Haussmann in Control

Once appointed as the prefect for the Seine by Napoleon III, Haussmann was responsible for an incredible amount regarding Paris’ inner workings and restoration. His office was spread among 4 divisions plus the city’s treasury department. The first division was in charge of direct taxation, city dues, recruitment, and military affairs. The second division dealt with general, departmental, and communal administration, charitable institutions, religious worship, and public education. The third division was responsible for roads, major Parisian thoroughfares, waterways, public works, and architecture. The fourth division handled accounting, budgets, the administrative audit, use of expenditure, and financial inspection. In charge of departments that came under the central government, and of others that came under the Seine Department, or City of Paris, Haussmann had swarms of engineers, architects and clerks working under him. He was personally responsible for local taxes, custom duties, river navigations, mines, quarries, railways, nursery, primary, and secondary schooling, ministers of religion, hospitals, nursing homes, insane asylums, fire brigades, and the Paris guard. Due to this incredible amount of responsibility, Haussmann’s personal staff was very important for he was unable to check all of his work in person. Haussmann believed his predecessor Berger had reigned more than governed and was determined to assume his responsibilities and get back on top of the prefectural administration. His philosophy was simple, he would work extremely hard and expect his workers to do the same and he was strict for the good of the service but will be sympathetic toward good workers.

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