In France the doctrine was represented by Turgot and Condorcet.
ANNE ROBERT JACQUES TURGOT, BARON DE LAUNE (1727-1781), French statesman and economist, was born in Paris on the 10th of May 1727.
He was the youngest son of Michel Etienne Turgot, "provost of the merchants" of Paris, and Madeleine Frangoise Martineau, and came of an old Norman family.
In August 1761 Turgot was appointed intendant of the generalite of Limoges, which included some of the poorest and most over-taxed parts of France; here he remained for 13 years.
Quesnay and Mirabeau had advocated a proportional tax (impot de quotite), but Turgot a distributive tax (impot de repartition).
Another reform was the substitution for the corvee of a tax in money levied on the whole province, the construction of roads being handed over to contractors, by which means Turgot was able to leave his province with a good system of roads, while distributing more justly the expense of their construction.
Among other works written during Turgot's intendancy were the Memoire sur les mines et carrieres, and the Memoire sur la marque des fers, in which he protested against state regulation and interference and advocated free competition.
It may be noted that Turgot always made the cures the agents of his charities and reforms when possible.
Turgot's best known work, Reflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses, was written early in the period of his intendancy for the benefit of two young Chinese students.
Robineau ("Turgot," in Petite bibliotheque economique, 1889), and is followed by Professor W.
After tracing the origin of commerce, Turgot develops Quesnay's theory that the land is the only source of wealth, and divides society into three classes, the productive or agricultural, the salaried (stipendiee) or artisan class, and the land-owning class (classe disponible).
' For the controversy as to how far Adam Smith was influenced by Turgot, see S.
Feilbogen, Smith and Turgot (1892); also E.
Condorcet's statement that Turgot corresponded with Smith is disproved by a letter of Smith to the duc de la Rochefoucauld, published in the Economic Journal (March 1896), p. 165, in which he says, "But tho' I had the happiness of his acquaintance: Turgot owed his appointment to the ministry to Maurepas, the" Mentor "of Louis XVI., to whom he was warmly recommended by the abbe Very, a mutual friend.
Turgot at once set to work to establish free trade in corn, but his edict, which was signed on the 13th of September 1774, met with strong opposition even in the conseil du roi.
Turgot was hated by those who had been interested in the speculations in corn under the regime of the abbe Terray - among whom were included some of the princes of the blood.
But Turgot's worst enemy was the poor harvest of 1774, which led to a slight rise in the price of bread in the winter and early spring of 1774-1775.
Turgot showed great firmness and decision in repressing the riots, and was loyally supported by the king throughout.
Of the six edicts four were of minor importance, and, I flattered myself, even of his friendship and esteem, I never had that of his correspondence," but there is no doubt that Adam Smith met Turgot in Paris, and it is generally admitted that The Wealth of Nations owes a good deal to Turgot.
1 For an account of Turgot's financial administration, see Ch.
All might yet have gone well if Turgot could have retained the confidence of the king, but the king could not fail to see that Turgot had not the support of the other ministers.
Whether through jealous y of the ascendancy which Turgot had acquired over the king, or through the natural incompatibility of their characters, he was already inclined to take sides against Turgot, and the reconciliation between him and the queen, which took place about this time, meant that he was henceforth the tool of the Polignac clique and the Choiseul party.
Maurepas, generally ascribed to the comte de Provence (Louis XVIII.), containing a bitter caricature of Turgot.
Before relating the circumstances of Turgot's fall we may briefly resume his views on the administrative system.
In Turgot's proposed system landed proprietors alone were to form the electorate, no distinction being made between the three orders; the members of the town and country municipalites were to elect representatives for the district municipalites, which in turn would elect to the provincial municipalites, and the latter to a grande municipalite, which should have no legislative powers, but should concern itself entirely with the administration of taxation.
Turgot's only choice, however, was between "tinkering" at the existing system in detail and a complete revolution, and his attack on privilege, which might have been carried through by a popular minister and a strong king, was bound to form part of any effective scheme of reform.
Turgot was opposed to all labour associations of employers or employed, in accordance with his belief in free competition.
The immediate cause of Turgot's fall is uncertain.
Some speak of a plot, of forged letters containing attacks on the queen shown to the king as Turgot's, of a series of notes on Turgot's budget prepared, it is said, by Necker, and shown to the king to prove his incapa city.
On the resignation of Malesherbes (April 1776), whom Turgot wished to replace by the abbe Very, Maurepas proposed to the king as his successor a nonentity named Amelot.
With all these enemies, Turgot's fall was certain, but he wished to stay in office long enough to finish his project for the reform of the royal household before resigning.
