Travels in France and Italy During the Years 1787, 1788 and 1789
... You can see why many French writers thought land was the only source of real wealth. Agriculture alone could flourish while trade and commerce failed, Young said (Young 1802). ...
... As John Locke argued in 1690, the "provisions serving to the support of human life, produced by one acre of inclosed and cultivated land, are (to speak much within compass) ten times more than those which are yielded by an acre of land of an equal richness lying waste in common"  (n.p.). A century later English agricultural writer Arthur Young famously wrote that the "magic of property turns sand into gold" and "Give a man the secure possession of a bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden; give him a nine years' lease of a garden, and he will convert it into a desert"  (n.p.). Despite Malthusian inclinations, French philosopher Antoine Destutt de Tracy observed at about the same time that Lombardy and Belgium, although often ravaged by war, were "always flourishing" because of well-established private property rights. ...
Prolific energy writer Vaclav Smil’s “Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities” (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2019) is marketed as the most comprehensive study of the modalities of growth in Earth’s life systems in their many natural, social, and technological forms. While the book reflects Smil’s strength as a polymath, it also brings into focus his Malthusian outlook. Smil’s Malthusianism is puzzling in light of much empirical evidence to the contrary and of his own detailed histories of human technological achievements, including his recent massive synthesis “Energy and Civilization: A History” (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2017). In keeping with Smil’s historical emphasis, in this review essay, the Malthusian assumptions, assertions, and conclusions of these books are challenged through the Promethean insights of numerous writers whose output long predates the modern environmental movement and can thus avoid charges of “greenwashing”. I make a case that, in the context of market economies (i.e., competition, price system, and private property rights), humans’ unique propensity to trade physical goods and to (re)combine things in new ways have long delivered both improved standards of living and environmental remediation. I further suggest that it is not the volume of materials handled, but rather how they are handled that determines the impact of economic growth on the biosphere. While Professor Smil is fond of saying that “numbers don’t lie”, his work illustrates that they are sometimes made to tell an unduly pessimistic story through the intellectual filters created by an author’s assumptions and value judgements.
... On 2 August, 1789, English agronomist Arthur Young , traveled from Dijon to Beaune by cabriolet. He stopped at Clos de Vougeot and noticed that no trees had been planted in the Cistercians' estate whereas peach trees, plum trees, cherry trees dotted the other vineyards of the province . . . ...
Burgundy is known both for its wines and its food products but they developed independently from each other. This paper examines the long march towards maximal wine quality which started before the beginning of the Christian era. In the Middle‐Ages, the Cistercian monks brought up the notion of terroir which eventually led to the AOC system (Protected Designation of origin) in 1935. Burgundy is also blessed with good farming land. Furthermore, the production of quality vegetables, fruits and meat contributed to the birth of its regional cuisine. However, it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that Burgundy’s original gastronomy gained recognition. It should be noted that this process was rather laborious. The advent of tourism introduced French and foreign visitors to the region’s lifestyle. With UNESCO’s listing of the vineyards of Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits as part of the world’s heritage and the development of wine tourism, Burgundy intends, at long last, to capitalize on its assets. An inventory of wine and food pairing complements this paper. Finally, a brief description of the term terroir will introduce the key contribution of this paper: how and why Burgundy Grand Cru wines pair so well with foods. For each of the 33 Grands Crus, a review of the best wine–food matches will be discussed on the basis of the specificities of each Grand Cru wine.
... In this area, a canalization system for border irrigation built in the 15th and 16th centuries favored the development of intensive dairy systems based on mown forage that supported Parmesan cheese production (Haussmann, 1972). In the 18th century, the sustainability of these systems was considered to depend on the presence of the giant white clover in the local permanent meadows (Young, 1927). ...
