René-Nicolas-Charles-Augustin de Maupeou

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Maupeou, René-Nicolas-Charles-Augustin de


Born Feb. 25, 1714, in Paris; died July 29, 1792, in Thuit (Eure). French statesman.

Maupeou was appointed chancellor by Louis XV in 1768. An advocate of royal absolutism, he entered into a conflict with the parlements, which to a degree reflected the interests of the big bourgeoisie. On the night of Jan. 19–20, 1771, he ordered the arrest of many members of the parlement of Paris who had protested against royal arbitrariness; those arrested were deprived of their offices. Maupeou then completely reorganized the parlements and abolished some of them. His actions aroused sharp opposition from the bourgeoisie. Louis XVI ascended the throne in 1774 and in the same year was forced to discharge Maupeou and restore the parlements as they had previously existed. Maupeou retired to his estates in Normandy.