The Rise and Fall of Jacques Coeur

An international merchant, Jacques Coeur became banker to the court of Charles VII of France. By 1450, writes A.R. Myers, Couer had reached a magnificent height of prosperity

The meteoric career of Jacques Coeur throws much light on the society of fifteenth-century France and on the place of merchants within it. His rise shows the degree of wealth and power that was already possible for the able and favoured business man; his fall demonstrates the precariousness of the merchant’s position in the France of that day. It has been said that “business today consists of persuading crowds”; the career of Jacques Coeur shows that business then, at any rate at the highest level, consisted much in placating princes.

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