Definitions for calonne, charles alexandre de

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  1. Calonne, Charles Alexandre de

    French financier under Louis XVI., born at Douay; a man of "fiscal genius; genius for persuading, before all things for borrowing"; succeeded Necker in 1783 as comptroller-general of the finances in France; after four years of desperate attempts at financial adjustment, could do nothing but convoke the Notables in 1787; could give no account of his administration that would satisfy them; was dismissed, and had to quit Paris and France; "his task to raise the wind and the winds," says Carlyle, "and he did it," referring to the Revolution he provoked; was permitted by Napoleon to return to France, where he died in embarrassed circumstances (1734-1802).

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