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[LAW, John (1671-1729)] – Declaration du Roy, Sur les Endossements des Billets de la Banque Generale. [and Pour rétablir l’usage des Lettres ou Billets payables au Porteur.] Paris: De la Tour, August 1716 & January 1721.
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[LAW, John (1671-1729)] – Declaration du Roy, Sur les Endossements des Billets de la Banque Generale. [and Pour rétablir l’usage des Lettres ou Billets payables au Porteur.] Paris: De la Tour, August 1716 & January 1721.

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[LAW, John (1671-1729)] – Declaration du Roy, Sur les Endossements des Billets de la Banque Generale. [and Pour rétablir l’usage des Lettres ou Billets payables au Porteur.] Paris: De la Tour, August 1716 & January 1721.

Two pamphlets promoting and demoting John Law’s implemented system of bank notes: the first one emphasises the use and functioning of the notes issued by Law's private Banque Generale, which had been created two months earlier, in May 1716; the second one, issued after Law’s fall from grace and subsequent flight to Brussels and Venice, reinstates the legitimacy of the previous monetary system.

Quarto (230 x 181mm). Two bifolia, woodcut head-pieces, the first with the French royal arms, contemporary annotations (cropped, the first lightly browned).

At the death of Louis XIV, France was deeply indebted after years of war, its economy stagnant and suffering from a critical shortage of specie (which was still the basis of all financial transactions). It was in this context that the Regent, Philippe d'Orléans, turned to the brilliant Scottish economist (also adventurer and convicted murderer) John Law. Over the four years from 1716, Law gradually assumed control of the French economy, creating a national bank (the Banque Royale) underpinned by the crown's external trading companies (known as the Mississippi Company). The first of these pamphlets concerns the initial stage in this process, the foundation of a private bank (the Banque Générale) which was permitted for the first time in France to issue paper money, convertible to gold. Ultimately Law's innovative economic machinery was undermined by (amongst other factors) the printing of paper money far in excess of available gold reserves, culminating in the spectacular collapse of 'the Mississippi Bubble' in the summer of 1720. By 1721 -- as indicated in the second pamphlet -- France had discarded paper money, and the economy was to remain on a specie basis until after the French Revolution.
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