Argenson, René Louis de Voyer de Paulmy, marquis d' (rənāˈ lwē də vwäyāˈ də pōmē märkēˈ därzhäNsôNˈ) [key], 1694–1757, French foreign minister (1744–47), brother of Marc Pierre d'Argenson. Well intentioned but impractical, he sought to form a federation of Italian states and to make France the disinterested arbiter of international affairs. After committing numerous blunders he was dismissed and appointed president of the Academy of Inscriptions. A friend of François Marie de Voltaire and the Encyclopedists, he spent the rest of his life in study and in literary pursuits. He left memoirs.
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