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The Triumvirate refers to the trio of ministers who came to power in Old Regime France in 1771 following a coup orchestrated by René Nicolas Charles Augustin de Maupeou. Maupeou became Keeper of the Seals, Joseph Marie Terray became Controller-General of Finances, and the Duc d'Aiguillon became foreign minister. The Triumvirate was strongly disliked by the general public, in part because of Maupeou's dismissal of both the Paris and provincial parlements, which he replaced with restructured and weakened bodies. By 1774, the year of Louis XV's death, factional infighting had alienated the three ministers from each other and weakened their collective power. Despite some successes, most notably Terray's relative stabilization of France's abysmal finances, the Triumvirate marked the failure of enlightened despotism in the Old Regime. The Triumvirate was overturned in 1774 with the King's death and the ascension of Maurepas.
- Jones, Collin (2003). The Great Nation. London: Penguin.