The Ladino type of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) evolved in the Lombardy plain and has largely been used for cultivation and breeding. Different authors hypothesized its origin from Dutch white clover (domesticated in the 16th century) rather than indigenous wild populations. This study aimed to provide insight into the origin of Ladino, as well as assessing the consistency between morphophysiological and simple sequence repeats (SSR) marker information and the extent of among-population and within-population genetic variation in white clover. One landrace and one wild population of Ladino, four Italian non-Ladino wild populations collected along a latitudinal gradient at different elevations, and one Fries–Groninger (Dutch) landrace, were evaluated for 10 morphophysiological traits. Twenty-five individuals per population were genotyped by 32 well-distributed SSR markers. Population ordination and classification of molecular diversity based on Nei’s (1972) or Reynolds’ distance, and structure analysis, did not support the origin of Ladino from Dutch germplasm. Molecular marker-based ordination of the Italian wild populations reflected the geographical and altitudinal similarity of their collecting sites. Within-population molecular variation did not differ among populations, and was about 10-fold greater than among-population variation. Morphophysiological diversity of the populations was substantially unrelated to molecular diversity, while reflecting evolutionary adaptation to environments of origin.
This article presents new estimates of wages for Normandy between 1600 and 1850. We use a vast array of primary and secondary sources to assemble two new databases on wages and commodity prices to establish a new regional consumer price index (CPI) and twelve regional wage series. We find that unskilled labourers earned similar wages across the agricultural, maritime, and textile sectors. Historical evidence suggests that Norman employers grappled with a tight labour market, which placed more pressure on wage increases. We posit that this situation is best explained by the combination of the early fertility transition, resulting in slow demographic growth and the rapid development of the textile industry accelerated by the arrival of cotton. Finally, we also provide tentative evidence suggesting that labourers with stable employment could have earned a little less than their English counterparts during this period.
The Catalan case in south-western Europe offers us the opportunity to take a detailed look at the impact a lowering of the interest rate may have had on the poor of a specific area. It is vital to examine how property rights operated in specific contexts, given the close relationship between land and credit markets. Our working hypothesis is that, in some instances where property rights were redefined, as happened in eighteenth-century Catalonia, the reduction of the interest rate in secured loans benefitted the poorer social groups. The findings of this research, in line with those of some development economists, suggest that only an empirical and bottom-up perspective allows for a proper analysis of the eradication of poverty by placing it within the real picture of social change.
After centuries of discussion about inheritance models and their advantages and disadvantages, it is now generally accepted that the traditional dichotomy of partible and impartible inheritance cannot represent the existing spectrum of inheritance practices and their effects. This article analyses two regions with partible inheritance to illustrate the range of ways in which this inheritance practice could be realised and how different the potential consequences could be as a result. Early modern Schlanders is contrasted with medieval Lambach to examine differences in legal basis, practical implementation, but also in the basic concept of equality between heirs. The example of Schlanders shows how even in a region declared as partible inheritance many logics traditionally associated with impartible inheritance can exist. Lambach, in turn, illustrates how even in the case of widespread division of land, effects such as fragmentation could be counteracted. The analysis makes it possible to identify factors that can have a particularly strong impact on the economic, but also social consequences of this inheritance practice. These are to be found both in the way the inheritance is divided and in other institutional factors, especially the matrimonial property regime. The results of the analysis underline that the inheritance practice of a region should neither be viewed through the lens of traditional schemes nor isolated from local socio-economic conditions.
