This dissertation examines the public debate surrounding the French national debt and the domestic creditors of the state during, and just prior to, the French Revolution. Focusing on stances expressed by a sample of the cahiers de doléances and by political leaders, it demonstrates how the debt and the creditors were among the chief concerns of revolutionaries from moderates to Jacobin radicals. Through a differential analysis of the cahiers, it shows that despite their often considerable differences on other matters, concerning the debt many – but not all – of the clergy, nobility and Third Estate were of a similarly protective opinion. I analyze the differences within, as well as between, the three orders relating to this issue. In part, the aim is to illuminate not only the role of the royal/national debt in this debate, but also that of its owners, the state creditors, as a crucial constituency embedded within most social groups of the Old Regime. Furthermore, underscoring both progressive and conservative stances among the privileged orders, the work contributes to historiography which examines their role in the Revolution. Finally, the work interprets the debt as a modern property type; the state creditors, as eighteenth-century capitalists; and it explicates their role in overthrowing the Old Regime in its entirety.
|Advisor:||Troyansky, David G.|
|Commitee:||Ackerman, Evelyn, Dauben, Joseph, Gordon, David M., Rosenblatt, Helena|
|School:||City University of New York|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||European history, Economic history|
|Keywords:||Creditors of the state, French Revolution, National debt, Nobility, Third estate|
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