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Rare plaquette ! Discours sur l'extrême cherté, 1574

Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 

[DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 

Discours sur les causes de l'extrême cherté qui est aujourd'hui en France, & sur les moyens d'y remédier. 

Paris, A l'olivier de Pierre L'Huilier, 1574.

12mo (157x100 mm), 79-(1) pages.  binding : Full morocco from XIXth century, signed by Thibaron, spine with six compartments. Fine copy. 

Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 

First edition.
After the end of the Middle Ages when prices reached historically low levels, the 16th century was marked by historic price inflation.
In 1563 the Paris Chamber of Accounts undertook a study on the "increase in the price of all things" in relation to "the depreciation of currencies", which gave rise to the controversy between Malestroit ("Les paradoxes du seigneur de Malestroict sur le faict des monnoyes ", 1566) and Jean Bodin (Response to the paradoxes of M. de Malestroict, 1568).
Our booklet, attributed to Bernard de Girard du Haillan who was finance secretary to the Duke of Anjou, feeds into this debate.
Haillan defines seven causes causing the rise in prices (instead of the 4 retained by Bodin). The first of these being the abundance of gold in Europe.
"The first cause, therefore, of dearness is the abundance of gold and silver, which in this Kingdom is greater than it ever was."
In fact, since the beginning of the 16th century, thanks to their conquests in the Americas, Spain and Portugal have doubled the quantity of gold circulating in Europe.
To the abundance of gold is added for Haillan the monopolies of the Merchants, the increase in international trade, the consumption of luxury by the Princes, it thus overlaps the 4 causes of the dearness defined by Bodin in 1568. But he adds : An overconsumption of wine and meat which nibbles the agricultural surface allocated to other foodstuffs; the increase in taxes which weigh on the peasants decreases the areas under cultivation; the periods of infertility that France had just experienced in previous years.
In fact, we find in Haillan's text all the terms of the quantitative theory of money as it will be formalized in 1910 by Fisher (MV = PY) who relates the price level to the quantity of money exchanged and resource production.

These debates around the high cost will lead during the Etats généraux of 1577 to the testing of the establishment of a monetary policy and the adoption of the Ecu as the currency for kingdom account. ("M. de Malestroit and the quantitative theory of money", Revue économique, 1987, 38-4, pp. 853-876).

references: Catalogue des livres précieux de la bibliothèque de M.E.M.B. (Étienne-Marie Bancel ), 1882 [lot 96 : "Bel exemplaire de cette pièce rare et l'une des plus recommandables pour les faits d'économie politique qui y sont contenus"].

provenance: Bookplate from Étienne-Marie Bancel (1809-1893).

Price : 15000 €

Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 
Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 
Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 
Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 
Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 
Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 
Photo [DU HAILLAN, Bernard de Girard]. 
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