This study examined Italian yields for wheat (Triticum spp.), maize (Zea mays L.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) over the period 1870‐2018, in order to identify the periods when the most significant growth in yields occurred, compared to France, UK and USA. From 1870 to 2018, yields in Italy increased by 347%, 865% and 178% for wheat, maize and rice respectively. In wheat and maize, 84% and 95% of the increase, respectively occurred since the end of World War II. Similar trends can also be observed in France, UK, and USA. However the timing is slightly different. For wheat and maize in the USA, rapid yield growth occurred during the 1930's, whereas for wheat yield growth occurred in the UK during the 1940's and in France yield growth occurred after World War II. The significant post‐war trend of increasing yields in Italy, which is still going on for wheat, almost stopped for maize about 20 years ago, probably due to the lack of availability of GM varieties and related technologies. If the current approach against the adoption of new plant‐breeding techniques is maintained, the yield gap between Italy and Europe, as a whole, is likely to widen further. In the case of rice, a significant increase in yields began to occur as early as the end of the 19th century. Between 1895 and 1940 yields in this crop increased by about 3 times. In the USA, a similar increase in rice yields occurred only after World War II. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved Since 1870 Italian yields have increased by 347% in wheat, 865% in maize and 178% in rice In Italy a notable increase in rice yields started since the late 1800s,50 years before the US In Italy, the increase of rice yield lead the way to the other crops The major increase in wheat yields began in Italy, USA, UK and France at the end of WWII In Italy the yield of maize increases in the 1940's lagged behind the United States
This paper considers how the data returned by radiocarbon analysis of wood-charcoal mortar-entrapped relict limekiln fuels (MERLF) relates to other evidence for the construction of medieval northern European masonry buildings. A review of previous studies highlights evidence for probable residuality in the data and reflects on how this has impacted on resultant interpretations. A critical survey of various wood-fired mortar materials and lime-burning techniques is then presented, to highlight evidence suggesting that a broad spectrum of different limekiln fuels has been exploited in different periods and that growth, seasoning, carriage and construction times are variable. It is argued that radiocarbon analysis of MERLF fragments does not date building construction directly and the heterogeneity of the evidence demands our interpretations are informed by sample taphonomy. A framework of Bayesian modelling approaches is then advanced and applied to three Scottish case studies with contrasting medieval MERLF assemblages. Ultimately, these studies demonstrate that radiocarbon analysis of MERLF materials can generate reasonably precise date range estimates for the construction of medieval masonry buildings which are consistent with other archaeological, historical and architectural interpretations. The paper will highlight that these different types of evidence are often complementary and establish that radiocarbon dated building materials can provide an important focus for more holistic multidisciplinary interpretations of the historic environment in various periods.
English agricultural practice changed dramatically in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as enclosure, the dominance of commercial short‐term leases for tenant farmers, and the proletarianization of the agricultural labour force completed what has been called an agricultural revolution. A less often noted aspect of this change was what was called “a war on cottages” and cottage gardens. The Board of Agriculture and Arthur Young were important cheerleaders for this process. Yet many of the most prominent members of the Board of Agriculture made impassioned appeals for the provision of land for English cottagers as a way to reduce poverty and stressed that cottagers produced remarkable returns from their small farms. Arthur Young became the most vocal proponent of land for cottagers. This article suggests that their appeals for land for cottagers were limited by both farmers' desire for easily controlled labour and misplaced concerns about the supposed inevitability of the poverty inherent in very small farms.
The traditional Great Man theory of leadership is treated with scant respect, yet it is still widely in use. This article reconstructs and reevaluates Tolstoy’s critique of the claim that great men drive the course of events. Great men are not great, Tolstoy contends, nor do they drive the course of events: they merely think that they do, due to an incorrigible combination of conceitedness and incognizance. The illusion of their pervasive influence persists because it is built into the narratives we tell about events, in the form of unexamined assumptions about—inter alia—power, plans, and planners. Tolstoy subjects these tacit suppositions to critical scrutiny and constructs a coherent counter-narrative that neatly contradicts nearly everything that Great Man stories affirm. His critique engenders an epistemological crisis that still constitutes a significant challenge to contemporary studies of leadership.
The Napoleonic state relied on local officials (sub-prefects, mayors and justices of the peace, as well as non-state elites like merchants, teachers and ecclesiastics) in order to produce knowledge about the languages of the Empire’s population. These elites understood standardised languages, French in particular, as markers of social distinction that were central to their elite status. Regional languages were stigmatised as low status and understood in gendered terms as part of domestic and female spheres. However, while these figures were under pressure to conform to the linguistic norms of the French state, this chapter reveals how complex was the relationship between local elites and dialects. Functioning as cultural intermediaries between centre and local society, these local elites articulated arguments in favour of cultural particularism.
Thus Engels summarised the traditional Marxist thesis that the 1789 revolution had been the instrument of immutable social change in which the aristocratic, feudal and landed élite was replaced by the entrepreneurial bourgeoisie, the symbol of capitalist industrialisation. As we have already noted, some rich nobles were entrepreneurs. We have observed that many middle-class entrepreneurs demonstrated an un-Marxist preoccupation with the acquisition of landed estates. Bureaucratic and professional elements in the bourgeoisie were equally active in the property market. While the middle class were eager to huy land, European aristocracies were far more resilient than Marx had expected. In this chapter we shall consider the impact of the bourgeois quest for landed respectability. Why did the bourgeois want to become the squire and what were the consequences for social and economic development in the nineteenth century?
