Economic Development in Early Modern France: The Privilege of Liberty, 1650-1820 (Cambridge Studies in Economic History: Second Series)

Economic Development in Early Modern France: The Privilege of Liberty, 1650-1820 (Cambridge Studies in Economic History: Second Series)

By: Jeff Horn (author)Hardback

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Privilege has long been understood as the constitutional basis of Ancien Regime 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.

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About Author

Jeff Horn is Professor of History at Manhattan College. He is the author or editor of four books: Reconceptualizing the Industrial Revolution (2010), edited with Leonard N. Rosenband and Merritt Roe Smith, The Industrial Revolution: Milestones in Business History (2007), The Path Not Taken: French Industrialization in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1830 (2006), and Qui parle pour la nation? Les elections et les elus de la Champagne meridionale, 1765-1830 (2004). Jeff Horn was president of the Western Society for French History in 2013-14. His research has been supported by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, New York University's Faculty Research Network, Manhattan College, and Stetson University. His next book, The Industrial Revolution: History, Documents, and Key Questions, will appear in 2016.


Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction: profits and economic development during the Old Regime; 2. Privileged enclaves and the guilds: liberty and regulation; 3. The privilege of liberty put to the test: industrial development in Normandy; 4. Companies, colonies, and contraband: commercial privileges under the Old Regime; 5. Privilege, liberty, and managing the market: trading with the Levant; 6. Outside the body politic, essential to the body economic: the privileges of Jews, Protestants and foreign residents; 7. Privilege, innovation, and the state: entrepreneurialism and the lessons of the Old Regime; 8. The reign of liberty? Privilege after 1789; Bibliography; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 26/02/2015
  • ISBN13: 9781107046283
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 320
  • ID: 9781107046283
  • weight: 610
  • ISBN10: 1107046289

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