Charles Gravier Vergennes
Vergennes, Charles Gravier
Born Dec. 28, 1717, in Dijon; died Feb. 13, 1787, in Versailles. Count, French statesman, and diplomat.
Vergennes was ambassador to Turkey from 1754 to 1768 and to Sweden from 1771 to 1774; he pursued a policy hostile to Russia. He was French minister of foreign affairs from 1774 to 1783. In an attempt to weaken Great Britain, Vergennes supported the Americans during the American Revolution (War of Independence in North America of 1775-83). However, in 1780, in view of the successes of the USA in the war with Great Britain, he proposed a plan to divide North America among France, Great Britain, and Spain. From 1783 to 1787, Vergennes was head of the Finance Council and fought against the financial and economic reforms carried out by A. R. J. Turgot.