The “economy of history” in France, or history as a motor for French economic activity, is of great importance to those areas of the country most affected by the First and Second World Wars. The attraction of France to tourists is a well-known, and quantifiable, phenomenon, yet the impact of battlefield tourists on both the local and national economies has remained hitherto unknown. Battlefield tourism attracts enthusiasts both from within France’s borders, as well as those journeying from further afield. This study seeks to show the relative importance of this niche market for those French villages that have been the most heavily touched by these historical events, making use of both official statistics as well as those published by the centres themselves, most notably the Historial de la Grande Guerre at Péronne and the Visitor Centre at Thiepval. However, the economic consequences are not simply felt within France, but also cross international borders along with those undertaking the journey, illustrated by the case study of Leger Holidays.
From the greatest of the medieval European mercantile city states, we pass to the greatest of the early modern European bureaucratic monarchies. The Gabelle, as it existed from Colbert’s ordinance of May 1680 to the revolution of 1789, was more like the Chinese salt administration than the Venetian. Like China, France was continental rather than maritime. As in China, so in France, rivers or canals were until the nineteenth century, the principal means of communication, rather than the sea or roads. As with successive Chinese dynasties, the French state was sacred and authoritarian, territorial and bureaucratic. In both China and France, the educated classes prized a semi-secular classicism in thought and action. A traditional Chinese salt administrator would have found himself more at home in the Gabelle than in the Ufficio. Colbert was blood brother to Sang Hung-yang, Liu Yen, Ts’ai Ching and a host of Chinese politician administrators, where the magnificoes of Venice were, in both cases, only distant relatives.
There is no consensus among specialists in agricultural contracts over whether the long-term inefficiencies that classical economists attributed to sharecropping actually exist. This article maintains that they do exist and are partly caused by the fact that sharecropping is hardly compatible with the tenant being compensated for improvements, viticulture being the main historical exception. In line with recent contributions to the sharecropping literature, the article contends that the widely held belief among scholars of agricultural contracts that sharecropping was very frequent in Europe's vineyards is incorrect. However, it also provides evidence of an issue whose importance has gone largely unnoticed: prior to the twentieth century, many of the European vineyards worked by sharecroppers had been created by the sharecroppers themselves, through contracts which entitled them to compensation. Those contracts abounded while viticulture depended basically on two inputs, land and labour. When viticulture became a heavy consumer of capital, they were rapidly abandoned, but not in Catalonia, with a paradoxical result: the Catalan rabassa morta contract, which for centuries had made it possible to eliminate both the long- and short-term inefficiencies of sharecropping, ended up becoming an obstacle to overcoming the short-term inefficiencies. The article discusses why that happened.
For aristocrats engaged on the Grand Tour, Switzerland had primarily registered as an inconveniently mountainous barrier to any journey to Rome. By the last decade of the eighteenth century the same landscape was in the process of becoming ‘romantic’ and a tourist draw in its own right. Part of that cultural transformation was effected through the mapping of the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau — fictional and autobiographical — onto the area.1 This mapping was achieved through successive reiterations of tourist visit and travel writing, both privately circulated and published, which enabled further repetition of the experience by others whether through their own travelling or through turning pages in the drawing-room back home.
The first experience of revolutionary behaviour in 1789 is to be found in the formulation and content of the cahiers de doléances. To be sure, of themselves the cahiers were not revolutionary: they had also been produced as part of the process of the Estates-General of 1614, and people were responding to a request for advice on the state of the kingdom, not to a question about whether they wanted revolutionary change. Again and again, however, the cahiers of the Third Estate had made demands for a regular meeting of a representative body such as the Estates-General, equality of taxation and the end of seigneurialism. Whether or not consciously, together these demands presupposed the end of a particular social and political order.
The Reubell family was of relatively old Alsatian stock, having lived in Alsace for at least six generations.1 Reubell himself lived in Colmar, Alsace, for some forty years and became a prominent lawyer in his native province before the Great Revolution. In 1789 he was elected to the Estates General, but two years later he returned home to assume the function of procureur-général-syndic of the Upper Rhine Department. Although he would soon return to Paris to serve in the National Convention his interest in his native province would not diminish, and on occasion his decisions were influenced by his Alsatian background. Because of the significance of Reubell’s Alsatian heritage, it is necessary to give a description and a historical sketch of this French border province.
