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The period from 1756 to 1783 was a tumultuous time in France with enormous debt problems. It happened due to France’s participation in the American Revolution and the Seven Years’ War. There are many instances when the kings and queens of that era had massive debts due to extravagant spending or inheritance of monetary obligation. Louis XVI, for example, the French king belonging to the Bourbon dynasty occupied the throne in 1774 but inherited huge debt and failed to repay them. 

Again, Marie-Antoinette, the wife of King Louis XVI due to her self-indulgent habits spent extravagantly, leading to royal extravagance and excess. Consequently, Charles de Calonne, who was the controller general of finances chosen by Louis XVI in 1783, suggested across-the-board taxation to recover the country’s poor economic crisis. There was no other option left but this to deal with the financial turmoil during the period.

Even today, debt is a major problem for people and countries. According to an article published on HuffPost, there are ways to dig out of your loans. For example, you can pay off your debts using your savings or opt for consolidated loans from a lender or a bank near you. Coming back to the financial crisis of 18th century France, the situation was no better for the people or the monarchy. Read on to learn more about the economic disorder of that period.

The debt crisis of France

A couple of poor financial recommendations in the late 1700s crippled the finances of France even more that the government could not handle it efficiently. The country’s long association with the Seven Year’s War from 1756-1763 ruined the royal treasury as well the involvement of France in the American Revolution of 1775 to 1783.

The situation aggravated further because of a large army and navy the government had to maintain, which was very expensive. It translated into huge costs, thus worsening the financial crisis of the country. It was a volatile time for both the government as well as the people of France.

The excess and extravagance related to the King Louis’s palace, Versailles, the maintenance and upkeep of the mansion, irked the common people of France. The expenses associated with the characteristic indulgent fashion and excessive spending of the king’s wife further crippled the French economy. The queen had frivolous spending habits that aggravated the debt problem of the country instead of repaying the same.

The three long decades of financial irresponsibility and callousness were one of the major reasons for the French revolution. France, which was always perceived as a wealthy nation then had mammoth expenses of the monarchy leading to debt.

If the country had not participated in the expensive and lengthy wars and avoided extravagant spending, the situation would have been much better economically, for both the government as well as the commons.

The monarchy and parliaments

The French monarchy before the revolution was rife with extravagant spending and corruption. It was related to the concept of Divine Right, implying that kings were chosen by the Almighty and therefore, should sit on the throne. It led to the Absolute Rule, a doctrine, made for the benefit of the monarchy with no rights of the commons to have a say in the country’s governance. Today, the situation is the same for governments or for that matter some businesses that spend excessively and end up in huge debts. Therefore, if you have increasing debts and want to repay the same, you can look up platforms such as Liberty Lending or similar ones.

Absence of any universal law                                      

Yes, there were no such laws during that era in France. The laws differed from one region to the other and imposed by local parliaments, which were provincial judicial boards. Besides parliaments, the other bodies that imposed laws were religious groups or guilds. Again, every sovereign court approved the royal verdicts by the king if they were to be implemented. Therefore, the king was practically powerless to correct anything that had an adverse impact on any regional government. The checks and balances operational during that era in the government were rife with corruption and functioned without any majority support. Please check SD-Wan Security as well.

The abuse of power and unjust taxation

Whether it was the monarchs hailing from the Bourbon dynasty, the clergy, or the French nobility, they grossly abused their power in the late 1700s. They forced the peasantry of the country into federal obligations, refusing to contribute any tax-related revenue to the government. The impact of this unfair taxation did no good to endear the nobility to the people of the country.

Addressing the financial crisis of France

In the 1780s, especially during the early period, the country realized the debt problems need addressing. King Louis XVII employed Calonne, the controller general of finances in the year 1783. Again, the king was not willing to request the nobles for money. However, Louis XVII approached many European banks to apply for a loan. However, during that time, most of Europe was aware of the financial dilemma of France and therefore, the country had no credibility to apply for bank loans. It was a difficult situation indeed for the French government during that era of economic woes.

The king asked Calonne to assess the situation and come up with a possible solution. Calonne is responsible to audit the royal records and accounts found the financial system of the country in a mess. The independent accounting experts of that time had to look after the numerous tasks associated with the possession and allocation of government funds for their individual use.

When it came to raising funds, the only solution was taxation, which was unjustly imposed on the peasants of the country. The nobles of France did not have to pay any tax and the parliaments of that period never agreed on tax imposition for all, including the nobility.


Today, if you are in debt and cannot repay, start managing your finances. Consolidate loans as soon as possible without allowing your debts to linger.