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La Révolution et les banques en France : de la Caisse d'escompte à la Banque de France

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  • Alain Plessis

Abstract

[fre] La Révolution et les banques en France : de la Caisse d'escompte à la Banque de France. . A la fin de l'Ancien Régime, la France dispose d'un tissu bancaire déjà relativement développé. A Paris, des familles, d'origine étrangère ou provinciale, ont établi de véritables banques dont le dynamisme est remarquable à la veille de la Révolution. Celle-ci les confronte à de redoutables épreuves : l'inflation et la fuite des capitaux, la révolte de Saint-Domingue surtout, qui déséquilibrent la balance des paiements et font chuter le change français, enfin les mesures de la Terreur qui frappent spécialement les banquiers. Un certain nombre de banques disparaissent dans la tourmente, la majorité d'entre elles parviennent à subsister, quelques-unes, qui font figure d'exceptions, profitent des besoins financiers du gouvernement révolutionnaire. Avec le Directoire et la période napoléonienne, le crédit se réorganise progressivement. De nouvelles maisons apparaissent, beaucoup d'anciennes retrouvent leurs activités traditionnelles. Elles font plutôt moins d'affaires qu'en 1789, mais l'enrichissement de leurs dirigeants, en particulier grâce à la guerre, les prépare à un nouvel essor. [eng] The revolution and the banks in France : from the caisse d'escompte to the bank of France. . At the end of the Ancient Regime, France had a banking structure already relatively developped. In Paris, families from foreign or provincial origins had established banks whose dynamism, on the eve of Revolution, was outstanding. The Revolution confronts them to fearsome ordeals : the inflation and the flight of capital, the revolt of Saint Domingue especially, which provoked the deficit of the balance of paiements and caused the french exchange to fall ; at last, the action of the Terror hit particularly the bankers.. A number of banks disappeared in the storm ; the majority of them succeded to live on ; a few, which are looked on as exceptions, took advantage of the financial needs of the revolutionnary government. With the Directoire and the Napoleonian period, the credit got reorganized. New houses appeared, numerous old ones regained their traditional activities. They did less business, but the enrichment of their managers, especially because the war, prepared them to a new expansion.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Plessis, 1989. "La Révolution et les banques en France : de la Caisse d'escompte à la Banque de France," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(6), pages 1001-1014.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_1989_num_40_6_409182
    DOI: 10.3406/reco.1989.409182
    Note: DOI:10.3406/reco.1989.409182
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    Cited by:

    1. William Roberds & Francois R. Velde, 2014. "Early Public Banks," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2014-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    2. Bindseil, Ulrich, 2019. "Early French and German central bank charts and regulations," Occasional Paper Series 234, European Central Bank.

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