LES ROUTES DE L’ARGENT: Réseaux et flux financiers de Paris à Hambourg (1789-1815)
Matthieu de Oliveira
Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique (Paris 2011)
From 1789 to 1815, the entire north-west of continental Europe came under French control secured by conquests and annexations. This densely populated and fast industrialising region boasted a trading tradition that was the source of its wealth. These many advantages attracted private businessmen, like Lille’s François-Charles Briansaux, drawn by all the deals they could make on this huge market under construction and protected in part from English competition by the Continental System. They were joined by financial officials tasked with “exporting” the French tax system to the 130 départements of the First French Empire. This gave shape to a single efficient administration with the virtues of a levelling tax system, without losing sight of certain of the local particularities and principles due to the gradual spread of the Empire. The book’s focus on the two-way relations between the old France and the united départements, between Paris and Lille, Brussels, Amsterdam and Hamburg, shows how the combined movement of private business deals and public finance interacted on the northern roads.