Available reels: 17
|Creator||France. Ministère des affaires étrangères.|
|Title||France. Ministère des Affaires étrangères : Correspondance politique|
MG 5 A
|Document source||Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada|
In 1547, secretaries to the King became specialized, writing correspondence to foreign governments, and negotiating peace treaties. The four French secretaries of state where foreign relations were divided by region, in 1589, became centralized with one becoming first secretary responsible for international relations. The Ancien Régime position of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs became Foreign Minister around 1723, and was renamed "Minister of Foreign Affairs" in 1791 after the French Revolution. All ministerial positions were abolished in 1794 by the National Convention and re-established with the Directory. The collection from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France contains documents exchanged between the French government and its representatives abroad.
This collection includes correspondence between the Court (including the Minister of Foreign Affairs), its agents outside its rulers, ministers and foreign diplomats, and various other people. The main French agents were Ambassadors, Ministers Plenipotentiary, consuls, embassy secretaries, auditors, business managers and secret agents. In this correspondence, there are a wide variety of documents, among others, statements of expenditure, treaties, lists of prisoners and vessels, extracts from newspapers, conference reports, negotiations papers, proclamations, royal acts, memoirs of colonial and metropolitan officers, declarations of war, fighting relationships, minutes taken and articles of capitulation. These papers are first sorted alphabetically by country and then chronologically.