Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Notes on France and Great Britain, [1784–1789]

Notes on France and Great Britain

[1784–1789]

Comparative view of France and the British islands in Europe.

France. British islands.
Extent. 150,000 square miles 104,000 square miles.
Souls 17,000,000.
  5¾ acres to each person 6¾ acres to each person.
Ecclesiastics 500,000.
Paris 600,000. London. 1,000,000.
Rental 52,800,000  32,000,000.
Plate, jewels &c. 52,500,000  20,000,000
Current coin 52,500,000  20,000,000.
Paper currency none 380,000,000.
Standing army  10,717 guards
133,780 French & foreign
        infantry.
 28,979 do. cavalry.
173,476
  9,230 Invalids for
        garrison duty
Militia  62,600
245,306.
Navy.
Revenue 12,546,666£  10,213,000£
Interest of debt  2,022,222£   4,860,000
Debt   6,600,000£ in 1689: at the revolution
 20,000,000. 1697. peace of Ryswick
  6,748,780. 1701. Q. Anne’s accesion.
 50,000,000. 1714. Q. Anne’s death.
 50,000,000. 1727. death of G.I.
 46,661,767. 1739. beginning of Spanish war.
 78,293,313 1748. peace of Aix la Chapelle.
 72,000,000. 1755. beginning of French war.
140,000,000. 1763. Treaty of Paris

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 234: 41844); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated; endorsed by TJ: “France & Engld. compared.”

Since precise figures on the public finances of the French monarchy did not become available until the publication of Jacques Necker’s Compte rendu au Roi in 1781, TJ presumably compiled this comparative view of France and Great Britain sometime during his years in France (J. F. Bosher, French Finances 1770–1795: From Business to Bureaucracy [Cambridge, 1970],126).

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