Labour, Science and Technology in France, 1500-1620

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Cambridge University Press, May 9, 2002 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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For a generation, the history of the ancien régime has been written from the perspective of the Annales school, with its emphasis on the role of long-term economic and cultural factors in shaping the development of early modern France. In this detailed 1995 study, Henry Heller challenges such a paradigm and assembles a huge range of information about technical innovation and ideas of improvement in sixteenth-century France. Emphasising the role of state intervention in the economy, the development of science and technology, and recent research into early modern proto-industrialisation, Heller counters notions of a France mired in an archaic, determinist mentalité. Despite the tides of religious fanaticism and seigneurial reaction, the period of the religious wars saw a surprising degree of economic, technological and scientific innovation, making possible the consolidation of capitalism in French society during the reign of Henri IV.
  

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Contents

Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction
1
The expansion of Parisian merchant capital
6
Labour in Paris in the sixteenth century
28
Civil war and economic experiments
57
Inventions and science in the reign of Charles IX
97
Expropriation technology and wage labour
119
The Bourbon economic restoration
157
Braudel Le Roy Ladurie and the inertia of history
197
Bibliography
220
Index
246
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Henry Heller is professor of history at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and the author of four books on early modern France.

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