Fleury, André Hercule de
, 1653-1743, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Tutor of the young Louis XV
, he became, at the age of 73, chief adviser to the king and virtual ruler of France (1726-43). Fleury restored order to the national finances, disorganized by the speculative schemes of John Law
. The currency was stabilized, roads were built, the merchant marine expanded, and a growth in commerce resulted. By his attempts to suppress the Jansenists (see Jansen, Cornelis
) Fleury provoked opposition, particularly from the parlements [courts]. He strove for peace abroad but became involved in the War of the Polish Succession
; through it, however, he assured the eventual reversion of Lorraine to France and established a Spanish Bourbon on the throne of Naples.
See A. McC. Wilson, French Foreign Policy during the Administration of Cardinal Fleury (1936, repr. 1972).
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