Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Turgot, ANNE ROBERT JACQUES (1727-81), a great French statesman, came of a good Norman family. He was educated at the Sorbonne for the priesthood, but ultimately entered the service of the State. During the thirteen years (1761-74) that he was intendant of Limoges he carried out the ideas of the philosophes, succeeded in abolishing the corvee, introduced the growing of the potato, and did his utmost to meet a famine which lasted two years. In 1766 he published Reflexions sur la Formation et la Distribution des Richesses, the best work of the physiocrat school of political economists. On the accession of Louis XVI. Turgot became first Minister of Marine and soon after Controller-General of the Finances. During an administration of less than two years he united against himself, by his attempted reforms, the courtiers, the nobility, the clergy, and the farmers~general; and the king, though he had a great respect for him, was obliged to consent to his dismissal in 1776. Turgot belonged to the school of Voltaire, and "would have effected the revolution by ordinances" had he been supported. His main objects were the abolition of forced labour (the corvee), of interprovincial customs duties, of close corporations in towns (jurandes), and, above all, of every exemption from taxation. Turgot's life was written by his friend Condorcet; their correspondence has been lately published. In recent times M. Leon Say and Mr. John Morley have dealt with his life and doctrines.