Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/444

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Crown, about 1436, were organised as a separate financial group (Outre-seine). Normandy formed a third and separate administrative area. Administrative Languedoc, that is to say the three senechaussees of Carcassonne, Beaucaire, and Toulouse, forms the fourth. Picardy, Burgundy, Dauphine, Provence, Roussillon and of course Britanny, were not included in the general scheme. Milan had its separate financial establishment, and maintained 600 lances. .In these last-mentioned provinces the ordinary and extraordinary revenue were administered together; elsewhere domaine and extraordinary revenue were separated. For the administration of the domaine each of the four main divisions had a separate treasurer, who was practically supreme in his own district. Under them were as administrators on the first line the baillis or senechaux, on the second, the prevots, vicomtes, or viguiers. The separation of the receipt from the administration of funds is a principle that runs through the whole system of finance both ordinary and extraordinary. Accordingly, there is a receveur for each prevote or other subdivision, and a general receiver for the whole domain, known as the changeur du Tresor. But the actual collection of cash at the central office was in large measure avoided, partly by charging the local officer of receipt with all local expenses, and partly by a system of drafts on local offices adopted for the payment of obligations incurred by the central government. The beneficiary presented his draft to the local receveur or grenetier, or discounted it with a broker, who forwarded it to his agent for collection. The same plan was adopted in the extraordinary finance, and made an accurate knowledge of the financial position, and correct supervision of the accounts, a matter of extreme difficulty. Contentious business was either settled by the baillis or prevots, or by a central tribunal of domaine finance, the Chambre du Tresor, or in some cases by the Chambre des Comptes or the Parlement.

The same regions of France were similarly divided for extraordinary finance into four generalites. At the head of each were two generaux, one pour le fait des finances, the other pour le fait de la justice. The four generaux de la justice met together to form the Cour des Aides, an appeal Court for contentious questions arising out of the collection of the extraordinary revenue. There are other Cours des Aides, at Montpellier for Languedoc, and at Rouen for Normandy. Each general des finances was supreme in the administration of his own generalite. Associated with each general there was a receveur general, who guarded the cash and was accountable for it. In Languedoc the partition and collection of faille and the collection of aides was managed by the Estates of the province. The other three generalites (except Guyenne, which was administered by commissioners) were divided into elections, a term reminiscent of the earlier system when the Estates collected the sums they had voted and elected the supervising officers. The elus, who stood