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Jean Frédéric Phélippeaux Maurepas, comte de

Maurepas, Jean Frédéric Phélippeaux, comte de (zhäN frādārēkˈ fālēpōˈ kôNt də môrəpäˈ) [key], 1701–81, French statesman. He succeeded his father as minister of state at 14, the post being administered for him in his minority. He was later made minister of marine and attempted to apply scientific methods to naval affairs. A satirical epigram against the king's mistress, Mme de Pompadour, caused his dismissal and exile (1749). After King Louis XVI's accession (1774) Maurepas returned, became minister of state, and covered his mediocre abilities by a judicious selection of his council, which included the comte de Vergennes, A. R. J. Turgot, and Lamoignon de Malesherbes. He supported the alliance with the American colonies and the war against Great Britain. His failure to give full support to the ministers helped to bring about the downfall of both Turgot (1776) and his successor, Jacques Necker (1781).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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