Before embarking upon a provincial tour of botanical societies or a sketch of their 0) most notable adherents, some comment is in order to account for the noticeable participation of educated women as amateurs in the botanical groundswell. In the prior century, it was not uncommon to detect notable women in literary or religious societies; so that, in retrospect, Fontenelle’s Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes (1686), a series of lively and elegant dialogues between a philosopher and a marquise, encompassing Cartesian theory and the facts of astronomy, seems to have been a harbinger of feminine interest in natural science in the 18th century.
One of the most prominent of the ordinances prepared by the indefatigable Colbert related to Waters and Forests, given by the king at Saint-Germain-en-Laye in August 1669. Colbert was no botanophile. But his every effort was meant to conserve and extend the wealth of the state, and he knew a very elementary truth: to despoil the forests was to erode, not to increase, that wealth.
This article challenges the claim by many historians that the rise of capitalism requires the destruction of common property systems. In contrast to the English case in which commons were enclosed, French peasants used their common property system to regulate the market, provide a rural safety net and a democratic check on elites, while urban industry developed. European battles over common property replayed in surprising ways in colonial African countries such as Sierra Leone, and echoes reemerge today. The West African country of Guinea tests two possible paths to development of a market society: the English path and the French path. Interviews with key government officials collected in 1993 help explain why Guinea, despite adopting a land law in 1992 inspired by the English path, has so far failed to widely apply the law and, in fact, is following the French path. The United States pursued a policy of replacing American Indian common property systems with exclusive individual property rights. Nonetheless, Indian common property survives in the form of recent recognition of Indian off-reservation hunting and fishing rights. The Menominee reservation successfully resisted the destruction of its common property system and today participates in the market in a manner that preserves reservation ecology, democratic government, and Menominee cultural identity. Rethinking the meaning of French, African, and U.S. accommodation to common property systems offers important lessons for contemporary development policies in Africa and around the world.
Historians have sought to lay bare the process of becoming a revolutionary. Becoming a counter-revolutionary, by contrast, has attracted much less research. There are just plausible conjectures as to why one section of the fledgling French nation might have rallied to the new regime and another might have clung to the ancien régime. The deputies in the revolutionary legislatures dialogued with the nation-at-large. The choices they made, and remade, powerfully influenced the choices made by countless others. During the critical transition period of 1789-91 it is clear that many deputies worked tirelessly to secure political compliance. Modern historians have often attributed the explosive energy of the French Revolution to an enduring struggle between the forces of revolution and those of counter-revolution. This chapter has emphasized the fluid and contingent character of the politics, which France gave birth to in 1789.
There is abundant evidence of the ways in which the French Revolution and protracted wars had a crippling effect on the economy of coastal cities, while providing a stimulus for certain branches of industry. The uncertainties caused by wars and blockades and the abolition of slavery in 1794 hit overseas trade hard. Such was the short-term impact of the revolutionary wars on commerce that in some areas France became, if anything, more rural. In the longer term, changes which were to facilitate capitalist practices were accelerated by the Revolution. The Revolution reinforced the state dirigisme which has distinguished French political economy. The Revolution was a watershed in rural-urban relations, one of the most dramatic socio-economic changes that it wrought. Farming techniques were unchanged by the Revolution, and the household basis of rural production would dominate French rural society for many decades to come.
The practices of measurement have long been taken as authoritative technologies that travel unusually well and easily across cultural boundaries, and as a sign and cause of the apparent dominance of Western modes of science. Attention to the rituals of measurement and to the emergence of the forms of knowledge that accompanied measurement, notably the sciences of metrology, helps challenge these assumptions. Stories of the silent trade, often located in western Africa, and of the ritual origins of measurement, developed within anthropology and conjectural history, can be used to explore how measurement practices traveled and changed. In particular, the work of Marc Bloch as the preeminent historian of ceremony and power can help illuminate the relation between the historical geography of metrology and the scope of the sciences. His brilliant analysis of the royal ritual of “cramp rings” and its fate provides an important example and precedent for comparably ceremonial and culturally significant episodes in the long history of the science of measurement.
