France 1789: A Bankrupt Regime

In the world today, a nation's financial collapse can threaten its political and social stability. It was the same in France in 1789, explains Peter Burley.

The threat by countries as far apart as Poland or Brazil to default on the repayment of their loans is a commonplace newspaper headline today. The first recognisably modern crisis of state bankruptcy – where a nation's financial collapse led directly to political and social upheaval – was experienced by France as the prelude to the French Revolution.

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