The Move From Aristocracy To Bureaucracy — страница 3

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he did use the position for personal financial gain (to the tune of three million livres per annum) as did his predecessors. Indeed, the nature of the post might suggest that although the post was meritocratic, it had always been so.? This was not modernisation on the part of the Renaissance kings, so much as royal common sense? Louis XIV?s decision to rule alone reflects that the king?s advisers needed to be suitably meritorious and that they were just a help to pragmatic kings? (it is hard to believe that the egocentric Sun King would have found anyone that he trusted more than himself.)? Had there ever been more than pragmatic realism to the post, then the ceremony-obsessed Louis would probably have had one.?? Richelieu and de Mazarin were France?s two most illustrious

Ministers and royal friendship was their sole qualification. The importance of the royal ministries was the power to appoint, sack and reform ministers and ministries.? Richelieu was able to clear the court of redundant offices (such as Admiral and Constable) by 1627, reflecting the diminishing of the importance of the old hierarchy in favour of a new system. The King?s Council was rapidly becoming less noble, as typified by the afore-mentioned selection preferences of Louis XIV, and ministers of state were therefore less subservient to the Council.? The Council of State, formed in 1643, met passing statutes in the presence of the king and decrees in his absence. Ministers for individual areas emerged, and foreign affairs ministers, financial ministers and military ministers were

all mandated by the rise of Louis XIV.? Vitally, this system not only reserved the king the power of appointment taken away by the venal offices, but also allowed a meritocracy to emerge at the highest levels of government.? Although the French system was more open to newcomers than its formality might suggest, it is important to remember that by the eighteenth century, the noblesse de robe and the noblesse d?epee were indistinguishable, and that although the later system was more competent, excluding those lacking judicial training, it was by no means a bureaucracy.? Indeed, it was with the aim of joining the aristocracy that bureaucrats emerged.? Although the venality of the French system was very extreme, it is a good example of the muzzling of the aristocracy and the rise of

the educated lower gentry and noblesse de robe.? A pattern that occurs elsewhere, although for different reasons. In Spain, similar diminuation of the great offices was occurring although the extensive scale of venal offices was not so great.? As such, in 1520 the Constable and Admiral were given joint regency with Adrian of Utrecht, a deviation from the normal path of Spanish government made in order to win over the rapidly weakening Castilian nobility.? Charles V had stopped having a Secretary of State by 1530, and instead deferred such responsibility to a pair of secretaries of state.? The movement from these secretaries to real ministries only came under Olivares who set up a Junta de Ejecucion to make a centralised policy to circumvent the twelve Cortes.? The Juntas were

sabotaged and abolished by 1643 and Spain once more became a politically fragmented and regionalist country, closer to a monarquia than a monarchy. Olivares was attempting to cripple the Cortes system and the regional assemblies because it was precisely counter to the meritocratic system that had produced him.? The royal council of Castile had been dominated by the great nobility theoughout the fifteenth century and faction had overruled real political questions.? As such, after 1480, the nobles lost the right to vote on affairs of state.? Although the 1504-6 and 1516-22 crises demonstrated their continued power, by the 1530s they were finally reduced to the position that Olivares wanted them.? The replacement of the Spanish aristocracy required the intake of large numbers of

letrados (University trained jurists) and they soon came to dominate the corregidores ? the posts of administration and justice.? They brought about a rapid improvement in the general standard of justice in Spain, but they were soon corrupted and by the seventeenth century they represented the interests of local grandees.? Murcia?s official in 1647 protected bandits and promoted smuggling out of Portugal. The era saw the rise of the educated lesser nobility, in accordance with the rise of education in Spain.? The two Castilian universities became twenty by 1620, making Spain one of the best educated countries in Europe.? The thirteen Aragonite universities and twenty Castilian institutions supplied all of the twenty-four judges in the Chancelleria of Valladolid, and fifty of