From about 1750 the theoretically absolute monarchy considered ways of devolving certain matters to regional bodies. The paradox can be resolved by saying that the crown was seeking to enlist on its side a vast body of public opinion which hitherto had had no institutional voice. Calonne's was the most systematic attempt to create assemblies in all the provinces which had not retained their own local estates. Though approving the measure in principle, the Notables wanted membership to be based on the three orders of the kingdom rather than mere possession of landed income as Calonne stipulated. They also (wrongly) believed that the assemblies would be in the pocket of the crown's main agent in the province, the Intendant.
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