Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably
The German Empire was the historical German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918, when Germany became a federal republic. The German Empire consisted of 26 constituent territories, with most being ruled by royal families and this included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, and one imperial territory. Although Prussia became one of kingdoms in the new realm, it contained most of its population and territory. Its influence helped define modern German culture, after 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, it had a population of 41 million people, and by 1913, a heavily rural collection of states in 1815, now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, Germany became a great power, boasting a rapidly growing rail network, the worlds strongest army, and a fast-growing industrial base.
In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britains Royal Navy, after the removal of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II, the Empire embarked on a bellicose new course that ultimately led to World War I. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, the German Empire had two allies and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, however, left the once the First World War started in August 1914. In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris quickly in autumn 1914 failed, the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. Germany was repeatedly forced to send troops to bolster Austria and Turkey on other fronts, Germany had great success on the Eastern Front, it occupied large Eastern territories following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 was designed to strangle the British, it failed, but the declaration—along with the Zimmermann Telegram—did bring the United States into the war. Meanwhile, German civilians and soldiers had become war-weary and radicalised by the Russian Revolution and this failed, and by October the armies were in retreat, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered and the German people had lost faith in their political system.
The Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution as the Emperor and all the ruling monarchs abdicated, and a republic took over. The German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, German nationalism rapidly shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarcks pragmatic Realpolitik. He envisioned a conservative, Prussian-dominated Germany, the war resulted in the Confederation being partially replaced by a North German Confederation in 1867, comprising the 22 states north of the Main. The new constitution and the title Emperor came into effect on 1 January 1871, during the Siege of Paris on 18 January 1871, William accepted to be proclaimed Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. The second German Constitution was adopted by the Reichstag on 14 April 1871 and proclaimed by the Emperor on 16 April, the political system remained the same.
The empire had a parliament called the Reichstag, which was elected by universal male suffrage, the original constituencies drawn in 1871 were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas
Taxus is a genus of small coniferous trees or shrubs in the yew family Taxaceae. They are relatively slow-growing and can be very long-lived, and reach heights of 2. 5–20 metres, the male cones are globose, 3–6 mm across, and shed their pollen in early spring. Yews are mostly dioecious, but occasional individuals can be variably monoecious, other sources, recognize 9 species, for example the Plant List. The most distinct is the Sumatran yew, distinguished by its sparse, the Mexican yew is relatively distinct with foliage intermediate between Sumatran yew and the other species. The Florida yew, Mexican yew and Pacific yew are all species listed as threatened or endangered. All species of yew contain highly poisonous alkaloids known as taxanes, all parts of the tree except the arils contain the alkaloid. The arils are edible and sweet, but the seed is poisonous, unlike birds. This can have fatal results if yew berries are eaten without removing the seeds first. Grazing animals, particularly cattle and horses, are sometimes found dead near yew trees after eating the leaves, though deer are able to break down the poisons.
In the wild, deer browsing of yews is often so extensive that wild yew trees are restricted to cliffs. The foliage is eaten by the larvae of some Lepidopteran insects including the moth willow beauty. These pollen granules are extremely small, and can pass through window screens. Male yews bloom and release abundant amounts of pollen in the spring, yews in this genus are primarily separate-sexed, and males are extremely allergenic, with an OPALS allergy scale rating of 10 out of 10. Completely female yews have an OPALS rating of 1, and are considered allergy-fighting, Yew wood is reddish brown, and is very springy. It was traditionally used to make bows, especially the longbow, Ötzi, the Chalcolithic mummy found in 1991 in the Italian alps, carried an unfinished bow made of yew wood. Consequently, it is not surprising that in Norse mythology, the abode of the god of the bow, most longbow wood used in northern Europe was imported from Iberia, where climatic conditions are better for growing the knot-free yew wood required.
The yew longbow was the weapon used by the English in the defeat of the French cavalry at the Battle of Agincourt,1415. It is suggested that English parishes were required to grow yews and, because of the toxic properties
Treaty of the Pyrenees
The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed on 7 November 1659 to end the 1635-1659 war between France and Spain, a war that was initially a part of the wider Thirty Years War. It was signed on Pheasant Island, an island on the border between the two countries which has remained a French-Spanish condominium since the treaty. The kings Louis XIV of France and Philip IV of Spain were represented by their ministers, Cardinal Mazarin and Don Luis de Haro. France entered the Thirty Years War after the Spanish Habsburg victories in the Dutch Revolt in the 1620s, by 1640, France began to interfere in Spanish politics, aiding the revolt in Catalonia, while Spain responded by aiding the Fronde revolt in France in 1648. Peace was settled by means of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in November 1659, the treaty stipulated only that all villages north of the Pyrenees should become part of France. The historic town of Llívia, once the capital of Cerdanya, was exempted from the treaty and became a Spanish exclave as part of the comarca of Baixa Cerdanya and this border was not properly settled until the Treaty of Bayonne was signed in 1856.
