In Quesnay’s writings there are many sentences in which government, administration, nation, State or kingdom are invoked to explain a particular point in his political economy. Quesnay’s use of words pointing to the administration of economic a airs has to be examined in detail so that we might clarify the innovative nature of his vocabulary2 during the formative period of the ‘New Science’ of political economy.3 Such clari cation will improve our understanding of the respective roles that this ‘New Science’ ascribed to government and administration at a time when there was increasing concern about administration.4 Finally, this issue is of interest because historians of economic ideas should pay attention to the connections between political economy, with its due emphasis on the theoretical dimension of the subject, and the way and means through which political economy did have, or may have had, an impact upon society. I will therefore examine here the status of administration in the writings of Quesnay and other Physiocrats, as has recently been done in the case of industrial administration,5 and also the with regard to commercial administration, examining the group formed around the work and administrative action of Vincent de Gournay.6