By Norman Hampson

The innovative stream which begun in 1787 disrupted each point of French society, emerging to a pitch of such severe violence that the results are nonetheless felt in France at the present time. The Revolution was once the fabricated from social tensions that constructed all through France within the moment 1/2 the eighteenth century. Norman Hampson analyses the character of those social conflicts inside their political framework.
With adequate history details to fulfill the final reader without prior wisdom of the topic, Norman Ha mpson's ebook devotes specific recognition to provincial France. the result's either an image of the ideally suited quandary in French society, and an exam of social attitudes and aspirations whose effect has been common and enduring.

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19 FRANCE ON THE EVE OF THE REVOLUTION their own families. The journeymen’s attempts to organize themselves and to resort to strike action found the Government on the side of the masters and the municipal authorities—royal edicts of 1749 and 1760 prohibited the association of workmen for collective bargaining. The journeyman therefore found his prospects of advancement declining at a time when wage increases were failing to keep pace with the cost of living. Labrousse has estimated that the latter rose by nearly two-thirds in the fifty years before the Revolution, while wages increased by no more than a quarter.

Bourde, The Influence of England on the French Agronomes, 1750– 1789 (Cambridge, 1953). 25 FRANCE ON THE EVE OF THE REVOLUTION from what they were 25 or 30 years ago. ’ ‘Thirty years ago the parish contained only good land-owners and good farmers…everyone had a modest but sufficient living…. 2 In periods when grain was scarce and prices high it was customary for the Government to intervene on the side of the consumer by restricting the circulation of grain, obliging farmers to sell on the open market and if necessary enforcing controlled prices.

Journeyman and master craftsman therefore joined forces in an economic struggle that divided the town from the countryside, demanding State control of the grain trade and of the price of food. They were also united in defending their traditional monopoly against the spread of manufacturing into the country districts and the claims of outsiders to invade the town markets. These issues tended to set them against the wealthy bourgeoisie, converted to the principles of free trade and often themselves gentlemen farmers who stood to profit from an increase in food prices.

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