Concept

Barthélemy de Laffemas

Summary
Bartholomew Laffemas was an economist, born in Beausemblant, France in 1545. He is officially recorded as dying in Paris in 1612. However, it is rumoured that he actually died on September 23, 1611, after falling from his horse. He is known as the first person to write about underconsumption Coming from the gentry Protestant, poor, he worked and became a tailor. He left the Dauphiné and went to Navarre. There he met Henry of Navarre, the future Henry IV of France. Then, in 1576, he became a "silver merchant" for the king. In 1579, the king owes his supplier 483 491 pounds. He had to borrow the money for his business, paid in annuities. In a memoir, Laffemas wrote that he lifted "..the silverware shop of the king, and borrowed over two hundred thousand crowns ...". These annuities are not as good and he was pursued by the creditors, and imprisoned for debt. When Henry of Navarre became King of France he was freed. In 1596, in his "memory to draw Manufactures and works of the kingdom", it proposes to extend the guilds and develop the chambers of trade. He also advises to reduce imports and develop royal factories, supported by the state. Henry partly supports this program. In 1598 Laffemas continued writing his ideas on trade and manufacture. Writing his ideas may have been required to receive support from Henry IV. They acted as a balance to those of Sully, more interested in agriculture. In the same year Laffemas published Les Trésors et richesses pour mettre l'Estat en splendeur, which blasted those who frowned on French silks because the industry created employment for the poor. This is the first known mention of Underconsumption Theory, which is later refined by John Maynard Keynes. New letters patent of July 20, 1602 ordered the Commission to assemble regularly to attend to the execution of previous orders required by the body and communities of merchants. He received the king, 15 November 1602. He advocated the mercantilism and encouraged the development of trade and manufacturing, differing in this from the Minister Sully, which emphasized the agriculture.
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