The growth of the 17th century French state contributed to the establishment to a more regular, and even liberal legal order. Higher fiscal demands on the state led to a process of legal standardization that extended the rule of law. We use data on witch trials and taxation covering twenty-one regions between 1550 and 1700 to support this claim. Regions where higher taxes were collected were also less likely to see witch trials. Thus fiscal consolidation promoted a more rational legal order.