France 1815-1830
the Economy
France 1848-1870
the Economy
France 1830-1848
Domestic Policy
France 1830-1848
Intellectual Life

France 1830-1848 : the Economy

In 1838, France had 138 km of railways; by 1848 the railway net had a combined length of 2,004 km. The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION had reached the European continent. France, providing over only marginal coal fields (France's share of the BORINAGE, at Lille), mainly provided STEEL from her iron ore deposits in LORRAINE. With the industrial revolution went along increases in state revenues by over 30 % and a population growth from 32.37 million in 1830 to 35.52 million in 1848.
Since the late 19th century the economy was undergoing a major change. Once flourishing crafts, such as the textile industry, were in a deep crisis, as the textile factories of Britain undercut prices, producers on the continent had to invest in machines and cut wages in order to remain competitive. In the colonial economy, sugar plantations were in a deep crisis as sugar prices had fallen during the continental blockade, never to resume the old level. A major reason that slavery was not abolished earlier lay in the fact that the operation of plantations was uneconomical without a slave labour force.
Poverty had always existed; yet in the past the church, by providing ALMS etc., had contributed to alleviate the problem. Now, with servitude abolished, most of church property confiscated and LIBERALISM being the prevalent economic philosophy (the state should not interfere in the economy and in labour relations), the problem became worse; a PROLETARIAT emerged, without protection exposed to EXPLOITATION; the city of LYON being one of the first industrial cities on the continent; here the workers (CANUTS) revolted in 1831 and 1834.
The first half of the 19th century saw the emergence of the CHAMPAGNE INDUSTRY (The art of having grape juice ferment into Champagne discovered by DOM PERIGNON in 1688).

A number of inventions were made in France, among them the DAGUERROTYPIE (photography, 1837) by LOUIS JACQUES MANDE DAGUERRE (1787-1851).

History of Champagne, from
Biography of L.J.M. Daguerre, by Robert Leggat
Lyon : la Cite Industrielle du XIXe, from mairie lyon
DOCUMENTS Coins issued under Louis-Philippe (1830-1848), from Numismatique-Histoire
REFERENCE Colin Heywood, The Development of the French Economy, 1750-1914, Cambridge : UP 1995, 74 pp., KMLA Lib. Call Sign 330.944 H622d

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on March 30th 2007

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics