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Jacques Necker (1732) Options
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Jacques Necker (1732)

French financier and statesman Jacques Necker retired in the early 1780s. Returning to Paris in 1787, Necker was soon exiled from the city for engaging in public controversy over financial policy. In 1788, Louis XVI recalled Necker as director-general of finances and minister of state. Supporting reforms, he was acclaimed by the populace. When his enemies at court again secured his dismissal in 1789, the populace stormed the Bastille on July 14. What happened to Necker? More...
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Jacques Necker (1732)
French financier and statesman Jacques Necker retired in the early 1780s. Returning to Paris in 1787, Necker was soon exiled from the city for engaging in public controversy over financial policy. In 1788, Louis XVI recalled Necker as director-general of finances and minister of state. Supporting reforms, he was acclaimed by the populace. When his enemies at court again secured his dismissal in 1789, the populace stormed the Bastille on July 14.
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Jacques Necker (1732)
French financier and statesman Jacques Necker retired in the early 1780s. Returning to Paris in 1787, Necker was soon exiled from the city for engaging in public controversy over financial policy. In 1788, Louis XVI recalled Necker as director-general of finances and minister of state. Supporting reforms, he was acclaimed by the populace. When his enemies at court again secured his dismissal in 1789, the populace stormed the Bastille on July 14.
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Necker's second ministry began in August 1788, when Louis XVI recalled him to office after agreeing to convoke the Estates General to deal with France's fiscal crisis. On Necker's advice, Louis XVI agreed to the doubling of the number of delegates from the Third Estate, but after some hesitation he rejected the vote by head demanded by the Third Estate, and he also rejected Necker's suggestion for a compromise. Influenced by the most conservative nobles, the King, who now planned to use force against the Estates General, dismissed Necker on July 11, 1789, because he regarded him as too sympathetic to the Third Estate. Necker's departure from office contributed to the unrest in Paris that culminated in the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. A few days later popular pressure forced Louis XVI to recall Necker.

Necker, however, distrusted by the nobles and soon by the deputies to the legislature, could not cope with the fiscal crisis and the demands for radical reforms. In September 1790 he retired from public office for the last time and returned to Switzerland. There he lived with his famous daughter Madame Germaine de Staël and wrote a number of works defending his policies. Necker died on April 4, 1804.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/history/french-history-biographies/jacques-necker

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Necker, Jacques
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Jacques Necker
Jacques Necker
Necker, Jacques - Duplessis.jpg
Portrait by Joseph Duplessis, (Château de Versailles)
Chief Minister to the French Monarch
In office
25 June 1788 – 11 July 1789
Preceded by Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne
Succeeded by Louis Auguste Le Tonnelier de Breteuil
In office
16 July 1789 – 3 September 1790
Preceded by Louis Auguste Le Tonnelier de Breteuil
Succeeded by Armand Marc, comte de Montmorin
Director General of Finance
In office
29 June 1777 – 19 May 1781
Preceded by Louis-Gabriel Taboureau des Réaux
Succeeded by Jean-François Joly de Fleury
In office
26 August 1788 – 11 July 1789
Preceded by Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne
Succeeded by Louis Charles Auguste Le Tonnelier
Personal details
Born 30 September 1732
Geneva, Republic of Geneva
Died 9 April 1804 (aged 71)
Coppet, Swiss Confederation
Political party Louis XVI
Profession Statesman, politician, writer
Religion Protestantism
Necker, 1789 engraving

Jacques Necker (30 September 1732 – 9 April 1804) was a French statesman of Swiss birth and finance minister of Louis XVI, a post he held in the lead-up to the French Revolution in 1789.
Early life

Necker was born on 30 September 1732 in Geneva, then an independent republic. His father Karl Friedrich Necker was a native of Küstrin in Neumark (Prussia, now Kostrzyn nad Odrą, Poland), and had, after the publication of some works on international law, been elected as professor of public law at Geneva, of which he became a citizen. Jacques Necker was sent to Paris in 1747 to become a clerk in the bank of Isaac Vernet, a friend of his father. By 1762 he was a partner and by 1765, through successful speculations, had become very wealthy. Soon, he co-founded, with another Genevese, the famous bank of Thellusson, Necker et Cie. Peter Thellusson (also known as Pierre Thellusson) superintended the bank in London (his son was made a peer as Baron Rendlesham), while Necker was managing partner in Paris. Both partners became very rich by loans to the treasury and speculations in grain.

