By G. Rowlands
Firstly of the eighteenth century Louis XIV had to remit large sums of cash overseas to aid his armies throughout the warfare of the Spanish Succession. This e-book explains how foreign bankers moved French funds throughout Europe, and the way the foreign currency approach used to be so overloaded by way of the calls for of conflict immense banking crash resulted.
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Extra resources for Dangerous and Dishonest Men: The International Bankers of Louis XIV’s France
The rest of this introduction will therefore provide an overview of the financial and strategic needs of France in the War of the Spanish Succession, of the political system that oversaw the war effort, and of the financial system that fuelled the French state. 34 Politics and Government in the Age of the Spanish Succession In November 1700 Louis XIV was asked to accept the final will of King Carlos II, the last Habsburg ruler of Spain. This testament of the late king bequeathed his entire monarquía – the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon (including Catalonia), Naples and Sicily; the duchy of Milan; the lands of the Spanish Netherlands corresponding to much of present-day Belgium; the entire Spanish Empire overseas in the Americas, the Philippines and on the coast of north Africa – to Louis’s second 14 Dangerous and Dishonest Men grandson, Philippe, duc d’Anjou.
They first reduced the ﬁat values of the gold louis d’or and silver écu coins (‘diminutions’) in several stages, before then calling them in for restamping or reminting, before reissuing them at a higher ﬁat value in livre terms – a process known as ‘augmentation’ of the coinage. Several years later the process would be wearily repeated, causing major disruption to commerce and to borrowing. To compound this, and to cope with the practical problem of denuding France of coin during coin augmentations and remintings, the government also permitted a massive emission of Mint bills.
Moreover, Chaussinand-Nogaret’s tendency to think in terms of bankers eclipsing fisco-financiers as the dominant suppliers of money to the crown in the 1700s, and then the return of these financiers to the fore around 1709, is limited in two further ways. First, he seems unaware of the huge capital loans the military paymasters – classic fisco-financiers – could draw upon, however dangerous this was. Second, the key fisco-financiers who later returned to centre stage were more engaged in international trade, and had greater personal reserves to back their operations, than their predecessors under Colbert.