By Jeff Horn

Privilege has lengthy been understood because the constitutional foundation of Ancien Régime France, legalising the supply of a number of rights, powers and exemptions to a couple, while denying them to others. during this attention-grabbing new examine besides the fact that, Jeff Horn unearths that Bourbon officers applied privilege as an device of financial improvement, releasing a few sectors of the economic system from pre-existing privileges and laws, whereas keeping others. He explores either executive regulations and the recommendations of marketers, employees, inventors and shoppers to discover the lived adventure of monetary improvement from the Fronde to the recovery. He exhibits how, prompted via Enlightenment notion, the regime more and more resorted to ideas of liberty to safeguard privilege as a coverage software. The booklet deals very important new insights into debates concerning the impression of privilege on early industrialisation, comparative financial improvement and the outbreak of the French Revolution.

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Extra resources for Economic Development in Early Modern France: The Privilege of Liberty, 1650-1820

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Thanks to privileges of liberty, innovators could circumvent the limitations on production and exchange imposed by diverse liberties of privilege such as those of the guilds. Seigneurs’ efforts to develop the industrial, commercial, or agricultural potential of either their own properties or those places where they enjoyed judicial rights were almost always carried out in conjunction with agents of the royal state. This partnership was essential to Bourbon state-building and French economic development.

2. On the atmosphere of the faubourg, see Steven Laurence Kaplan, “Social Classification and Representation in the Corporate World of Eighteenth-Century France: Turgot’s ‘Carnival,’” in Steven Laurence Kaplan and Cynthia J. ), Work in France: Representations, Meaning, Organization, and Practice (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986), 176–228. The quote from Balzac is cited by Kaplan, “Les corporations,” 361, and comes from La Comédie humaine de Honoré de Balzac, trans. Katherine Prescott Wormeley, vol.

French mercantilism emphasized economic growth and increasing employment. “Mercantilists” were just as interested in “improving” the economy as Physiocrats and their fellow travelers. 37 Bourbon administrators’ focus on economic development illuminates their astonishing administrative creativity and impressive understanding of the commercial and industrial foundations of power. Beginning under Louis XIV, French officials recognized that economic development was essential to the struggle for the mastery of Europe and acted accordingly, using privilege as both a weapon and a tool.

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