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Creation of the Banque de France by Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bona­parte created the Banque de France to foster eco­nomic recovery after the strong recession of the revolu­tionary period. This new insti­tution was charged with issuing notes payable to bearer on sight, in return for dis­counting of trade bills. The ori­ginal statutes organised the activ­ities of the Bank, but other com­peting issuing insti­tu­tions remained. In 1803, the Bank obtained an issuing right for the city of Paris, then gradually until 1848, for the whole country.

Two notes were issued by the Banque de France from June-​​July 1800. Their respective face values, of 500 and 1,000 francs, were however extremely high and so they were used primarily by merchants.

For more information, see the article on the first banknotes of the Bank of France

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