As a young man Turgot attended the Sorbonne with a view towards entering the clergy, however, he abandoned a church career in favour of economics.
In the 1760s, Turgot was put in charge of tax collection in Limoges, which exposed him both to corruption and the inequitable nature of the country’s taxation regime. In 1774, he was appointed Louis XVI‘s finance minister.
By 1776, Turgot’s proposed reforms were becoming even more radical: he suggested abolishing all sinecures and noble privileges while arguing against French involvement in the American Revolution.
Hated by Marie Antoinette and a string of influential nobles, a whispering campaign eventually pushed Turgot into resignation and most of his ideas for reform fell by the wayside.
Title: “Anne Robert Turgot”
Authors: John Rae, Steve Thompson
Publisher: Alpha History
Date published: May 6, 2017
Date accessed: May 27, 2023