The current debt crisis in the United States in some ways echoes the financial crisis in monarchical France during the 1780s.
French historian Lloyd Kramer, Professor of History at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has published an interesting op-ed piece comparing these two financial crises.
In many ways the crisis of the king’s debt in pre-revolutionary was very different from today’s arguably artificial crisis in the United States over raising the debt ceiling (which has been raised many times over the past several decades without any serious political crisis).
Nonetheless, Kramer identifies several aspects of the French and American crises that do resemble each other. Most interesting is his comparison of the Tea Party Republicans to French nobles of the 1780s—based on their complete unwillingness to accept increased taxation on the wealthiest members of their respective societies.
Lloyd Kramer’s op-ed is available online at NewsObserver.
Students of HIST 423 French Revolution and Napoleon will be interested in this piece.