Concept

Ferme générale

Summary
The ferme générale (fɛʁm ʒeneʁal, "general farm") was, in ancien régime France, essentially an outsourced customs, excise and indirect tax operation. It collected duties on behalf of the King (plus hefty bonus fees for themselves), under renewable six-year contracts. The major tax collectors in that highly unpopular tax farming system were known as the fermiers généraux (singular fermier général), which would be tax farmers-general in English. In the 17th and 18th centuries the fermiers généraux became immensely rich and figure prominently in the history of cultural patronage, as supporters of French music, major collectors of paintings and sculpture, patrons of the marchands-merciers and consumers of the luxury arts in the vanguard of Parisian fashions. In his 1833 novel Ferragus, writer Honoré de Balzac attributes the sad air that hangs about the Île Saint-Louis in central Paris to the many houses there owned by fermiers généraux. Their sons or grandsons purchased patents of nobility and their daughters often married into the aristocracy. Especially members of impoverished aristocratic families were eager to marry daughters of the fermiers généraux in order to restore the wealth they had prior to their ruin. This was called in popular French redorer son blason (literally "to re-gild one's coat of arms"). Before the French Revolution in 1789, the public revenue was based largely on the following taxes: The Taille – Direct land tax imposed on French peasant and non-noble households, based on how much land they held. In some provinces, the principle of taille réelle was used, which meant that the tax was based on the actual market value of the real estate. In a majority of provinces the taille personnelle was applied: the tax level was the result of an arbitrary and gross estimation of the real estate value. Noblemen, public office holders and the inhabitants of the large cities were exempt from the taille. The Taillon – Tax for military expenditure.
About this result
This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.
Related publications

Loading

Related people

Loading

Related units

Loading

Related concepts

Loading

Related courses

Loading

Related lectures

Loading

Related MOOCs

Loading