ABSTRACT

To understand royal financial strategies and the responses of the elite to those strategies, historians need to account for the institutional specificities across the juridically unequal landscape that characterized early modern France. The previous chapters have shown how the corporate makeup and privileged contours of a province shaped elites’ abilities to coalesce as they responded to royal financial demands. All this is not to suggest, however, that clienteles and personal relationships were not relevant. Indeed, personal relationships and clientele systems remained crucial both to the exercise of authority in general and to the administration of finances in particular throughout the history of old-regime France. 1 Corps and clienteles intersected to shape the process of state formation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and this is particularly true during the latter half of Louis XIV’s reign, when a period of personal rule by the King met with a period of royal dependence on provincial institutions to provide financial intermediation.