Terms in French History

Terms in French History

Aides = a range of indirect taxes primarily on drink.

Commissaires = royal agents with judicial/administrative functions.

Elections = tribunals responsible for local administration of the taille and other taxes. Eventually they were taken over by Intendants.

Gabelle = a tax on salt.

Intendants = royal agents sent out to the provinces to help collect taxes more efficiently. But they developed far greater power and spied on the nobles to check their loyalty.

Maitres des Requetes = officials attached to the Royal Council under the control of the chancellor. Most Intendants had this title.

Parlements = legal bodies, the most important being based in Paris. Once they ratified a royal order, it became law.

Pays d’etats = an area which could forward an amount of tax decided by itself as long as the sum did not insult the king. This was a jealously guarded bonus for a town/community.

Pays d’elections = the opposite to the above. The Royal Council would decide how much a town etc. would pay. This was a greatly feared imposition to punish disloyalty.

Rentes = a system of concealing borrowing. These were interest bearing bonds.

Subdelegues = an assistant of the Intendants.

Taille = a primary direct tax which took two forms. 1) a personal tax based on your supposed ability to pay and 2) a tax on land. It could, and was, imposed on drink.






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