The Contrast of the Enlightenment



The great eighteenth-century movement of emancipation redirected theories on usury. European economic expansion, particularly in the North, the increased volume of commerce, the first great spread of colonial companies, the appearance of finance in the focus of attention as shown by the Law affair, all led to a considerable development of credit. Seen as a sign of progress by some, and as the road to perdition by others, interest-bearing loans remained at the centre of a debate which continued in ecclesiastical circles, and became one of the favourite subjects of controversy for many economists and philosophers.


Interest Rate Contracting Parti Consumer Credit Favourite Subject Promissory Note 
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© La Fondation Cetelem 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cetelem Professor of Economics Université Libre de LilleFrance
  2. 2.International CEO, member of the Board of CetelemFrance

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