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Laffitte, Jacques

Jacques Laffitte (zhäk läfēt´), 1767–1844, French banker and politician. He rose from poverty to become one of the wealthiest and most influential men in France. He was director (1809) and later governor (1814–19) of the Bank of France. Elected a deputy in 1816, his strong support for a constitutional monarchy led to his removal as governor of the bank in 1819. Thrown into the opposition, he used his influence, particularly by encouraging journalists such as Adolphe Thiers, to effect the July Revolution of 1830 and put Louis Philippe on the throne. He was made premier by the new king, but his policy failed to satisfy any of the parties, and his support of the Polish and Italian revolutionaries annoyed the king. He resigned in 1831, by then having lost most of his fortune.

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