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Histoire générale et particuliere du visa fait en France.

Pour la Réduction & l'Extinction de tous les Papiers Royaux & des Actions de la Compagnie des Indes, que le Systeme des Finances avoit enfantez. On y a joint un Etat des Actionaires & des Mississipiens compris au Rôle des Taxes du 15. Septembre 1722, avec des Remarques sur leurs Fortunes présentes.

The Hague: F. H. Scheurleer, 1743 Stock Code: 84108
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Exceptionally rare and important first edition discussing the Mississippi Bubble and John Law

First edition of one of the rarest texts in economics: the detailed account of the operation of the Visa, which was brought into operation after the downfall of John Law to investigate the profiteers of the Mississippi bubble, to improve the financial position of the state, and to penalise the financier class. The Visa was similar to the Chambre de Justice. This is the first book to print the name of Cantillon and to give details of his financial activities in the Mississippi bubble and his dealings with John Law.

The Visa was established by decree on 26 January 1721, and Pâris Duverney was entrusted with its execution. The aim of the Visa was to make an inventory of the property of all those, who either directly or indirectly, had shared in the profits of the Système, and to tax them retrospectively. "The decree of 26th January 1721 ordered that all the contracts for income from the state - both perpetual and life annuities - the shares of the India Company, all the certificates of bank accounts, accounts of deposits, all the bonds, contracts for annuities, as well as the notes of the royal bank, as such all the proofs of personal property created by the Système, should within two months, a time which might be extended to the 30th of June, be presented before a commission to be appointed by the king. The accounts which were rendered from the 1st to the 15th of July were, as a commencement, to be reduced by a third; those which were rendered from the 16th to the 31st of July by two-thirds. If not presented before the last date mentioned they lost all value To crown the work of Pâris Duverney, and to reach those who had hitherto been able to escape, the council of state, on 15th September 1722, issued a decree enforcing an additional poll-tax, namely the levy of a fine on all immovable property belonging to the hommes nouveaux, which produced 187,893,661 livres" (Palgrave III, 630-1).

The last section shows this special "wealth tax" on the property of those who had gained the most in the system, the hommes nouveaux. Cantillon is listed among them (II, 170) and, according to the figures given, only 22 people had made more money than him. His capital gains were estimated at 20 million livres, and the tax levied 2.4 million. Cantillon had left France fearing the results of the Visa and the tax payments it would entail, and presumably had his agents working to have his name omitted from it. This he did not achieve, but he was listed as "inconnu", which was clearly untrue, since his bank was still in business (being only gradually wound down), and was listed in the Almanach royal of that year (see Antoin E. Murphy, Richard Cantillon: Entrepreneur and Economist, p. 196).

Volumes III and IV are two additional - particularly rare - parts containing the relevant decrets and arrêts, beginning with the Chambre de Justice of 1716 and leading up to 1722. Marmont du Hautchamp (c.1682-c.1760), born in Orléans, was fermier des domaines of Flanders. His other works are Histoire du Système des Finances... pendant les années 1719 & 1720 (The Hague, 1739), and three novels, Rhétima (1723), Mizivida (1738), and Rispia (1754).

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2 volumes, duodecimo (155 x 95 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, flat spines ruled gilt, red and green labels, sprinkled edges. Housed in a black cloth folding case.


Title-pages printed in red and black, with engraved vignettes.


A few small single wormholes to the spines, contents unaffected. A highly attractive set.


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