On the western Pyrenees a definite borderline was drawn and decisions made as to the affiliation of bordering areas in the Basque region—Baztan, Aldude. Spain was forced to recognise and confirm all of the French gains at the Peace of Westphalia, the Portuguese revolt in 1640, led by the Duke of Braganza, was supported monetarily by Cardinal Richelieu of France. Though the Spanish army reconquered most of Catalonia, the French retained Catalan territory north of the Pyrenees, the treaty arranged for a marriage between Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain, the daughter of Philip IV of Spain. Maria Theresa was forced to renounce her claim to the Spanish throne and this settlement was never paid, a factor that eventually led to the War of Devolution in 1668. At the Meeting on the Isle of Pheasants in June 1660, in addition, the English received Dunkirk, although they elected to sell it to France in 1662. The Treaty of the Pyrenees was the last major achievement by Cardinal Mazarin. In the Pyrenees, the treaty resulted in the establishment of customs and restriction of the free cross-border flow of people.
In the context of the changes involved in the Treaty, France gained some territory. In the north, France gained French Flanders, language policy in France List of treaties Full Text of Treaty
Mercantilism was an economic theory and practice that was dominant in Western Europe during the 15th to the mid-18th centuries. Mercantilism is a form of economic nationalism and its goal is to enrich and empower the nation and state to the maximum degree, by acquiring and retaining as much economic activity as possible within the nations borders. Manufacturing and industry, particularly of goods with military applications, were prioritized, Mercantilism sought to ensure the nation produced as much volume and variety of output as possible, so as to limit its dependence upon foreign suppliers. Economic autarky was an element of mercantilism. These aims were primarily accomplished by, Imposing high tariffs on the importation of finished goods, Imposing low, or no taxes on the export of finished goods, and imposing high taxes on the exportation of raw materials. Seeking new markets for manufactured products, so as to artificially increase the demand for domestic production. These policies generally resulted in a balance of trade, which led to the accumulation of precious metals.
Historically, such policies sometimes led to war and may have motivated colonial expansion, high tariffs, especially on manufactured goods, are an almost universal feature of mercantilist policy. Mercantilism has been linked to bullionism ever since Adam Smith made the accusation, due to the fact that no author self-consciously used the label to refer to their own thoughts mercantilist authors can only be identified retrospectively. It is the supply of things necessary for life and suitable for clothing, the core of mercantile policy was a coherent national industrial policy, which was aimed at generating as much material wealth within the nation as possible. Doing so, it was thought, was the best way to increase the states military, the term mercantile system was used by its foremost critic, Adam Smith, but mercantilism had been used earlier by Mirabeau. Many nations applied the theory, one example being France which was the most important state economically in Europe at the time. King Louis XIV followed the guidance of Jean Baptiste Colbert, his general of finances.
Mercantilism was the dominant school of thought in Europe throughout the late Renaissance. Evidence of mercantilistic practices appeared in early modern Venice, however, as a codified school of economic theories, mercantilisms real birth was marked by the empiricism of the Renaissance, which first began to quantify large-scale trade accurately. England began the first large-scale and integrative approach to mercantilism during the Elizabethan Era, queen Elizabeth promoted the Trade and Navigation Acts in Parliament and issued orders to her navy for the protection and promotion of English shipping. It was written in the 1620s and published in 1664, numerous French authors helped cement French policy around mercantilism in the 17th century. This French mercantilism was best articulated by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, though policy liberalised greatly under Napoleon, in Europe, academic belief in mercantilism began to fade in the late 18th century, especially in Britain, in light of the arguments of Adam Smith and the classical economists
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was eventually equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy, Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria. Diana was known to be the goddess of childbirth and women. She was one of the three goddesses, along with Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry. Oak groves were especially sacred to her as were deer, according to mythology, Diana was born with her twin brother, Apollo, on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. She made up a triad with two other Roman deities, Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife, and Virbius, the woodland god. Diana is a form developed from an ancient *divios, corresponding to divus, dius, as in Dius Fidius, Dea Dia. It is rooted in Indoeuropean *dyw, meaning sky or daylight, from which derived the name of Vedic god Dyaus and the Latin deus, dies.