In 1763, Necker fell in love with Madame de Verménou, the widow of a French officer. But while on a visit to Geneva, Madame de Verménou met Suzanne Curchod, who was the daughter of a pastor near Lausanne and who had been engaged to Edward Gibbon. In 1764, Madame de Verménou brought Suzanne to Paris as her companion. There Necker, transferring his love from the wealthy widow to the poor Swiss girl, married Suzanne before the end of the year. On 22 April 1766, they had a daughter, Anne Louise Germaine Necker, who became a renowned author under the name of Madame de Staël.
Suzanne Curchod, wife of Jacques Necker

Madame Necker encouraged her husband to try to find himself a public position. He accordingly became a syndic or director of the French East India Company, around which a fierce political debate revolved in the 1760s, between the company's directors and shareholders and the royal ministry over the administration and the company's autonomy. "The ministry, concerned with the financial stability of the company, employed the abbé Morellet to shift the debate from the rights of the shareholders to the advantages of commercial liberty over the company’s privileged trading monopoly."[1] After showing his financial ability in its management, Necker defended the Company's autonomy in an able memoir[2] against the attacks of André Morellet in 1769.

Meanwhile, he had made loans to the French government, and was appointed resident at Paris by the republic of Geneva. Madame Necker entertained the leaders of the political, financial and literary worlds of Paris, and her Friday salon became as greatly frequented as the Mondays of Mme Geoffrin, or the Tuesdays of Mme Helvétius. In 1773, Necker won the prize of the Académie Française for a defense of state corporatism framed as a eulogy of Louis XIV's minister, Colbert; in 1775, he published his Essai sur la législation et le commerce des grains, in which he attacked the free-trade policy of Turgot. His wife now believed he could get into office as a great financier, and made him give up his share in the bank, which he transferred to his brother Louis.
Finance Minister of France

In October 1776[3] Necker was made director-general of the finances – he could not be controller because of his Protestant faith.[4] He gained popularity in regulating the finances by attempting to divide the taille capitation tax more equally, by abolishing the vingtième d'industrie, and establishing monts de piété (establishments for loaning money on security). His greatest financial measures were his usage of loans to help fund the French debt and his usage of high interest rates rather than raising taxes.[5] He also advocated loans to finance French involvement in the American Revolution.[6]

In 1781, France was suffering financially, and because Necker was Director-General, he was blamed for the rather high debt accrued from the American Revolution.[7] While at court, Necker had made many enemies because of his reforming policies. Marie Antoinette was his most formidable enemy, so Louis – listening to Antoinette – would become a factor in Necker's resignation: Louis would not reform taxation to bring in more money to cover debts, nor would he listen to Necker and allow him to be a special adviser, because this was strongly opposed by the ministers. [8]
Allegorical Portrait of Necker flanked by Commerce and Prosperity (1788–1789)

From 1776-1788 Necker was essentially in control of all of France's wealth. Also in 1781, Necker published his most influential work: the Compte rendu au roi. In it, Necker summarizes governmental income and expenditures, giving the first-ever public record of royal finances. It was meant to be an educational piece for the people, and in it he expressed his desire to create a well-informed, interested populace.[9] Before, the people had never considered governmental income and expenditure to be their concern, but the Compte rendu made them more proactive. This birth of public opinion and interest played an important role in the French Revolution. The statistics given in the Compte rendu were completely false and misleading. Necker wanted to show France in a strong financial position when the reality was much worse. He "cooked the books", hiding the crippling interest payments that France had to make on its massive £520 million in loans (largely used to finance the war in America) as normal expenditure. When he was criticized by his enemies for the Compte rendu, he made public his 'Financial Summary for the King', which appeared to show that France had fought the war in America, paid no new taxes and still had a massive credit of £10 million of revenue.[10]

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