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.
This new edition has been fully revised and updated to include new material on citizenship, gender, equality and legal reforms, and the imperial dimension of the Revolution. The historiographical debate is brought right up to date, taking into account the most recent scholarship on the Revolution. The narrative is supported by a selection of original documents which shed light on events of the period from the perspective of those who lived through it.
With supplementary materials including a chronology, who’s who, glossary and guide to further reading, this book remains an invaluable resource for students of the French Revolution.