Provisioning Paris: Merchants and Millers in the Grain and Flour Trade During the Eighteenth Century

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Cornell University Press, 1984 - 666 pages

Dependence upon grain deeply marked every aspect of life in eighteenth-century France. Steven Kaplan focuses upon this dependence at the point where it placed the greatest strain on the state, the society, and the individual--on the daily supply of grain and flour that furnished the staff of life. He reconstructs the history of provisioning in pre-industrial Paris and provides a comprehensive view of a culture shaped by the subsistence imperative. Who were the agents of the provisioning trade? What were their commercial practices? What sorts of relations did they maintain with each other? How did the authorities regulate their business? To answer these questions, Professor Kaplan combed the archives and libraries of France. He maps out the elementary structures of the trade and shows how they were transformed as a result of cultural and political as well as commercial and technological changes. In rich ethnographic detail he evokes the dayto-day life of merchants, millers, bakers, brokers, and market officials. He shows how flour superseded grain and how the millers overtook the merchants in the provisioning process. He explores the tension between the suppliers' need for freedom and the consumers' need for security. Even as he weaves the intricate patterns of life inside and outside the marketplace he never loses sight of the immense interests at stake: the stability and legitimacy of the government, the durability of the social structure, and the survival of the people.

 

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Contents

Market Principle
23
The Goods
41
The Context
80
The Grain Merchants of the Ports of Paris
122
The Grain Merchants at the Paris Halle
185
The Mill and the Miller
221
The Miller and the Public
264
The debate 299 The Cassini mills 301 The Revolutionary sur
316
Economic Milling
393
The Bakers and the Grain and Flour Trade
466
The Brokers
495
The police functions of the measurers 545 The police functions of
575
The case against the measurers and porters 580 The reform of market
585
Conclusion
593
C Master and Forain BakerMillers 609 D References
619
Index
649

The Flour Trade
339

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Popular passages

Page 628 - Essai sur la manière la plus avantageuse de construire les machines hydrauliques, et en particulier les moulins à blé.
Page 629 - ... ou la liberté du commerce des blés démontrée conforme au droit naturel, au droit public de la France, aux lois fondamentales du royaume, à l'intérêt commun du souverain et de ses sujets dans tous les temps ; avec la réfutation d'un nouveau système publié en forme de D1 ALOGUES SUR LE COMMERCE DES BLÉS.

About the author (1984)

Steven Laurence Kaplan is Professor of European History at Cornell University.

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