On the Dangers of Public Credit for France's Monarchy: How an Old Warning Sheds a Certain Light on 1789

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State: Public
Version: Author's accepted manuscript
License: All rights reserved
Serval ID
serval:BIB_F6D9D9668C4B
Type
A part of a book
Publication sub-type
Chapter: chapter ou part
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
On the Dangers of Public Credit for France's Monarchy: How an Old Warning Sheds a Certain Light on 1789
Title of the book
Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Sir James Steuart: The Political Economy of Money and Trade
Author(s)
Saint-Phalle Pierre de
Publisher
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
9781838677084
9781838677077
ISSN
0743-4154
Publication state
Published
Issued date
30/10/2020
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Pages
49-70
Language
english
Abstract
Steuart’s work was still relevant in 1789 for two reasons. Firstly, the author’s prediction of political antagonism between capitalists and nobility anticipated the political conflict about debt expressed by pamphleteers such as Sieyès, Mirabeau, and Clavière between 1787 and 1789. This is the context of Étienne de Sénovert’s claim: the political narrative built by the revolutionaries of 1789 (rescuing the “sacred” public debt from royal despotism) fitted Steuart’s prediction. This may have been the incentive for the translation and publication of his work in 1789 and 1790. Secondly, Steuart’s financial and monetary theory was at the heart of the project of financial reform that would lead to the assignats. Steuart’s (1767) theory of public finance and state power in 1789 provides a key to the understanding the events of the time, and to how actors tried to make sense of them. Steuart made another crucial observation about the deep effect of what he called “the modern economy” upon the power of the governments of Europe: even an absolute monarch could not damage public credit without destroying his own sovereignty.
Create date
30/03/2021 11:57
Last modification date
27/04/2021 7:13
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