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10. Agency Government in Louis XIV’s France

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the military treasuries for the land forces under Louis XIV. The Treasury of the Extraordinaire des Guerres funded the vast bulk of the royal army under Louis XIV, disbursing between two-thirds and three-quarters of all war-related expenditure. The chapter looks at the situation and developments related to the elite units of the armed forces, where possibly the greatest principal-agent problem is in the entire French state. The most senior of the smaller military treasuries serving the elite soldiers was that of the Ordinaire des Guerres. Enjoying a clearly designated structure since at least 1543, the Ordinaire des Guerres Treasury was recast in the first decade of Louis XIV's 'personal rule', like a certain amount of the state's financial machinery. By then, its treasurers general covered all expenditure that had been thought necessary around a century earlier for a permanent royal force, with the gendarmerie at its core.

Keywords: armed forces; elite soldiers; French state; Louis XIV; military treasuries



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