The intendants of provinces of the ancien regime were taken as a model, and there is a great resemblance between their respective functions.
They came principally from the provincial intendants, or from the tours des aides, which were animated by a liberal spirit.
The intendants, by an exercise of their general or special powers, took the place of the elus, and delegated commissaires aux tailles (commissaries of the taille) for the assessment of the parishes, who guided and supervised the elected collectors - for the most part ignorant and partial peasants.
These were the provinces of the east and north, which were united to the crown at a period when the power of the intendants was already fully developed; they were sometimes known as pays d'imposition.
The former palace of the intendants of Gascony is now used as the prefecture.