vain to replenish the exhausted royal treasury and was dismissed for want of success, Calonne was summoned to take the general control of affairs.
Turgot and Necker had attempted these reforms, and Calonne attributed their failure to the malevolent criticism of the parlements.
Calonne, angered, printed his reports and so alienated the court.
The joy was general in Paris, where Calonne, accused of wishing to augment the imposts, was known as "Monsieur Deficit."
Calonne soon afterwards passed over to England, and during his residence there kept up a polemical correspondence with Necker on the finances.
Stourm, Les Finances de l'ancien regime et de la Revolution (2 vols., Paris, 1885); Susane, La Tactique financiere de Calonne, with bibliography (Paris, 1902).
De Calonne, Histoire de la ville d'Amiens (1900); John Ruskin, The Bible of Amiens (1881); La Picardie historique et monumentale, tome i., published by the Societe des Antiquaires de Picardie (1893).
Under Calonne he became councillor of state, and was appointed commissary-general of commerce.
He became an influential advocate in the parlement, becoming prominent in opposition to the ministers Calonne and Lomenie de Brienne.