Fleury, André Hercule de

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Fleury, André Hercule de

(äNdrā` ĕrkül` də flörē`), 1653–1743, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Tutor of the young Louis XVLouis XV,
1710–74, king of France (1715–74), great-grandson and successor of King Louis XIV, son of Louis, titular duke of Burgundy, and Marie Adelaide of Savoy.
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, he became, at the age of 73, chief adviser to the king and virtual ruler of France (1726–43). Fleury restored order to the national finances, disorganized by the speculative schemes of John LawLaw, John,
1671–1729, Scottish financier in France, b. Edinburgh. After killing a man in a duel (1694) he fled to Amsterdam, where he studied banking. Returning to Scotland (1700), he proposed to Parliament plans for trade and revenue reforms and published
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. The currency was stabilized, roads were built, the merchant marine expanded, and a growth in commerce resulted. By his attempts to suppress the Jansenists (see Jansen, CornelisJansen, Cornelis
, 1585–1638, Dutch Roman Catholic theologian. He studied at the Univ. of Louvain and became imbued with the idea of reforming Christian life along the lines of a return to St. Augustine.
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) Fleury provoked opposition, particularly from the parlements [courts]. He strove for peace abroad but became involved in the War of the Polish SuccessionPolish Succession, War of the,
1733–35. On the death (1733) of Augustus II of Poland, Stanislaus I sought to reascend the Polish throne. He was supported by his son-in-law, Louis XV of France.
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; through it, however, he assured the eventual reversion of Lorraine to France and established a Spanish Bourbon on the throne of Naples.

Bibliography

See A. McC. Wilson, French Foreign Policy during the Administration of Cardinal Fleury (1936, repr. 1972).