This article presents a new methodology that brings together the life cycles of people and linen with seasonality to explore how these factors affected domestic practice. This juxtaposition enables an exploration of the temporal nature of the home: life cycle and seasonality influenced the work that people did, when they did it, and how much time they spent on a particular task in a year. Temporal patterns are explored through the analysis of linen, an eighteenth-century daily necessity for rich and poor alike. The provisioning and care of linen was an essential domestic task; the whiteness of a shirt signified its owner's respectability. The account book of Richard Latham, a plebeian farmer, is used to develop the approach. Latham, from Scarisbrick, Lancashire, kept an account book from 1723 to 1767. The impact of life cycle and seasonality on the Lathams' domestic practice is explored through the growing, dressing, spinning, bleaching, and washing of linen.
Many explanations have been offered for the British Industrial Revolution. This article points to the importance of human capital (broadly defined) and the quality of the British labor force on the eve of the Industrial Revolution. It shows that in terms of both physical quality and mechanical skills, British workers around 1750 were at a much higher level than their continental counterparts. As a result, new inventions—no matter where they originated—were adopted earlier, faster, and on a larger scale in Britain than elsewhere. The gap in labor quality is consistent with the higher wages paid in eighteenth-century Britain. The causes for the higher labor quality are explored and found to be associated with a higher level of nutrition and better institutions, especially England’s Poor Law and the superior functioning of its apprenticeship system.
The specific historical basis for the development of capitalism in England — and not in France — is traced to the unique structure of English manorial lordship. It is the absence from English lordship of seigneurie banale ‐ the specific political form of parcellised sovereignty that figured centrally in the development of Continental feudalism ‐ that accounts for the peculiarly ‘economic’ turn taken in the development of English class relations of surplus extraction. In France, by contrast, the distinctly ‘political’ tenor of subsequent social development can equally specifically be traced to the central role of seigneurie banale in the fundamental class relations of feudalism.
In organic economies in the past it was a necessary condition for sustained growth that the land should be made to yield more abundantly. In such economies almost all the raw materials which entered into the production process were either of animal or vegetable origin, or, if mineral, could only be converted into a form of use to man by the expenditure of heat energy
This paper is concerned with the application of science to a practical activity. The story begins in the late eighteenth century, a period of agricultural innovation, with various authors urging that definite chemical knowledge should replace rule of thumb in the application of fertilisers. In the work of Archibald Cochrane, ninth Earl of Dundonald, we find this exhortation beginning to give way to descriptions of actual chemical experiments, and interpretations of equilibria in the soil. But it is only with Davy's Agricultural chemistry of 1813 that we get clear descriptions of soil analyses that could be undertaken by a farmer, accompanied with a certain amount of biochemical information on the growth of plants. Davy's recommendations were essentially conservative; he provided support for the best practices already being recommended by innovators. His book is interesting too, for the light it casts upon his more theoretical writings.
Societies before the Industrial Revolution were dependent on the annual cycle of plant photosynthesis for both heat and mechanical energy. The quantity of energy available each year was therefore limited, and economic growth was necessarily constrained. In the Industrial Revolution, energy usage increased massively and output rose accordingly. The energy source continued to be plant photosynthesis, but accumulated over a geological age in the form of coal. This poses a problem for the future. Fossil fuels are a depleting stock, whereas in pre-industrial time the energy source, though limited, was renewed each year.
This article analyses the livestock holdings in the Alps, with a particular focus on the relationship between the city of Brescia and the neighbouring alpine valleys. Two economic activities are studied in more depth: cattle breeding for the production of cheese and sheep farming for the production of wool. In the first case, we observe that the cheese dealers of Brescia managed the production and marketed the final goods, since the cheese was largely exported. In the second case, the business was managed by local farmers who constituted a wealthy social class whose activities went beyond farming and include banking.
