Law, John

Law, John
(baptized April 21, 1671, Edinburgh, Scot.
died March 21, 1729, Venice) Scottish monetary reformer.

In 1705 he published the banking reform plan Money and Trade Considered, in which, unlike other mercantilists, he proposed a central bank as an agency for manufacturing money, as banknotes rather than as gold and silver. France agreed to try his plan in 1716, and he founded the Banque Générale, which was authorized to issue notes. He soon combined it with a company empowered to develop France's North American territories, particularly the lower Mississippi valley. His plan foundered; held responsible for the "Mississippi Bubble" speculative disaster, he fled to France and died in poverty in Venice.

* * *

▪ Scottish economist
baptized April 21, 1671, Edinburgh, Scotland
died March 21, 1729, Venice, Italy
 Scottish monetary reformer and originator of the “Mississippi scheme” for the development of French territories in America.

      Law studied mathematics, commerce, and political economy in London. After killing an adversary in a duel, he fled to Amsterdam, where he studied banking operations. A decade later he returned to Scotland and wrote his best-known work, Money and Trade Considered, with a Proposal for Supplying the Nation with Money (1st ed., 1705; 2nd ed., 1720). He submitted his banking reform plan to the Scottish parliament, but it was rejected.

      After several other rejections, Law received permission in 1716 to try his plan in France. The French government was heavily in debt as a result of the extensive wars of Louis XIV, who died in 1715; and Law's program, which promised to reduce the public debt, held obvious appeal. With Law, however, lowering the public debt was somewhat incidental. He shared with his mercantilist contemporaries a belief that money is a creative force in economic development and that an increase in its quantity would stimulate a larger national product and would increase national power. He differed from other mercantilists in looking upon a central bank as an agency for manufacturing money in the form of bank notes that would circulate in place of gold and silver, which were scarce.

      In Paris, Law founded a bank with authority to issue notes. Later he combined with his bank the Louisiana Company, which had exclusive privileges to develop the vast French territories in the Mississippi Valley of North America. Law's plan worked well for a few years but ran afoul of speculative complications and political intrigue, neither of which were directly attributable to Law. As the author of the program, popularly known as the “ Mississippi Bubble,” Law was responsible and was forced to flee France in 1720. He died in Venice a poor man.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Law,John — Law, John. 1671 1729. Scottish financier active in France, where he engaged in highly profitable speculation on the development of Louisiana. The investment scheme ultimately collapsed, and he fled the country in ruin (1720). * * * …   Universalium

  • Law, John — (1671 1729)    Scottish born financier    Best known as the founder of the notorious Mississippi scheme, John Law was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and, after having studied banking in various European countries, settled in Paris in 1715. A year… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • LAW, JOHN —    financier and speculator, son of a goldsmith and banker, born at Edinburgh; was early noted for his calculating power; visiting London in 1691 he got into debt, sold his estate, killed a man in a duel, and escaped to Amsterdam, where he… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Law, John — (bautizado el 21 abr. 1671, Edimburgo, Escocia–21 mar. 1729, Venecia). Reformador escocés del sistema monetario. En 1705 publicó su plan de reforma bancaria Consideraciones sobre el numerario y el comercio, en el cual, a diferencia de otros… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Law, John —    R Headmaster of Gore district Grammar School, Upper Canada, 4; Egerton Ryerson studies under, 5 …   The makers of Canada

  • John Doe — / jän dō/ n: a party to legal proceedings (as a suspect) whose true name is unknown or withheld compare jane roe, richard roe Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • John Doe summons — n: a summons made out to an unidentified defendant who is referred to in the summons as John Doe Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • John Adams — When future president John Adams came to court in Boston to be sworn in as an attorney he forgot to bring his lawyer sponsor to attest to his skill and honesty. Another attorney stepped forward and swore to Adams’s talent, saving the young man… …   Law dictionary

  • john — / jän/ n: a prostitute s client Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Law is a bottomless pit. — Law is a bottomless pit. Law is a bottomless pit. John Arbuthnot Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary. Gerald N. Hill, Kathleen Thompson Hill. 2009 …   Law dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”