On the Tablets of Pylos a theonym διϝια is supposed as referring to a deity precursor of Artemis, Modern scholars mostly accept the identification. The ancient Latin writers Varro and Cicero considered the etymology of Dīāna as allied to that of dies, the persona of Diana is complex and contains a number of archaic features. According to Georges Dumézil it falls into a subset of celestial gods. Such gods, while keeping the original features of celestial divinities, the celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connection with light, inaccessibility and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. Diana therefore reflects the world in its sovereignty, impassibility. At the same time, she is seen as active in ensuring the succession of kings and these functions are apparent in the traditional institutions and cults related to the goddess. This ever open succession reveals the character and mission of the goddess as a guarantor of kingly status through successive generations.
Her function as bestower of authority to rule is attested in the story related by Livy in which a Sabine man who sacrifices a heifer to Diana wins for his country the seat of the Roman empire. Diana was worshipped by women who wanted to be pregnant or who, once pregnant and this form of worship is attested in archeological finds of votive statuettes in her sanctuary in the nemus Aricinum as well as in ancient sources, e. g. Ovid. According to Dumezil the forerunner of all gods is an Indian epic hero who was the image of the Vedic god Dyaus
Anton von Werner
Anton Alexander von Werner was a German painter known for his history paintings of notable political and military events in the Kingdom of Prussia. One of the most famous painters of his time, he is regarded a main protagonist of the Wilhelmine Period, Werner was born in Frankfurt in the Prussian Province of Brandenburg, the son of a carpenter. His family originally came from East Prussia and was ennobled in 1701 and he began an apprenticeship as a decorative painter in 1857 and from 1860 onwards studied painting at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin. One year later, he pursued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, where he studied with Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Ludwig Des Coudres, Adolf Schroedter, and Karl Friedrich Lessing. In Karlsruhe, Werner met with artists like Eduard Devrient, Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, Paul Heyse, and the Norwegian painter Hans Gude. The author Joseph Victor von Scheffel, who became a friend, introduced him to Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden.
Werner visited Paris in 1865 and again from March 1867 to July 1868 and he was strongly influenced by the history paintings of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, Ernest Meissonier, and Léon Cogniet whom he met personally. On his return to Baden, he received several state commissions, upon the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Werner was sent with the staff of the 3rd Corps dArmée under the command of Prince Frederick William of Prussia in October 1870. In January 1871, he was summoned to the Prussian headquarters in Versailles, afterwards he returned to Berlin, now the German capital, and married Malwine Schroedter, daughter of his tutor Adolf Schroedter in August 1871. In Berlin, Werner designed a large velarium stretching over the Unter den Linden boulevard at the triumphant arrival of the victorious German troops. He received further commissions to create the mural decorations in the portico of the Victory Column. He continued to commemorate the Franco-Prussian War in several commissioned paintings, in 1873 Werner was appointed professor at the Berlin Academy.
His career reached its peak when he became, in 1875, after 1888, while in William IIs court, Werner tutored the emperor to become a painter. In 1909, he succeeded Hugo von Tschudi in to directing the Nationalgalerie in Berlin and he died in Berlin in 1915 and was interred at the Alter Zwölf-Apostel-Kirchhof in the Schöneberg neighborhood of Berlin. Werners work is interesting for the historic value of his pictures of the events of the Franco-Prussian War. Werner was good friends with Norwegian painter Hans Gude whom he met at the Karlsruhe school, Gude wrote of Werner in 1873, Even manifested a versatile and rich talent, besides incredible assiduity and capacity for work, he was one of the best on our side. He was tireless in inventing all sorts of high jinks to amuse us on the Sunday afternoons when the group assembled. 1864 Kinderkopf im Profil 1867 Kauernder Jüngling 1872 Allegorie auf die Entstehung der deutschen Einheit 1873 Husar und älterer Offizier 1877 Die Proklamation des Deutschen Kaiserreiches
William I, German Emperor
William I, or in German Wilhelm I, of the House of Hohenzollern was the King of Prussia and the first German Emperor, as well as the first Head of State of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Contrary to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while a staunch conservative, the future king and emperor was born William Frederick Louis of Prussia in the Kronprinzenpalais in Berlin on 22 March 1797. As the second son of Prince Frederick William, himself son of King Frederick William II and his grandfather died the year he was born, at age 53, in 1797, and his father Frederick William III became king. He was educated from 1801 to 1809 by Johann Friedrich Gottlieb Delbrück, who was in charge of the education of Williams brother, at age twelve, his father appointed him an officer in the Prussian army. William served in the army from 1814 onward, like his father he fought against Napoleon I of France during the part of the Napoleonic Wars known in Germany as the Befreiungskriege, and was reportedly a very brave soldier.