Long before Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was published in 1818, an author penned a story that resembles it on more than one account: François‐Félix Nogaret, Le Miroir des événemens actuels, ou la belle au plus offrant (The Looking Glass of Actuality, or Beauty to the Highest Bidder, 1790). Nogaret’s story about an inventor named Frankenstein who builds an artificial man is an astounding precursor, especially since the Revolution and its attempt to make a “new man” have long focused interpretations of Shelley’s work. Both texts ask whether technological innovation will help or hinder human progress, and provide answers reflecting their differing historical and ideological contexts. What seemed possible in 1790 was later viewed with skepticism, including by Nogaret himself in subsequent editions of Le Miroir (1795, 1800). The tension between enthusiasm and disdain for the project of improving upon nature or remaking mankind, prefigured in the changes between the two editions of Nogaret’s novella, resonates profoundly in Frankenstein. By focusing on the history of eighteenth‐century automatons, and a political interpretation of Nogaret’s two works, this article shines new light on issues of selfhood and community, and the boundaries between human and nonhuman, as they were perceived in the years 1790–1818.
Although contemporary Americans take it for granted that a “constitution” is a written document, written constitutions were almost unprecedented at America's founding. James Wilson, one of the most significant yet overlooked of America's founders, offers a comprehensive theory of America's written constitution. Wilson argues that the written-ness of the U.S. Constitution serves two essential functions. As an initial matter, it memorializes the primacy of liberty by announcing that the authority of government derives only from a free people. Perhaps more importantly, however, the written constitution uplifts and refines the character of its citizens, and thus helps to constitute a people. A review of Wilson's writings and speeches reveals how, even in a rights-centric political order, the written constitution helps to cultivate moderate and civic-minded citizens without diminishing the fundamental importance of individual rights.
The growth of the modern regulatory state is often explained in terms of an unambiguous increase in regulation driven by the actions of central governments. Contrary to this traditional narrative, we argue that governments often strove to weaken the autarkic tendencies of regional laws, thereby promoting greater trade and a more integrated market. For this purpose, we focus on the wine industry in France at the turn of the twentieth century and take advantage of a quasi-natural experiment generated by a law implemented on 1 January 1901 which lowered and harmonized various local tax rates. We show that high internal taxes on wine, set by regional governments, discouraged trade and protected small producers. We then trace how the political response to this tax decrease led to increases in wine regulation.
All organic economies were subject to constraints upon growth for reasons familiar to the classical economists, but their relative success in coping with these constraints differed substantially. This is visible both when comparing different areas at the same point in time and when comparing the circumstances of a given economy at different points in time. In this article the state of the English economy in 1300 is compared with its state in 1800. At the former date the balance between output and population was unfavourable. A run of poor harvests spelled grave and widespread suffering. Five hundred years later this had ceased to be true. The particular focus of the article is upon the significance of a rising level of productivity per head in agriculture, not simply in supplying food but in providing the raw materials and energy needed if industry and transport were to expand. In the circumstances of an organic economy both were heavily dependent upon the ‘surplus’ made available by a productive agriculture after meeting the needs of the population for food.
The paper covers, succinctly, the introduction and historical development of tide mills and their geographical distribution on the European Atlantic littoral (Great Britain, France, Spain and Portugal). Mills in the United States and Canada are reviewed briefly. The main factors which help to explain the distribution of tide mills, the different types of sites (estuaries, bays, wetlands, salt-pans, etc.) and the infrastructures and mechanical elements directly linked to their functioning (dykes, ponds, sluices, wheels) are all analysed and the, by no means insignificant, problems of conservation dealt with. The bibliographic references should prove a useful source for those wanting further information.
The Badlands of Modernity offers a wide ranging and original interpretation of modernity as it emerged during the eighteenth century through an analysis of some of the most important social spaces. Drawing on Foucault's analysis of heterotopia, or spaces of alternate ordering, the book argues that modernity originates through an interplay between ideas of utopia and heterotopia and heterotopic spatial practice. The Palais Royal during the French Revolution, the masonic lodge and in its relationship to civil society and the public sphere and the early factories of the Industrial Revolution are all seen as heterotopia in which modern social ordering is developed. Rather than seeing modernity as being defined by a social order, the book argues that we need to take account of the processes and the ambiguous spaces in which they emerge, if we are to understand the character of modern societies. The book uses these historical examples to analyse contemporary questions about modernity and postmodernity, the character of social order and the significance of marginal space in relation to issues of order, transgression and resistance. It will be important reading for sociologists, geographers and social historians as well as anyone who has an interest in modern societies.
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