Loménie de Brienne, Étienne Charles

Loménie de Brienne, Étienne Charles

(ātyĕn` shärl lōmānē` də brēĕn`), 1727–94, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was archbishop of Toulouse (1763–88) and of Sens (1788) and a member of the French Academy. In the Assembly of the Notables (1787) he worked against the minister of finance Charles Alexandre de CalonneCalonne, Charles Alexandre de
, 1734–1802, French statesman, controller general of finances (1783–87). Faced with a huge public debt and a steadily deteriorating financial situation, Calonne adopted a spending policy to inspire confidence in the nation's financial
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 and, though King Louis XVI looked with disfavor on his notorious immorality, he succeeded (1787) Calonne in control of finances. Thereupon he adopted Calonne's plans for a direct land tax, for calling of provincial assemblies to apportion the tax, and for other reforms. The opposition of the Parlement of Paris to the land tax led him to exile the parlement to Troyes for a time and finally resulted in the calling of the fateful States-GeneralStates-General
or Estates-General,
diet or national assembly in which the chief estates (see estate) of a nation—usually clergy, nobles, and towns (or commons)—were represented as separate bodies.
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. Having done nothing to relieve the financial ills of France, Brienne was forced out of office (Aug., 1788). He was made a cardinal. Brienne was one of the few French prelates to take oath to the civil constitution of the clergy, promulgated in 1790; for this he was deprived of the cardinalate. Arrested by the revolutionary government (1793), he died in prison.
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