New France was governed by three rulers: the governor, the bishop and the intendant, all appointed by the King, and sent from France. The intendant was responsible for finance, economic development, and the administration of justice (law and order). He also presided over the Conseil souverain. Because of his extensive powers, there were often disputes over jurisdiction between the governor and the intendant.
The first intendant of New France was Jean Talon, appointed in 1665 when the colony became a royal province of France. It was Talon who took the first census of the colony in 1666.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Intendants were chosen from the "noblesse de robe" (or administrative nobility) or the upper-bourgeoisie.
During the Fronde in 1648, the members of parlement of the "Chambre Saint-Louis" demanded the suppression of the Intendants; Mazarin and Anne of Austria gave in to these demands (except in the case of border provinces threatened by Spanish or Imperial attack).
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