Bread, Politics and Political Economy in the Reign of Louis XV: Volume One

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I Modern times has invented its own brand of Apocalypse. Famine is no longer one of the familiar outriders. The problems of material life, and their political and psychological implications, have changed drastically in the course of the past two hundred years. Perhaps nothing has more profoundly affected our institutions and our attitudes than the creation of a technology of abundance. - Even the old tropes have given way: neither dollars nor calories can measure the distance which separates gagne-pain from ...
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Overview

I Modern times has invented its own brand of Apocalypse. Famine is no longer one of the familiar outriders. The problems of material life, and their political and psychological implications, have changed drastically in the course of the past two hundred years. Perhaps nothing has more profoundly affected our institutions and our attitudes than the creation of a technology of abundance. - Even the old tropes have given way: neither dollars nor calories can measure the distance which separates gagne-pain from gagne-hi/leek. 1 Yet the concerns of this book seem much less remote today than they did when it was conceived in the late sixties. In the past few years we have begun to worry, with a sort of expiatory zeal, about the state· of our environment, the size of our population, the political economy and the morality of the allocation of goods and jobs, and the future of our resources. While computer projections cast a malthusian pall over our world, we have had a bitter, first-hand taste of shortages of all kinds. The sempiternal battle between producers and consumers rages with a new ferocity, as high prices provoke anger on the one side and celebration on the other. Even as famines continue to strike the third world in the thermidor of the green revolution, so we have discovered hunger in our own midst.
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Table of Contents

Volume One.- I. The Police of Provisioning.- The state and subsistence, the police and the consumer.- The notion of police.- The structure of police.- Police rivalries, Paris versus France.- The police from below.- II. The Regulations and the Regulators.- The police view of the grain trade, monopoly, and the just price.- The rules of the trade.- The application of the rules.- The police of provisioning in the eighteenth century.- The radical departure.- III. The Origins of Liberty.- Grain liberalism and enlightenment.- Physiocracy, agromania, and the “economic years” (1750–70).- The liberty lobby.- The government prepares the reforms.- Silhouette (1759).- Bertin(1759–63).- Laverdy (1763–68).- Choiseul.- Why the government risked liberty.- The thesis of circumstances.- The thesis of conspiracy.- The government and the new political economy.- Political economy and the nation.- Political economy and the parlements.- The thesis of fiscality.- The pacte de famine.- The royal thesis.- IV. The Response to Liberalization: Theory and Practice.- Early criticism of the liberal system (1763–64).- The Parisian municipality.- Joly de Fleury.- The state-of-the-nation.- The idea of abundance.- The parlements and the liberal laws.- The storm after the calm (1764–70).- Women rioters.- Merchants beware!.- The forces of order and disorder collaborate.- Police anomie and anger.- V. Forcing Grain to be Free: The Government Holds the Line.- Laverdy and the people.- Laverdy and the local police.- Laverdy and the “grand” police.- The price rise.- Encouraging speculation.- Laverdy’s liberalism.- Unexpected disgrace (1768).- VI. The Reforms and the Grain Trade.- Reform and dearth.- Exports.- The fruits of liberalization.- Domestic grain trade.- “Abuses”.- Grain fever and new faces.- Recruitment.- Paris.- Meaux.- Other registries.- The sinister “companies”.- VII. Paris.- Quarantine.- Paris and the hinterland.- Incipient panic.- A “critical” time (1768).- Wallposters and sedition.- Misery, crime, and charity.- Sartine seeks grain.- The Paris police and the liberal ministry.- The police and the bakers.- Crisis and subsistence innovation.- Helping bakers help themselves.- VIII. The Royal Trump.- The beginnings of the Paris grain fund (1750–60).- Malisset.- The “famine pact” contract (1765).- Leray de Chaumont and the guarantors,.- Corbeil.- The company “royalized” (1767).- Rumors and calumnies.- The quality of the king’s grain and flour.- The company attacked from the inside and the outside.- Maynon d’Invau, Daure, and the end of the king’s grain (1769).- Malisset’s resilience.- The royal “visa”.- Leprevostde Beaumont, hero.- Denouncing the famine pact (1768).- Conspiratorial mentality and political consciousness.- Leprevost: social critic and political theorist.- The liberals and the plot accusations.- The critique of royal victualing, 403..- Volume Two.- IX. The government, the parlements, and the battle Over liberty: I.- The Paris Parlement and the unfolding crisis (1767).- Rouen’s violent turn-about (1767–68).- The letters patent of November 1768.- A séance de flagellation: the Assembly of General Police (November 1768).- Vox populi.- Louis XV and the Paris Parlement brawl (1769).- The meaning of parlementary opposition.- X. The government, the parlements, and the battle Over liberty: II.- The antiliberal parlements: brittle solidarities.- The case of Rouen.- The liberal parlements: riposte and counter of Tensive (1768–70).- The Parlement of Dauphiné.- The Estates of Languedoc.- The Parlement of Languedoc.- The Parlement of Provence.- The rebuttal of the économists.- The ministry buoyed.- General economic crisis (1770).- XI. From Political Economy To Police: The Return to Apprehensive Paternalism.- Terray’s liberalism.- Spring and summer riots (1770).- Eating grass and dying of hunger.- The “subsistence of Paris”.- The royal arrêt of July 1770 bans exports.- The triumphant revenge of the Paris Parlement (August 1770).- Monopolists beware!.- Maupeou and the parlements: the constitutional crisis and the crisis over liberalization (1770–71).- The Brittany affair and liberalization.- Terray’s grain law (December 1770).- Consumers versus producers.- Controlling the “general subsistence”.- Savoir equals pouvoir.- XII. Policing the General Subsistence, 1771–1774.- The parlements and Terray’s law (1771).- Enforcing the law: moderation and tolerance.- A nightmare of chaos.- The Midi’s Flour War.- “The general and literal execution” of the law.- The laboureur as villain.- Laboureur opulence.- Illicit exports.- Problems in the south and southwest: Bordeaux.- The Parlement of Grenoble.- The Parlement of Aix.- The Parlement of Toulouse.- Antiphysiocracy.- Galiani’s “bomb” (1770).- The “dangerous sect”.- Galiani refuted.- The Bagarre.- Morellet versus Diderot.- Turgot’s letters to Terray on the grain trade (1770).- XIII. The King’s Grain and the Retreat from Liberalization.- The king’s grain at the end of 1769.- Terray’s régie: Doumerc and Sorin.- 1770: improvisations.- Pascaud.- The régie (1771–1774),.- Planning.- The régie’s purchases.- The régie’s public relations.- Terray’s pledges.- Doumerc and Sorin as managers.- The régie’s agents.- Sales and accounts.- Guys and Company.- Embastillé;.- Guys and the régie.- Doumerc-Sorin versus Malisset.- The reputation of the king’s grain.- The famine pact persuasion.- Bethmann.- The Almanach royal.- A new king and a new ministry (1774).- Turgot’s crusade against police and paternalism.- St.-Prest.- Turgot proclaims liberty.- September 1774.- Dismantling the régie.- The régie indicted.- Flour War.- Albert interrogates Doumerc.- The fate of Doumerc and Sorin.- Terray versus Turgot.- Conclusion.

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