Charles-Joseph Trouvé was a highly intelligent and politically adaptable man from an artisan family to whom the Revolution offered opportunities which would have been unthinkable under the Ancien Régime. In 1794, when just 26 years old Trouvé had become editor of the Moniteur, and ambassador to Naples three years later. He was stridently anti-Jacobin, but no less hostile to Ancien Régime élites and the Church. As Baron Trouvé, he was prefect of the department of the Aude from 1803 to 1816. He recognised the improvement in the peasants' standard of living, but claimed that unchecked land clearances had wreaked environmental damage.
The suppression of feudal dues and the tithe, the high price of foodstuffs, the division of the large estates, the sale in small lots of nationalised lands, the ending of indebtedness by [the inflation in the value of] paper currency, gave a great impulse to the industry of the peasantry….
In this region, people have always complained about the fury of land seizures and clearances. Decrees and laws were made to repress it. The storms of the Revolution having released this brake, now powerless against anarchy, seizures multiplied, clearances became an almost general calamity; and a region formerly covered with pastures and flocks suddenly found itself threatened with losing the raw material for its manufactures, the principal source of its wealth. Through the wish to expand the cultivation of grain crops, the hills and mountains have been given up to destruction; bushes and trees have been uprooted; and the fields on the hillsides, formerly so fertile and useful, were no longer held together by the tree-roots and were washed into the streams which they have blocked and forced to overflow onto the river-flats,