He was made a Captain and won the Iron Cross for his actions at Bar-sur-Aube, the war and the fight against France left a lifelong impression on him, and he had a long-standing antipathy towards the French. In 1815, William was promoted to Major and commanded a battalion of the 1 and he fought under Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher at the Battles of Ligny and Waterloo. He became an excellent diplomat by engaging in diplomatic missions after 1815, in 1816, William became the commander of the Stettiner Gardelandwehrbataillon and in 1818 was promoted to Generalmajor. The next year, William was appointed inspector of the VII. and this made him a spokesman of the Prussian Army within the House of Hohenzollern. He argued in favour of a strong, well-trained and well-equipped army, in 1820, William became commander of the 1. Gardedivision and in 1825 was promoted to commanding general of the III, in 1829, William married Princess Augusta von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach after Princess Elisa Radziwill, his cousin whom he had been attracted to, was deemed an inappropriate match by his father.
William had been forced to abandon the relationship with Elisa in 1826, Augusta was the daughter of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach. Their marriage was stable, but not a very happy one. In 1840 his older brother became King of Prussia, since he had no children, William was first in line to succeed him to the throne and thus was given the title Prinz von Preußen. Against his convictions but out of loyalty towards his brother, in 1847 William signed the bill setting up a Prussian parliament and took a seat in the upper chamber, the Herrenhaus. During the Revolutions of 1848, William successfully crushed a revolt in Berlin that was aimed at his elder brother, the use of cannon made him unpopular at the time and earned him the nickname Kartätschenprinz. Indeed, he had to flee to England for a while and he returned and helped to put down an uprising in Baden, where he commanded the Prussian army
Charles-Nicolas Cochin was a French engraver, designer and art critic. To distinguish him from his father of the name, he is variously called Charles-Nicolas Cochin le Jeune, Charles-Nicolas Cochin le fils. Cochin was born in Paris, the son of Charles-Nicolas Cochin the Elder, under whom he studied engraving and his mother was Louise-Magdeleine Horthemels, who herself was an important engraver in Paris for some fifty years. Beyond his artistic education, Cochin taught himself Latin and Italian, as well as having natural talent and academic training, Cochin benefited from good connections in the world of art. As well as both of his parents being engravers, his mothers two sisters, Marie-Nicole Horthemels and Marie-Anne-Hyacinthe Horthemels, worked in the same field, Marie-Nicole was married to the portrait artist Alexis Simon Belle, while Marie-Anne-Hyacinthe was the wife of Nicolas-Henri Tardieu. Tardieu was another eminent French engraver, a member of the Academy from 1720, in the 1730s, Cochin was a member of the Gobelins group which centred around Charles Parrocel.
Cochin rose quickly to success and fame, as well as being an engraver to the court, he was a designer, a writer on art, and a portrait artist. Cochin and Marigny remained close friends on their return, on his return in 1751 he was admitted a member of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, where he had been agréé since 1741. In 1752, following the death of Charles-Antoine Coypel, he was appointed as Coypels successor as keeper of the kings drawings, between 1750 and 1773, Cochins work was directed by the Marquis de Marigny, King Louis XVs director of the Bâtiments du Roi. Cochin was effectively Marignys academic liaison, in 1750-1751, with Jérôme-Charles Bellicard, accompanied Marigny on a visit to the excavations at Herculaneum. Editions of the work in English were published in 1753,1756, and 1758, Cochin was able to influence the artistic taste of France and was one of his countrys primary leaders of taste during the eighteenth century. His years of greatest administrative influence were from 1752 to 1770, in 1755, he became Secretary of the Academy, a position he still held in 1771, and for one year he was director of the Société académique des Enfants dApollon.
He was a frequent guest at the dinners given by Madame Geoffrin, in the 1750s he attacked the early, extreme phase of Neo-classicism known as the Goût grec, exemplified in the work of the architect Jean-François de Neufforge. King Louis XV rewarded Cochins talents with a patent of nobility and membership of the Order of Saint Michael, after the death of Louis XV in 1774, Cochin fell out of royal favour, and in his years he lived in comparative poverty. More than fifteen hundred works by Cochin can be identified and they include historical subjects, book illustrations, and portraits in pencil and crayon. The richest collection of his engravings, apparently selected by himself, is in the Royal Library, Cochins own compositions are usually rich and speak of a man full of erudition. A notable piece of work is his frontispiece to the 1764 edition of Diderots Encyclopédie, of his historical work, the best known prints include The death of Hippolytus, after François de Troy, and David playing the harp before Saul.
