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Cernuschi, Henri

CERNUSCHI, HENRI (1821-1896), Italian politician and economist, was born of wealthy parents at Milan in 1821, and was destined for the legal profession. During his studies he became involved in the revolutionary movement. He played a conspicuous part in the insurrection at Milan in 1848, and also at Rome in 1849, where he had a seat in the National Assembly. On the collapse of the revolutionary government he was arrested (1850), but managed to escape to France, where he engaged in commerce and banking, became naturalized, and acquired a large fortune. He took a prominent part in opposing the Socialist movement, and in April 1870, having subscribed a large sum to the funds of a committee formed to combat the Napoleonic plebiscite, had to leave the country. In September the formation of the Third Republic enabled him to return, but he soon left Paris to travel in the East, whence he returned with a fine art collection, particularly of Japanese objects. Cernuschi is best known for his publications on financial questions, more especially bimetallism. Of the latter he was an ardent champion, and the word itself is commonly supposed to have originated with him - at least in its English form it is first found in his Silver Vindicated (1876). Among his other works may be mentioned: Mécanique de l'échange (1861); Illusion des sociétés coopératives (1886); Le Bimétallisme en Angleterre (1879); Le Grand Procès de l'Union latine (1884). He died at Mentone on the 12th of May 1896.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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