Guy Rowlands

in The Financial Decline of a Great Power

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199585076
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744600 | DOI:

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The first section summarises the post-1700 geostrategic circumstances which pushed up the costs of war, and recapitulates the French government's mismanagement of many aspects of its finances: in particular the pursuit of damaging monetary and credit policies that brought the kingdom to the brink of complete logistical collapse by 1712. The second section then shows how international bankers, like the military financiers, were able to take advantage of the monarchy's desperate needs: they ramped up charges to usurious levels for moving huge proportions of royal expenditure abroad, while employing financial instruments in such a manner as to provoke a financial crash in 1709. The third and final section argues that the state's failure to put in place adequate fiscal measures to manage the huge royal debt built up by Louis XIV, and the patterns his regime set for handling taxation, borrowing, and spending made eventual political implosion much more likely.

Keywords: conclusion; summary; bankers; international exchange; French Old Regime

Chapter.  6816 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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