Physiocracy, meaning the rule or the government of nature, is the name given to a mid-18th-century French school of economic thought which sought to revive the French economy through a series of liberalizing reforms. The movement was an important current in the French Enlightenment that sought to reform the system of government known since the French Revolution as the ancien regime. The physiocrats’ primary aim was to restore the fortunes of French agriculture by increasing output.

The physiocrats received widespread attention and influenced agricultural policy reforms across Europe in the second half of the 18th century. Because of their close doctrinal agreement and determined activism they have frequently been referred to as a sect. Their doctrines concerning the role of trade and manufacturing in modern economies ...

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