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Pierre Joseph Cambon

Cambon, Pierre Joseph (pyĕr zhôzĕfˈ) [key], b. 1754 or 1756, d. 1820, French financier and revolutionary. A merchant of Montpellier, he became a member of the Legislative Assembly and the Convention, and he guided the financial policy of the Revolution from Oct., 1791, to Apr., 1795. He refunded the debt, calling in all old government bonds (both royal and revolutionary), and issuing new certificates at 5%; that put a halt to wild speculation in bonds. His measure also freed the government temporarily from repaying the principal on the debt. Advocating war to "free" Europe, he advanced the policy of exploiting conquered territory. Feeling his fiscal program and his authority threatened by Maximilien Robespierre, Cambon assisted in the plot that led to Robespierre's downfall on 9 Thermidor. Despite this Cambon was distrusted by the Thermidorians, and his career ended after his brief triumph. He was exiled after the Bourbon restoration.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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