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Directoire, 5 centimes 1796/5 Strassbourg

Started by Figleaf, February 10, 2022, 11:04:59 PM

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The years of the directoire were characterised by two men: Paul Barras and Napoléon Bonaparte. Barras was the leading director of the directorate. He had to deal with a succession a uprisings, especially from royalists. This drove him in the arms of Bonaparte, a known republican general. When the royalists were poised to take over, driven by an election law that restricted the right to vote to property owners, Bonaparte staged a coup and took control.

Financial policy was aimed at stability. The assignats (paper money) had practically no value. The unit of account, the livre, suffered from hyperinflation. The responsible director, La Réveillière-Lépeaux reacted by having silver coins minted from silver objects confiscated from churches and those executed during the reign of terror. The government defaulted on ⅔ of the national debt and imposed new taxes. The latest 10 centime coins were overstruck to become 5 centimes. This stabilised the currency and restricted inflation, but disrupted the food supply, as food prices were set by law and became more and more unrealistic, setting the scene for further unrest.

My coin is a 5 centimes year 5 (1796), not overstruck, KM 640.4. 

Obv: Marianne (revolution) in a Phrygian bonnet (liberty) surrounded by REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE
Rev: CINQ / CENTIMES. / L'AN 5. / Artemis with bow (Augustin Dupré, national engraver), BB (Strassbourg mint), wheat sheaf (Gabriel Godefroid Dubois, engraver of the Strassbourg mint), all in an oak wreath.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Those years of France's history are always interesting, and these coins are a good testimony of them. This coin looks great!