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Gilbert Colbert de Saint-Pouange et l'administration des armées de Louis XIV

Abstract : Gilbert Colbert de Saint-Pouange (1642-1706) who was a Colbert on his father’s and Le Tellier on his mother’s side, succeeded his father in 1663 as a head clerck of the War Department. He was essentially in charge of logistics to the army, but sometimes also represented his cousin Louvois and even the king. Up to 1701 he gave them a systematic account on everything he had noticed. At the same time he was appointed « secrétaire ordinaire » of the King’s Chamber and Cabinet. In 1701, Louis the XIV made him a « Grand Trésorier et Commandeur » in the King’s Orders. From 1670 to 1701, he had an almost daily mail exchange with Louvois, and later with Barbezieux. Aboiut 1000 mails and bills are preserved until now in the Historical Department of Defense. Their detailed studies give a very interesting information on the various rules and proceedings of Louis XIV’s government. The survey first concerns the proceedings of war management which involved the creation of défense administration tending to rationalise itself. It became the pattern of all other administrative services of the kingdom. This correspondence further reveals logistic as a primordial stratégic necessity. The mails allow to understand the king’s primordial interest in the Northern and Eastern borders and further to notice the upcoming idea of « pré carré » and « frontières naturelles » , according to Vauban’s theory, clearly appear into those mails. They also show in which way general administration and even war one could be in charge of recently enobled civilians. Finally, these mails exchanged between the king’s cooperators reveal the progressive birth of the notion of State (notion d’État).
Keywords : War Louis XIV Louvois
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Jacky Rolin. Gilbert Colbert de Saint-Pouange et l'administration des armées de Louis XIV. Histoire. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016PA01H080⟩. ⟨tel-02518247⟩

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