The Physiocrats arose in response to French mercantilism, finest personified by Louis XIV’s Controller General of Finance, Jean Baptiste Colbert. “Colbertism” included emphasizing deliberate trade to the neglect of agriculture and raising the land tax to fund each the War of Spanish Succession and the splendor of the Sun King’s courtroom. Left a secondary power under Louis XV after the Seven Years’ War, France wanted options; the Physiocrats proposed lifting commerce restrictions, specializing in agriculture, decreasing all taxes to a single rent tax, and so forth.
Francois Quesnay’s Tableau Economique marks the movement’s starting and describes the round circulate of money and the interdependency of different markets. Toward the top of the French Enlightenment an economic movement added its voice to that of the philosophes. Adam Smith admits that, with its faults, the Physiocratic actions produced “perhaps the closest approximation to the truth that has yet been printed upon the … Read More