He [Turgot] now, in 1749, at the age of twenty two, wrote... a letter which has been an object of wonder among political thinkers ever since. Its subject was paper money. Discussing the ideas of John Law, and especially the essay of Terrasson which had supported them, he dissected them mercilessly, but in a way useful not only in those times but in these.
White, ibid., Seven Great Statesmen...
Eripuit Coelo fulmen, mox Sceptra Tyrannis.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
The earth has been cultivated before it has been divided; the cultivation itself having been the only motive for a division, and for that law which secures to every one his property. For the first persons who have employed themselves in cultivation, have probably worked as much land as their strength would permit, and, consequently, more than was necessary for their own nourishment.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
Every soil does not produce every material.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
All merchandize has the two essential properties of money, to measure and to represent all value: and in this sense all merchandize is money.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
All is more or less proper to serve as a common measure, in proportion as it is more or less in general use, of a more similar quality, and more easy to be divided into aliquot parts. All is more or less applicable for the purpose of a general pledge of exchange, in proportion as it is less susceptible of decay or alteration in quantity or quality.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
All money is essentially merchandize.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
Gold and silver are constituted, by the nature of things, money, and universal money, independent of all convention, and of all laws.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
Turgot was never dazzled; it was his greatness, if it was also his misfortune, to see men and the world exactly as they are.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
The greatness of Turgot now began to appear: while he performed all the duties of the seminary and studied thoroughly what was required, he gave himself to a wide range of other studies, and chiefly in two very different directions to thought and work upon those problems in religion which transcend all theologies, and upon those problems in politics which are of vast importance in all countries, and which especially needed discussion in his own.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune
His [Turgot's] first important literary and scholastic effort was a treatise On the Existence of God . Few fragments of it remain, but we are helped to understand him when we learn that he asserted, and to the end of his life maintained, his belief in an Almighty Creator and Upholder of the Universe. It did, indeed, at a later period suit the purposes of his enemies, exasperated by his tolerant spirit and his reforming plans, to proclaim him an atheist; but that sort of charge has been the commonest of missiles against troublesome thinkers in all times.Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques, Baron De Laune