The year 1848 is considered by historians as a political and economic turning point in France: a major political crisis took place in the form of the February Revolution, accompanied by extensive financial troubles for the French government. The economists of that time actively debated the economic causes and consequences of the crisis. This chapter is devoted to the analysis of these financial controversies in French economic thought around 1848. If the political and philosophical debates of 1848 between the liberals and the socialists are quite well known by historians of economic thought, their financial side has been relatively neglected. According to the authors of this chapter, it is nevertheless of great interest to examine the liberal and socialist ideas of that time. This chapter aims to investigate this little-studied question by raising three main issues: the first one consists of presenting the different diagnoses of the 1848 financial crisis from socialist and liberal viewpoints. Second, it proposes an analysis of the content of theoretical controversies about ways to overcome the financial troubles, particularly regarding the trade-off between taxation and debt. Lastly, it emphasizes the role of this period for the subsequent constitution of a financial orthodoxy in France.
Silvant, C. and Coste, C. (2020), "The French Financial Controversies in the Aftermath of the 1848 Crisis: An Overview of Socialist and Liberal Positions", Fiorito, L., Scheall, S. and Suprinyak, C.E. (Ed.) Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Public Finance in the History of Economic Thought (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 38A), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 55-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542020000038A007Download as .RIS
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