In character Turgot was simple, honourable and upright, with a passion for justice and truth.
Schelle, Turgot (Paris, 1909); and Marquis de Segur, Au Couchant de la monarchie (Paris, 1910), contain much that is based on recent research.
The principal older biographies are those of Dupont de Nemours (1782, enlarged in his edition of Turgot's Works, 1807-1811), and Condorcet (1786); the best modern ones are those of A.
P. Shepherd, Turgot and the Six Edicts (1903), in Columbia Univ.
In this work he ably combated the views of Turgot and other European writers as to the viciousness of the framework of the state governments.
He began his reign under good auspices, with Turgot, the greatest living French statesman, in charge of the disorganized finances; but in less than two years he had yielded to the demand of the vested interests attacked by Turgot's reforms, and dismissed him.
Turgot's successor, Necker, however, continued the regime of reform until 1781, and it was only with Necker's dismissal that the period of reaction began.
et Turgot (1910).
In principle it was even held to be the debtor for the amount; hence the inhabitants were jointly responsible, a state of affairs which was not suppressed till the time of Turgot, and even then not completely.
excited even in his aged breast the hope of re-entering Paris, but he did not at once receive any encouragement, despite the reforming ministry of Turgot.
Turgot and Condorcet.
Thus she was often led to interfere for frivolous reasons in public affairs, sometimes with serious results, as in the case of the trial of the comte de Guines (1776), when her interference was responsible for the fall of Turgot.
2 Many of these portraits bore inscriptions, the most famous of which was Turgot's line, " Eripuit fulmen coelo sceptrumque tyrannis."
Wetzel, are: that money as coin may have more than its bullion value; that natural interest is determined by the rent of land valued at the sum of money loaned - an anticipation of Turgot; that high wages are not inconsistent with a large foreign trade; that the value of an article is determined by the amount of labour necessary to produce the food consumed in making the article; that manufactures are advantageous but agriculture only is truly productive; and that when practicable (as he did not think it practicable at the end of the War of Independence) state revenue should be raised by direct tax.
Quesnay died on the 16th of December 1774, having lived long enough to see his great pupil, Turgot, in office as minister of finance.
Possessed of easy means and being of hospitable disposition, he kept open house for Helvetius, D'Alembert, Diderot, Condillac, Turgot, Buffon, Grimm, Hume, Garrick, Wilkes, Sterne, and for a time J.
Smith at this time lived in the society of Quesnay, Turgot, d'Alembert, Morellet, Helvetius, Marmontel and the duke de la Rochefoucauld.
The study had even indisputably assumed a systematic character, and, from being an assemblage of fragmentary disquisitions on particular questions of national interest, had taken the form, notably in Turgot's Reflexions, of an organized body of doctrine.
Turgot and Necker had attempted these reforms, and Calonne attributed their failure to the malevolent criticism of the parlements.
Between these dates Houdon had not been idle; busts of Catharine II., Diderot and Prince Galitzin were remarked at the Salon of 1773, and at that of 1775 he produced, not only his Morpheus in marble, but busts of Turgot, Gluck (in which the marks of small-pox in the face were reproduced with striking effect) and Sophie Arnould as Iphigeneia (now in the Wallace Collection, London), together with his well-known marble relief, "Grive suspendue par les pattes."
He was the intimate friend of Franklin; he corresponded with Turgot; and in the winter of 1778 he was invited by Congress to go to America and assist in the financial administration of the states.
He supported the parlements against the ministry, was especially active in his hostility to Turgot, and was suspected of aiding a rising which took place at Dijon in 1775.
Boutaric, Correspondance secrete de Louis XV sur la politique etrangere (Paris, 1866); P. Foncin, Essai sur le ministere de Turgot (Paris, 1877); E.
Beautiful, charitable and pious, she mollified the fierce manners of her husband, who, according to her director and biographer, Turgot, acted as interpreter between her and the Gaelic-speaking ecclesiastics at their conferences.
Turgot was then intendant of Limousin.
Turgot was struck with the talent they displayed, and by virtue of his patronage Vergniaud, having gone to Paris, was admitted to the college of Plessis.
and David I.; gradually the whole position passed into the hands of Turgot and his successors in the bishopric. Canons Regular were instituted and some of the Culdees joined the new order.
He studied for the medical profession, but did not enter upon practice, his attention having been early directed to economic questions through his friendship with Francois Quesnay, Turgot and other leaders of the school known as the Economists.
Two years later he was recalled to France by the advent of his friend Turgot to power.
During his leisure he wrote a translation of Ariosto (1781), and Memoires sur la vie de Turgot (1782).
