By Kenneth J. Banks
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Additional info for Chasing Empire Across the Sea: Communications and the State in the French Atlantic, 1713-1763
Finally, Louis insisted that all colonies be brought under direct royal jurisdiction and not remain the provenance of companies. He personally appointed, or approved the appointment of, colonial governors and, for the first time, intendants and lesser officials; supported the adoption of uniform taxing structures, codes, and regulations to govern the colonies (such as the Coutume de Paris);37 and eventually allowed only orthodox Catholics to wield any semblance of power or privilege in his name overseas.
44 Colbert expanded the naval port at Toulon, built new arsenals at Rochefort in Poitou and at Brest in Brittany, and employed several thousand shipwrights, artisans, labourers, and clerks. For the first time, royal ships possessed the infrastructural capability to sail regularly on the Atlantic Ocean. 45 However critical these improvements were, they were still inferior in terms of overall state policies. 46 Colbert linked his understanding of naval affairs directly to his concept of state power: the more commercially successful a country, the stronger its tax and customs base and therefore its ability to be materially self-sufficient during periods of war.
Thirdly, he firmly brought the French clergy under his control, ceaselessly championing the divinity of his royal person, bullying the French clergy into supporting the Four Gallican Articles (1682), which diminished the pope’s control over the French regular clergy and lay orders, and campaigning against the Jansenists, a movement of theologians and priests who opposed state control over religion. Never again would the church be able to organize or maintain its own overseas projects, and all missionary activity, down to the recording of parish baptisms, would henceforward serve state interests.
Chasing Empire Across the Sea: Communications and the State in the French Atlantic, 1713-1763 by Kenneth J. Banks