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Necker, Jacques, 1732-1804

 

Dates

  • Existence: 1732 - 1804

Jacques Necker (30 September 1732 – 9 April 1804) was a banker of Genevan origin who became a finance minister for Louis XVI and a French statesman. Necker played a key role in French history before and during the first period of the French Revolution.

Necker held the finance post between 1777 and 1781 and "is remembered today for taking the unprecedented step in 1781 of making public the country’s budget, a novelty in an absolute monarchy where the state of finances had always been kept a secret." Necker was dismissed within a few months. By 1788 the inexorable compounding of interest on the national debt brought France to a fiscal crisis. Necker was recalled to royal service. When he was dismissed on 11 July 1789, it was a factor in causing the Storming of the Bastille. Within two days Necker was recalled by the king and the assembly. Necker entered France in triumph and tried to accelerate the tax reform process. Faced with the opposition of the Constituent Assembly he resigned in September 1790 to a reaction of general indifference.

Necker was a constitutional monarchist, a political economist, and a moralist, who wrote a severe critique of the new principle of equality before the law. Necker fully embraced the label of moderate and the concept of the golden mean.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Jacques Necker letter

Mss 800517.1
 Collection
Identifier: Mss 800517.1
Scope and Contents Letter from Jacques Necker to and unidentified recipient. Has received his letter and thanks him for his kind words.