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Labour, science and technology in France, 1500-1620 /
Henry Heller.
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1996.
description
xii, 258 p. : ill.
ISBN
0521550319 (hc)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1996.
isbn
0521550319 (hc)
catalogue key
1464648
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-11-01:
Heller's study convincingly challenges Fernand Braudel's "distortion of the understanding of capitalism" through his environmental determinism at the expense of conscious political decisions. Heller counters this concept through a careful chronicle of the crown's support for the new science of empiricism and for technology that championed practical application of scientific principles. He also directly dismisses LeRoy Ladurie's claim of a stagnant economy during the 16th century by asserting that the innovation and efficiency of a middle class was riding the crest of economic dynamism in the first half of the century, and was actually encouraged by the crisis of the post-1560 period. Proto-industrialization and primitive accumulation by middle-class merchant capitalists were the answer to the economic and financial crises of the wars of religion, which had been brought on by a feudal reaction. Thus the stage was set for the economic, scientific, and technological surges during the reign of Henry IV. Although Heller's sympathies do not lie with this middle class, he is nevertheless cognizant of their vibrant, yet only partial, proletarianization of the rural workforce that marks the event of class conflict. Heller blends contemporary observations and theory with the fruits of recent solid scholarship on economic and social change to create his arguments, especially that of a proto-Physiocrat climate for 16th-century agriculture. Heller's conclusions lead to his blistering attack on second-generation annales historians and his reintroduction of conjunctural factors as the driving forces in the ancient regime. This important advance in social and economic history will be the subject of much seminar-room debate. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. E. Brink Texas Tech University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...a powerfully different approach to the study of the early-modern French economy, in practice and in theory. Heller's work provids a much-needed starting point for a re-examination of the early modern French economy." James B. Collins, Journal of Economic History
"...Heller offers important perspectives that prompt us to reconsider the way in which we understand sixteenth-century France. He raises issues that he feels have been badly neglected and, accordingly, warrant reconsideration....Heller gives us a first-rate reassessment of early modern France and, above all, integrates science and technology with far-reaching shifts in the economic structure." Raymond A. Mentzer, The Sixteenth Century Journal
"Heller presents rich and little-known evidence for the century's technological fertility." Labor History
"Henry Heller's book on the political economy of Renaissance France efficiently builds an argument okf admirable force." Ken Alder, Jrnl of Modern History
"His book contains many stimulating ideas..." William Beik, American Historical Review
"...one learns much from this important, interesting, and engaging book..." Cynthia M. Truant, Labor History
"...provides a well-rounded picture of a society in which ideas of technical progress and increasing production were beginning to find a place." Alex Keller, Isis
"This book is especially valuable for its rediscovery of the technological literature of the era and its demonstration of just how many contemporaries sought to develop innovative solutions to the economic problems of the time." Philip Benedict, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"This fine study combines an erudite discussion of certain aspects of French history with a bold new interpretive framework. It will likely provoke much discussion among historians of early modern France, and it is an important work for other students of early modern Europe as well." Pamela O. Long, Renaissance Quarterly
"This important advance in social and economic history will be the subject of much seminar-room debate." Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1996
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
In this detailed 1995 study, Henry Heller challenges prevailing approaches to the history of early modern France. He finds a surprising degree of economic, technological and scientific innovation, while contesting the view that the religious conflicts of the period can only be understood in strictly religious terms.
Description for Bookstore
In this detailed study, Henry Heller challenges prevailing approaches to the history of early modern France. He finds a surprising degree of economic, technological and scientific innovation, while contesting the view that the religious conflicts of the period can only be understood in strictly religious terms.
Description for Library
In this detailed study, Henry Heller challenges the dominant approach to the history of early modern France, that of the Annales school, with its emphasis on long-term economic and cultural forces. He re-examines France's sixteenth- early seventeenth-century history, and finds a surprising degree of economic, technological and scientific innovation. At the same time, he contests the view that the religious conflicts of the period ought only to be understood in religious terms.
Main Description
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.
Main Description
For a generation, the history of the ancien rgime 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 mentalit. 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.
Main Description
For a generation, the history of the ancien règime 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 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 mentalitè. 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.
Main Description
In this detailed study, Henry Heller challenges the dominant approach to the history of early modern France, that of the Annales school, with its emphasis on long-term economic and cultural forces. He reexamines the history of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in France, and finds a surprising degree of economic, technological and scientific innovation. At the same time, he contests the view that the religious conflicts of the period ought only to be understood in strictly religious terms.
Table of Contents
The expansion of Parisian merchant capital
Labour in Paris in the sixteenth century
Civil war and economic experiments
Inventions and science in the reign of Charles IX
Expropriation, technology and wage labour
The Bourbon economic restoration
Ladurie and the inertia of history Braudel, Le Roy
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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