The estates opposed most of the intelligent ~nd humane measures proposed by such intendants as Tourny and Turgot to relieve the peasants, whose distress was very great; they did their utmost to render the selfishness of the privileged classes more oppressive and vexatious.
Turgot, the most notable of these latter, was well fitted to play his great part as an enlightened minister, as much from the principle of hard work and domestic economy ot, traditional in his family, as from a maturity of mind 1776.
By the former Turgot hampered the great interests; by the second he thwarted the desires of courtiers not only of the second rank but of the first.
The old courtier Maurepas, jealous of Turgot and desirous of remaining a minister himself, refrained from defending his colleague; and when Turgot, who never knew how to give in, spoke of establishing assemblies of freeholders in the communes and the provinces, in order to relax the tension of over-centralization, Louis XVI., who never dared to pass from sentiment to action, sacrificed his minister to the rancour of the queen, as he had already sacrificed Malesherbes (1776).
More able than Turgot, though a man of smaller ideas, he abrogated the edicts registered by the lits de justice; and unable Necker, or not daring to attack the evil at its root, he thought 1781.
Like Turgot he failed, and for the same reasons.
system, he tried to suppress privilege and fall back upon the social reforms of Turgot, and the financial schemes of Necker, by suggesting once more to the assembly of notables a territorial subsidy from all landed property.
For them the right to work had been asserted, among others by Turgot, as a natural right opposed to the caprices of the arbitrary and selfish aristocracy of the corporations, and a breach had been made in the tyranny of the masters which had endeavoured to set a barrier to the astonishing outburst of industrial force which was destined to characterize the coming age.
In 1773 Necker won the prize of the Academie Frangaise for an eloge on Colbert, and in 1775 published his Essai sur la legislation et le commerce des grains, in which he attacked the free-trade policy of Turgot.
In all this he treated French finance rather as a banker than as a profound political economist, and thus fell far short of Turgot, who was the very greatest economist of his day.
Politically he did not do much to stave off the coming Revolution, and his establishment of provincial assemblies was only a timid application of Turgot's great scheme for the administrative reorganization of France.
by Turgot at a later date and never recovered, but those remaining demonstrate that free trade in corn is to the interest of landowner, farmer and consumer alike, and in too forcible terms demand the removal of all restrictions.
Dupont, however, made various alterations in the text, in order to bring it more into accordance with Quesnay's doctrines, which led to a coolness between him and Turgot (see G.
His first act was to submit to the king a statement of his guiding principles:" No bankruptcy, no increase of taxation, no borrowing."Turgot's policy, in face of the desperate financial position, was to enforce the most rigid economy in all departments.
All departmental expenses were to be submitted for the approval of the comptrollergeneral, a number of sinecures were suppressed, the holders of them being compensated, and the abuse of the" acquits au comptant "was attacked, while Turgot appealed personally to the king against the lavish giving of places and pensions.
A striking feature was the preamble, setting forth the doctrines on which the edict was based, which won the praise of the philosophes and the ridicule of the wits; this Turgot rewrote three times, it is said, in order to make it" so clear that any village judge could explain it to the peasants."The opposition to the edict was strong.
All this time Turgot had been preparing his famous" Six Edicts,"which were finally presented to the conseil du roi (Jan.
In the preamble to the former Turgot boldly announced as his object the abolition of privilege, and the subjection of all three orders to taxation; the clergy were afterwards excepted, at the request of Maurepas.
Others attribute it to the queen, and there is no doubt that she hated Turgot for supporting Vergennes in demanding the recall of the comte de Guines, the ambassador in London, whose cause she had ardently espoused at the prompting of the Choiseul clique.
Turgot, on hearing of this, wrote an indignant letter to the king, in which he reproached him for refusing to see him, pointed out in strong terms the dangers of a weak ministry and a weak king, and complained bitterly of Ailaurepas's irresolution and subjection to court intrigues; this letter the king, though asked to treat it as confidential, is said to have shown to Maurepas, whose dislike for Turgot it still further embittered.
The society of Paris was peculiarly ready to receive a great philosopher and historian, especially if he were known to be an avowed antagonist of religion, and Hume made valuable friendships, especially with D'Alembert and Turgot, the latter of whom profited much by Hume's economical essays.
Two pamphlets at least are ascribed to him: " Les Mannequins, conte ou histoire, comme l'on voudra " (against Turgot; anon., Paris, 1776) and " Description historique d'un monstre symbolique pris vivant sur les bords du lac Fagua, pres de Santa-Fe, par les soins de Francisco Xaveiro de Neunris " (against Calonne; Paris, 1784) (A.
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