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Gianni, Francesco Maria (1728-1821)

Tipologia: Paragrafo/Articolo – Data pubblicazione: 01/01/1931

Gianni, Francesco Maria (1728-1821)

Encyclopaedia of the social sciences, editor in chief Edwin R.A. Seligman, New York, The Macmillan Company, vol. VI, 1931, pp. 650-651




GIANNI, FRANCESCO MARIA (1728-1821), Italian statesman and economist. Gianni was born in Florence. He was director of the customs in Pisa and was later promoted to the rank of senator in Florence and made superintendent of the silk industry. Gianni rose to eminence in 1766 when a grain scarcity menaced the country. Conversant with the works of Bandini, he proposed the extension first to Siena, then to all Tuscany of free trade in grain originally granted to Maremma in 1738. On September 18, 1767, was promulgated the famous act by which Tuscany became the pioneer in the cause of commercial liberty. The grand duke Leopold placed great confidence in Gianni, gave him the rank of minister and followed his advice when he, elaborating a view first put forward by Hutcheson and commented upon by Hume, strongly argued that public debt was not truly a state debt but a sum of private debts from taxpayers to public creditors, in which the state acted only as an intermediate agency. Pursuant to this theory an edict of 1788 distributed the public debt among payers of land taxes. Gianni lived to see his work overturned after the ascension of Leopold to the Austrian throne. The Debt Redemption Act was recalled and in 1790, a year of food scarcity, he, as the author of free trade in grain, was branded as an arch enemy of the people; his house was sacked and he was obliged to escape to Bologna. For a brief period he was minister of finance under the French regime and he retired in 1801.




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