As well as his drawings, he illustrated more than two hundred books and designed paintings and sculptures
Major Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE, RA, RHA was an Irish artist who worked mainly in London. Orpen was a draughtsman and a popular, commercially successful, painter of portraits for the well-to-do in Edwardian society. During the First World War, he was the most prolific of the artists sent by Britain to the Western Front. There he produced drawings and paintings of ordinary soldiers, dead men, most of these works,138 in all, he donated to the British government and they are now in the collection of the Imperial War Museum. Both his parents were painters, and his eldest brother, Richard Caulfeild Orpen. The historian Goddard Henry Orpen was a cousin of his. The family lived at Oriel, a house with extensive grounds containing stables. Orpen appears to have had a happy childhood there, Orpen was a naturally talented painter and was enrolled, aged thirteen, at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. He won every major prize there and the British Isles gold medal for life drawing before leaving to study at the Slade School of Art between 1897 and 1899, at the Slade Orpen mastered oil painting and began to experiment with different painting techniques and effects.
His two metre wide painting, The Play Scene from Hamlet won the Slade composition prize in 1899. Orpens The Mirror, shown at the NEAC in 1900, references both Jan van Eycks Arnolfini Portrait of 1434 and elements of seventeenth-century Dutch interiors, such as muted tones and deep shadows. Orpen depicted the Arnolfini convex glass in other paintings, including A Mere Fracture in 1901. Also in 1901, Orpen held an exhibition at the Carfax Gallery in central London. Whilst at the Slade, Orpen became engaged to Emily Scobel, a model, in 1901, she ended their relationship and Orpen married Grace Knewstub, the sister-in-law of Sir William Rothenstein. After he left the Slade, from 1903 to 1907, Orpen ran a private teaching studio, between 1902 and 1915, Orpen divided his time between London and Dublin. He taught at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and his teaching influenced a generation of young Irish artists and his pupils included Seán Keating, Grace Gifford, Patrick Tuohy, Leo Whelan and Margaret Clarke.
A key figure in the Celtic revival was Hugh Lane, who was a friend and mentor to Orpen, from 1908 onwards, Orpen exhibited works in the Royal Academy on a regular basis. The most notable of these works was Midday on the Beach, John Singer Sargent promoted Orpens work and he soon built a lucrative reputation, in both London and Dublin, for painting society portraits
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister and he achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing and bringing the economy back from the brink of bankruptcy. Historians note that, despite Colberts efforts, France actually became increasingly impoverished because of the Kings excessive spending on wars, Colbert worked to create a favourable balance of trade and increase Frances colonial holdings. He founded royal tapestry works at Gobelins and supported those at Beauvais, Colbert worked to develop the domestic economy by raising tariffs and by encouraging major public works projects. Colbert worked to ensure that the French East India Company had access to markets, so that they could always obtain coffee, dyewoods, pepper. In addition, Colbert founded the French merchant marine, Colbert issued more than 150 edicts to regulate the guilds.
One such law had the intention of improving the quality of cloth, the edict declared that if the authorities found a merchants cloth unsatisfactory on three separate occasions, they were to tie him to a post with the cloth attached to him. Colberts father and grandfather operated as merchants in his birthplace of Reims and he claimed to have Scottish ancestry. A general belief exists that he spent his youth at a Jesuit college, working for a Parisian banker. Before the age of 20, Colbert had a post in the war office, Colbert spent some time as an inspector of troops, eventually becoming the personal secretary of Le Tellier. In 1647, through means, Colbert acquired the confiscated goods of an uncle. In 1648, he and his wife Marie Charron, received 40,000 crowns from an unknown source, in 1657, he purchased the Barony of Seignelay. Colbert was recommended to King Louis XIV by Mazarin, while Cardinal Mazarin was in exile, Louis trust in Colbert grew. In 1652 Colbert was asked to manage the affairs of the Cardinal while he was away and this new responsibility would detach Colbert from his other responsibility as commissaire des guerres.
Although Colbert was not a supporter of Mazarin in principle, he would defend the cardinals interests with unflagging devotion. Colberts earliest recorded attempt at tax reform came in the form of a mémoire to Mazarin, showing that of the taxes paid by the people, the paper contained an attack upon the Superintendent Fouquet. The postmaster of Paris, a spy of Fouquets, read the letter, in 1661, Mazarin died and Colbert made sure of the Kings favour by revealing the location of some of Mazarins hidden wealth. In short, Colbert acquired power in every department except that of war, a great financial and fiscal reform at once claimed all his energies