FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
NAME: IFELOLA, OLUWADUNSIN P
MATRIC NO: 100901091
COURSE: HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT
COURSE CODE: ECN 224
ASSIGNMENT: Write down 10 ways the Physiocrats ideology can help Nigeria to diversify their economy.
For a proper analysis and knowledge of this problem, It would be imperative to explain the following terms
Physiocracy is a school of thought founded by François Quesnay (1694-1774), a court physician to King Louis the 15th. At one point in time Physiocracy constituted a sort of religious movement that attracted a number of outstanding and extremely fervent believers, and exerted no small influence on real politics. The history of the Physiocratic movement is thought to have begun in 1757, when Quesnay met Mirabeau the elder (1715-89), and come to an end in 1776, with the fall of Turgot (1727-81). The actual members of the Physiocratic school referred to themselves not as Physiocrats but as économistes. The term “physiocracy” apparently came into general use after having first appeared in 1767, with the appearance of a collection of Quesnay’s works published by Pierre du Pont under the title Physiocratie, ou Constitution Naturelle du Gouvernement le Plus Avantageux au Genre Humain. The term is of course a combination of “physio” (nature) and “cracy” (rule), thus meaning the “rule of nature.” This expresses the school’s fundamental idea that there is a natural order, as opposed to artificial systems, and that the mission of scholarship and politics being to understand this natural order and bring it into existence, thereby bringing about this rule of nature. The Physiocrats have been the subjects of so many and such divergent appreciations by historians, philosophers, economists, and students of political science, that hardly a single general proposition of importance has been advanced with regard to them by one writer which has not been contradicted by another. The Physiocrats were the first scientific school of political economy. The Physiocrats were not merely a school of economic thought; they were a school of political action. Kings and princes were among their pupils. The great French Revolution itself was influenced by their writings. And the force of their work is still not wholly spent. But before the origin and significance of their writings can be appreciated it is necessary briefly to sketch the circumstances of their time in relation to which their ideas must be considered. The economic and financial condition of France at the beginning of the eighteenth century was truly pitiable. In spite of her great natural resources, the variety of her favourable climates, the fertility of her well-watered soil, and the thrift, industry, and intelligence of her people, the efforts of able ministers like Mazarin and Colbert to increase her national wealth had been rendered nugatory by the senseless politics of the Great Monarch. Costly campaigns abroad, ruinous extravagance at home, left the kingdom at his death, in 1715, with a debt of 3460 million francs, of which over 3300 had been contracted since the death of Colbert in 1683. The murderous wars, reducing the birth-rate, increasing the mortality, “an act of religious intolerance, disavowed by religion”. The expulsion of the Protestants had reduced the population by four millions, or 20 per cent, since 1660.2 Agricultural products had fallen off by one-third since he ascended the throne. Burdens increased while they were diminished who bore them. And competent judges computed that two-thirds of the taxes themselves were eaten up by the cost of collection. The contemptible creatures who succeeded Louis XIV, Philip, Duke of Orleans (the Regent), and Louis XV, squandered the national revenues in vice and frivolities with shameless prodigality. The system of Law (1718–1720), which is generally held...
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