Machault d'Arnouville, Jean Baptiste de

Machault d'Arnouville, Jean Baptiste de zhäN bätēst´ də mäshō´ därno͞ovēl´ [key], 1701–94, French statesman. He held a succession of government offices and was (1743–45) intendant of Valenciennes. King Louis XV appointed him controller general of finances in 1745. To raise funds for the War of the Austrian Succession and to alleviate the government's chronic deficit he proposed (1749) that a tax of one twentieth ( vingtième ) of all incomes be levied. Opposition and evasion by the nobility, clergy, and certain privileged groups made the tax inequitable and decreased its revenue. Finally in Dec., 1751, he was forced to suspend payment of the vingtième by the clergy and to abandon fiscal reform. In 1754, Machault was made naval minister. Having incurred the enmity of Mme de Pompadour, he was dismissed (1757) by Louis XV. He was arrested (1794) during the French Revolution and died in prison.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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