Germain, Marquis Garnier - Encyclopedia




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GERMAIN GARNIER, MARQUIS (1754-1821), French politician and economist, was born at Auxerre on the 8th of November 1754. He was educated for the law, and obtained when young the office of procureur to the Chatelet in Paris. On the calling of the states-general he was elected as one of the deputes suppleants of the city of Paris, and in 1791 administrator of the department of Paris. After the 10th of August 1792 he withdrew to the Pays de Vaud, and did not return to France till 1795. In public life, however, he seems to have been singularly fortunate. In 1 797 he was on the list of candidates for the Directory; in 1800 he was prefect of Seine-et-Oise; and in 1804 he was made senator and in 1808 a count. After the Restoration he obtained a peerage, and on the return of Louis XVIII., after the Hundred Days, he became minister of state and member of privy council, and in 1817 was created a marquis. He died at Paris on the 4th of October 1821. At court he was, when young, noted for his facile power of writing society verse, but his literary reputation depends rather on his later works on political economy, especially his admirable translation, with notes and introduction, of Smith's Wealth of Nations (1805) and his Histoire de la monnaie (2 vols., 1819), which contains much sound and well-arranged material. His Abrege des principes de l'econ. polit. (1796) is a very clear and instructive manual. The valuable Description geographique, physique, et politique du departement de Seine-et-Oise (1802) was drawn up from his instructions. Other works are De la propriete (1792) and Histoire des banques d'escompte (1806).

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