Mastering the Market: The State and the Grain Trade in Northern France, 1700–1860

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-12-03
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The grain trade, a crucial sector of the French economy, caused enormous concern throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Bread was the staple of French diets, so harvest shortfalls triggered unrest. The royal government had only the most scattershot and ineffective means to draw foodstuffs into restless cities. Successive regimes developed strategies to dominate the baking trades, influence prices along vital supply lines, and amass emergency stocks of grain that could meet months-long demand. As free trade ideologies developed, French administrators at both the national and local levels sought to reconcile these ideologies with the perceived need to control the market. They created increasingly hidden, and effective, means to shape the grain trade. Thus, the French state played an instrumental role in establishing a viable form of free trade.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
Old Regime weights and measures for wheat
Introduction: two crises: 1709 and 1853
The Market of the Enlightenment, 1720-1789
The structure of mill and market
Simulated sales: shaping supply and demand in the Old Regime marketplace
Scripting G++freeG++ trade
Narrowing the focus: bakers and bread, 1760-1789
Maximum: Feeding France in Revolution and War
1789: municipal revolutions and the origins of radicalism
Unity and interests
Recreating the market: Thermidor and the directory
The State Learns, 1800-1860
The last maximum: 1812
The routines of the restoration
Relinquishing control: bakers and the end of the Paris reserve
The market mastered
Archival sources
Selected bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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