Privilege has long been understood as the constitutional basis of Ancien Régime France, legalising the provision of a variety of rights, powers and exemptions to some, whilst denying them to others. In this fascinating new study however, Jeff Horn reveals that Bourbon officials utilized privilege as an instrument of economic development, freeing some sectors of the economy from pre-existing privileges and regulations, while protecting others. He explores both government policies and the innovations of entrepreneurs, workers, inventors and customers to uncover the lived experience of economic development from the Fronde to the Restoration. He shows how, influenced by Enlightenment thought, the regime increasingly resorted to concepts of liberty to defend privilege as a policy tool. The book offers important new insights into debates about the impact of privilege on early industrialisation, comparative economic development and the outbreak of the French Revolution.
In The Path Not Taken, Jeff Horn argues that -- contrary to standard, Anglocentric accounts -- French industrialization was not a failed imitation of the laissez-faire British model but the product of a distinctive industrial policy that led, over the long term, to prosperity comparable to Britain's. Despite the upheavals of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, France developed and maintained its own industrial strengths. France was then able to take full advantage of the new technologies and industries that emerged in the "second industrial revolution," and by the end of the nineteenth century some of France's industries were outperforming Britain's handily. The Path Not Taken shows that the foundations of this success were laid during the first industrial revolution.Horn posits that the French state's early attempt to emulate Britain's style of industrial development foundered because of revolutionary politics. The "threat from below" made it impossible for the state or entrepreneurs to control and exploit laborers in the British manner. The French used different means to manage labor unruliness and encourage innovation and entrepreneurialism. Technology is at the heart of Horn's analysis, and he shows that France, unlike England, often preferred still-profitable older methods of production in order to maintain employment and forestall revolution. Horn examines the institutional framework established by Napoleon's most important Minister of the Interior, Jean-Antoine Chaptal. He focuses on textiles, chemicals, and steel, looks at how these new institutions created a new industrial environment. Horn's illuminating comparison of French and British industrialization should stir debate among historians, economists, and political scientists.
Artisans played a central role in the European town as it developed from the Middles Ages onwards. Their workshops were at the heart of productive activity, their guilds were often central to the political and legal order of towns, and their culture helped shape civic ritual and the urban order. These essays, which have all been specially written for this collection, explore the relationships between artisans and their towns across Europe between the beginning of the early-modern period and the end of the 19th century. They pay special attention to the processes of economic, juridicial and political change that have made the 18th and early 19th centuries a period of such significance. Written by leading historians of European artisans, the essays question the myths about artisans that have long pervaded research in the field. The leading myth was that shared by the artisans themselves - the myth of decline and the belief in each generation that artisans in the past had inhabited a better age. These essays open up for debate the nature of artisanship, the way economic change affected craft production, the political role of artisans, the cultural identification of the artisans with work and masculinity, and the way changing urban society and changing urban structure posed threats to which the artisans had to respond.
The 18th-century French leather industry was a strategically important manufacturing sector, one vital to both civilian and military life. This study examines the production of leather in the Bordeaux trades during the 18th and 19th centuries, illuminating the realities of a craft economy and its relation to the wider French political economy.
The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution brings together a sweeping range of expert and innovative contributions to offer engaging and thought-provoking insights into the history and historiography of this epochal event. Each chapter presents the foremost summations of academic thinking on key topics, along with stimulating and provocative interpretations and suggestions for future research directions. Placing core dimensions of the history of the French Revolution in their transnational and global contexts, the contributors demonstrate that revolutionary times demand close analysis of sometimes tiny groups of key political actors - whether the king and his ministers or the besieged leaders of the Jacobin republic - and attention to the deeply local politics of both rural and urban populations. Identities of class, gender and ethnicity are interrogated, but so too are conceptions and practices linked to citizenship, community, order, security, and freedom: each in their way just as central to revolutionary experiences, and equally amenable to critical analysis and reflection. This volume covers the structural and political contexts that build up to give new views on the classic question of the 'origins of revolution'; the different dimensions of personal and social experience that illuminate the political moment of 1789 itself; the goals and dilemmas of the period of constitutional monarchy; the processes of destabilisation and ongoing conflict that ended that experiment; the key issues surrounding the emergence and experience of 'terror'; and the short- and long-term legacies, for both good and ill, of the revolutionary trauma - for France, and for global politics.
When this book was published in 1984, it reframed the debate on the French Revolution, shifting the discussion from the Revolution's role in wider, extrinsic processes (such as modernization, capitalist development, and the rise of twentieth-century totalitarian regimes) to its central political significance: the discovery of the potential of political action to consciously transform society by molding character, culture, and social relations. In a new preface to this twentieth-anniversary edition, Hunt reconsiders her work in the light of the past twenty years' scholarship.
Rebecca L. Spang, who revolutionized our understanding of the restaurant, has written a new history of money. It is also a new history of the French Revolution, with economics at its heart. In her telling, radicalization was driven by an ever-widening gap between political ideals—including “freedom of money”—and the harsh realities of daily life.
This book investigates the economic, strategic, and political importance of forests in early modern and modern Europe and shows how struggles over this vital natural resource both shaped and reflected the ideologies and outcomes of France's long revolutionary period. Until the mid-nineteenth century, wood was the principal fuel for cooking and heating and the primary material for manufacturing worldwide and comprised every imaginable element of industrial, domestic, military, and maritime activity. Forests also provided essential pasturage. These multifaceted values made forests the subject of ongoing battles for control between the crown, landowning elites, and peasantry, for whom liberty meant preserving their rights to woodland commons. Focusing on Franche-Comté, France's easternmost province, the book explores the fiercely contested development of state-centered conservation and management from 1669 to 1848. In emphasizing the environmental underpinnings of France's seismic sociopolitical upheavals, it appeals to readers interested in revolution, rural life, and common-pool-resource governance.
In the aftermath of the French Revolution, advocates of protection against foreign competition prevailed in a fierce controversy over international trade. This groundbreaking study is the first to examine this 'protectionist turn' in full. Faced with a reaffirmation of mercantile jealousy under the Bourbon Restoration, Benjamin Constant, Jean-Baptiste Say and regional publicists advocated the adoption of the liberty of commerce in order to consolidate the new liberal order. But after the Revolution of 1830 a new generation of liberal thinkers endeavoured to reconcile the jealousy of trade with the discourse of commercial society and political liberty. New justifications for protection oscillated between an industrialist reinvention of jealousy and an aspiration to self-sufficiency as a means of attenuating the rise of urban pauperism. A strident denunciation of British power and social imbalances served to defuse the internal tensions of the protectionist discourse and facilitated its dissemination across the French political spectrum.
Historians of the French Revolution have traditionally emphasised the centrality of violence to revolutionary protest. However, Micah Alpaugh reveals instead the surprising prevalence of non-violent tactics to demonstrate that much of the popular action taken in revolutionary Paris was not in fact violent. Tracing the origins of the political demonstration to the French Revolutionary period, he reveals how Parisian protesters typically tried to avoid violence, conducting campaigns predominantly through peaceful marches, petitions, banquets and mass-meetings, which only rarely escalated to physical force in their stand-offs with authorities. Out of over 750 events, no more than twelve percent appear to have resulted in physical violence at any stage. Rewriting the political history of the people of Paris, Non-Violence and the French Revolution sheds new light on our understanding of Revolutionary France to show that revolutionary sans-culottes played a pivotal role in developing the democratically oriented protest techniques still used today.