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Title:The petite bourgeoisie of Paris, during the Bourbon Restoration, 1814-1830: A prosopographical inquiry into the political and economic integration of the Parisian lower middle class
Author(s):Crouch, Charles Patrick
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McKay, John P.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:This dissertation addresses the issue of lower middle class integration into the expanding economy of Paris during the Bourbon Restoration and the impact of this integration on the Parisian petite bourgeoisie. Proceeding from the position that French economic development in the nineteenth century was not arrested or stagnant vis-a-vis England but was following its own path of economic maturation, this dissertation argues that the lower middle class was an integral and integrated aspect of the Parisian society and economy.
Additionally, there has been an attempt to revise previous beliefs concerning the timing and pace of petit-bourgeois integration into the maturing economy of Paris. In the past, historians have argued that the lower middle class--typically divided sectorally between artisanal masters and shopkeepers--experienced the impact of capitalistic transformation later in the century and in conjunction with profound economic crises; for the artisanal sector this transformation began only in the 1840s, while the shopkeepers were spared this experience until the later years of the Long Depression. Using the bankruptcy ledgers of the Parisian Chamber of Commerce, it has been demonstrated that both sectors of the lower middle class experienced this phenomenon in the 1820s and that this transformation was not specifically linked to economic crisis.
Further, this dissertation has attempted to broaden our understanding of petit-bourgeois political behavior. Generally this stratum of society has been depicted as an apolitical mass, only roused to participation in times of severe political, social and economic upheaval. During the Restoration, a time of relative calm, the petite bourgeoisie was politically engaged in a variety of extra-constitutional political activities.
The Parisian petite bourgeoisie during the Bourbon Restoration was an integral part of the economy, experiencing the trauma of capitalist transformation and was politically active. Thus this stratum of society, often portrayed as anti-modern and anachronistic, played an active role in the political and economic development of Paris.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Crouch, Charles Patrick
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210775
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210775

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