The duke of Sully carried out a revision in 1604, and other attempts were made by Mazarin and Colbert, but the extravagarces of Louis XV.
This system, devised and introduced by Colbert in I68I~ has continued, with various modifications, ever since.
In 1665 Colbert made to him on behalf of Louis XIV.
He was intended for the bar, but was employed by Colbert, who had determined on the foundation of a French East India Company, to draw up an explanatory account of the project for Louis XIV.
Colbert, seeing the public utility of such a periodical, ordered the abbe Gallois, a contributor of De Sallo's, to re-establish it, an event which took place on the 4th of January 1666.
Those who had most of the king's confidence afterwards were Colbert for home affairs; Lionne for diplomacy; Louvois for war; but as his reign proceeded he became more self-confident and more intolerant of independence of judgment in his ministers.
The first years of the king's rule were marked by the great schemes of Colbert for the financial, commercial, industrial and naval reorganization of France, and in these schemes Louis took a deep interest.
She was burdened with debt; the reforms of Colbert were ruined; and opposition to the king's regime began to make itself felt.
Mention may also be made of Voltaire, Siecle de Louis XIV.; P. Clement, Histoire de la vie et de l'administration de Colbert; Sainte-Beuve, Causeries de lundi.
In France, Colbert, in 1670, ordered the extension to the rural communes of the system which had for many years been in force in Paris of registering and periodically publishing the domestic occurrences of the locality.
Bridges, Richelieu, Mazarin and Colbert (1866).
The history of this struggle is most important, because it was identical, as long as it lasted, with that between the old gilds of France and the new body which Colbert, for political reasons, was determined to support.
About the beginning of the 17th century Olivier de Serres and Laffemas, somewhat against the will of Sully, obtained royal edicts favouring the growth of mulberry plantations and the cultivation of silk; but it cannot be said that these industries were firmly established till Colbert encouraged the planting of the mulberry by premiums, and otherwise stimulated local efforts.
After a brief visit to France, where his collection of ancient coins attracted some attention, Galland returned to the Levant in 1676; and in 1679 he undertook a third voyage, being commissioned by the French East India Company to collect for the cabinet of Colbert; on the expiration of this commission he was instructed by the government to continue his researches, and had the title of "antiquary to the king" conferred upon him.
Yet when there appeared a prospect that the king would show her favour, the intrigue was vigorously pushed by the French ambassador, Colbert de Croissy, aided by the secretary of state, Lord Arlington, and his wife.
He was entrusted by Colbert with the care and investigation of the records concerning the Low Countries preserved at Lille, where great part of his life was spent.
Herbelot, however, was recalled to France by Colbert, and received from the king a pension equal to the one he had lost.
JEAN BAPTISTE COLBERT (1619-1683), French statesman, was born at Reims, where his father and grandfather were merchants.
These qualities, combined, it must be confessed, with a readiness to seize every opportunity of advancement, soon brought Colbert both wealth and influence.
Colbert, now aged' thirty-two, was engaged to keep him acquainted with what should happen in the capital during his absence.
The gift was refused somewhat indignantly; and by giving proof of the immense value of his services, Colbert gained all that he desired.
Colbert obtained, besides, the higher object of his ambition; the confidence of Mazarin, so far as it was granted to any one, became his, and he was entrusted with matters of the gravest importance.
In 1661 the death of Mazarin allowed Colbert to take the first place in the administration, and he made sure of the king's favour by revealing to him some of Mazarin's hidden wealth.
Colbert sternly and fearlessly set about his task.
The sovereign was its president; but Colbert, though for four years he only possessed the title of intendant, was its ruling spirit, great personal authority being conferred upon him by the king.
The career on which Colbert now entered must not be judged without constant remembrance of the utter rottenness of the previous financial administration.
With regard to international commerce Colbert was equally unfortunate in not being in advance of his age; the tariffs he published were protective to an extreme.
For its use, Colbert reconstructed the works and arsenal of Toulon, founded the port and arsenal of Rochefort, and the naval schools of Rochefort, Dieppe and Saint-Malo, and fortified, with some assistance from Vauban (who, however, belonged to the party of his rival Louvois), among other ports those of Calais, Dunkirk, Brest and Havre.
Letters exist written by Colbert to the judges requiring them to sentence to the oar as many criminals as possible, including all those who had been condemned to death; and the convict once chained to the bench, the expiration of his sentence was seldom allowed to bring him release.
By these means the benches of the galleys were filled, and Colbert took no thought of the long unrelieved agony borne by those who filled them.
In art and literature Colbert took much interest.
The death of Colbert and the revocation of the edict of Nantes brought the first to a close (166116831685); coinciding with the date when the Revolution in England definitely reversed the traditional system of alliances, and when the administration began to disorganize.
Neither the immense fortunes amassed by these men, nor the venality and robust vitality which made their families veritable races of ministers, altered the fact that De Lionne, Le Tellier, Louvois and Colbert were in themselves of no account, even though the parts they played were much more important than Louis XIV.
Colbert now offered his aid in making Louis XIV.
Colbert, an agent of Le Tellier, the honest steward of Mazarins dishonest fortunes, had a future opened to him by cornert the fall of Fouquet (1661).
He began by measures of liquidation: the Chambre ardente of Colbert 1661 to 1665 to deal with the fa,rmers of the revenue, ~ the condemnation of Fouquet, and a revision of the funds.
Next, like a good man of business, Colbert determined that the state accounts should be kept as accurately as those of a shop; but though in this respect a great minister, he was less so in his manner of levying contributions.
Order was for Colbert the prime condition of work.
He desired all France to set to work as he did with a contented air and rubbing his hands for joy; but neither Colbert general theories nor individual happiness preoccupied 7~ustiy.
Louis XIV.s aspirations towards glory chimed in very well with the extremely positive views of his minister; but here too Colbert was an innovator and an unsuccessful one.
Colbert, in common with all his century, believed that the true secret of commerce and the indisputable proof of a countrys prosperity was to sell as many of the products of national industry to the foreigner as possible, while Colbert purchasing as little as possible.
Once more Colbert failed; with regard to internal affairs, he was unable to unify weights and measures, or to suppress the many custom-houses which made France into a miniature Europe; nor could he in external affairs reform the consulates of the Levant.