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Were the Physiocrats part of the Enlightenment?[edit]

Or did they consider themselves separate from all that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I didn't know anything about this theory (heck, I am an English major)and was surprised by the belief that this systematic approach resulted in the death of so many people...

I did not know about this peculiar strain of economics either, though it appears that important elements/assumptions of Quesnay's and Turgot's theories must have influenced classical economists like Smith and Ricardo. This article makes a nice segue to a study of Thomas Jefferson's apparently Physiocratic beliefs, their relationship to his later classical economic thinking (post-Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations), and their reflection in actual governmental policy during his terms as Virginia governor and President.Knab1969 13:25, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

François Quesnay was the leading figure of the Physiocrats, generally considered to be the first school of economic thinking. Indeed,.. it was Quesnay who coined the term “laissez-faire, laissez-passer.” Library of Economics and Liberty Home page - DAB295 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

Reply to Knab1969[edit]

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 recommended the Physiocrats concept of a land tax as the "simplest and most fit resource" for financing the governments of the several States; see the Federalist Papers #36. In delegating the power to tax to the Central government they recognized that the effect of a land tax was the opposite of a tax on private goods and so was not a tax in the normal sense. They recommended a consumption (sales) tax for financing the Central government. The power of Eminent Domain was thus reserved to the States. Also see FP#17.

Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776 just in time to confuse the term Laissez Faire as conceived by the Physiocrats and thus the Laissez Faire economics of the American Revolution. I wonder if that was not intended by the British. Jefferson brought his friend du Pont to America to promote the concept.

DAB (talk) 18:20, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Non-french Physiocrats[edit]

Are there any? I'm thinking of creating 3 new wikipedia categories: Physiocrat, Georgist, and Land Value Tax Advocate, with the first two subcategories of the last (and of various other parent categories). Physiocrat would be the most straightforward and uncontroversial so I'll start there. If all Physiocrats are also French then I can make Physiocrat a subcategory of French Economist, otherwise I will have to leave each of the French Physiocrats in 2 categories. Pm67nz 03:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

On further investigation: obviously there is Richard Cantillon, but this page and his article implies that he predates the Physiocrats and so isn't quite one of them. OTOH the French equivalent of this page also lists Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, so I've accepted that not all Physiocrats are French. Pm67nz 05:39, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Tableau Économique[edit]

Figure 1 seems incorrect (or at least confusing to me) as far as the merchant is concerned. In the text it's mentioned that the artisan needs foreign goods. It's also stated that the merchant will use this $150 received from the artisan to buy food in the agricultural market to export. In figure 1 the merchant is however only receiving agricultural goods to export, but the imported goods needed by the artisan for his manufactured output is not shown. No argumentation why this is done is given. It's also strange that a merchant can stay alive from the wind. Just like the landlord, the farmer, the farmhand, the livestock and the artisan the merchant needs food to stay alive. (talk) 17:36, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


The physiocrats were heavily inspired by Confucianism. Quesnay was the "Confucius of Europe". There are strong influences as both praised farmers and hated merchants. Land was seen as the source of wealth. The article should be updated to reflect this. --Countakeshi (talk) 10:39, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Just because someone may have called him the "Confucius of Europe" does not mean that he was actually inspired by Confucius. You will need to find sources that says that the physiocrats "were heavily inspired by Confucianism". --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:28, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Here is one source if anyone is interested. --Countakeshi (talk) 10:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


The physiocrats (who called themselves économistes, but the term was appropriated by their successors) began with Quesnay, surgeon to the king (Louis XIV) and later physician to the same king, who had studied the 17th century physician-scientist William Harvey and his theory of the circulation of the blood, and transferred the concept to the circulation of money through society. Hence their successors' or opponents' contruction of the name "physiocrat." Quesnay thus foreshadowed Vasily Leontief and his input-output analysis. NRPanikker (talk) 09:04, 10 August 2011 (UTC)NRPanikker (talk) 09:09, 10 August 2011 (UTC)


It is certainly not the place of Wikipedia to declare if a particular economic theory is "valid," as stated in the fifth paragraph. Instead of loading the entire thing with "citation needed," this obviously partisan section needs to be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 17 September 2014 (UTC)