A Social History of Nineteenth-Century France
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First published in 1987, A Social History of Nineteenth-Century France argues that the social impact of the French Revolution has been greatly exaggerated, and that in 1815 France was still predominantly a rural and pre-industrial society. The revolution introduced only very limited changes in social structures and relationships – the daily lives of ordinary people remained virtually unchanged. A much more decisive turning point in French history, the author suggests, was the period of structural change in economy and society, which began in the mid nineteenth century. The first part of the book looks at many changes in the economy and their effect on living standards and social environment. The second part identifies the social groups which make up French society and provides detailed analyses of their lifestyles and social relationships. Part Three considers the influence of such key institutions as churches, schools, and the state. Drawing on an exceptionally wide range of primary sources, this is likely to be the definitive overview of French society for many years to come and will be of interest to researchers of French history and European history.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Introduction Part I: A Changing Environment 1. The economy: continuity and change 2. The demographic indicators Part II: Social Relationships 3. Elites 4. The middles classes 5. Peasants 6. Urban working classes Part III: Social Institutions 7. Religion 8. Education 9. In Conclusion: state and society Notes and References Select Bibliography Index