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Despite their importance during the French Revolution, the Paris middle class are little known. This book focuses on the family organization and the political role of the Paris commercial middle class, using as a case study the Faubourg St. Marcel and particularly the parish of St. Medard. David Garrioch argues that in the late 17th and early 18th centuries the commercial middle classes were steadfastly local in their family ties and outlook. He shows, too, that they took independent political action in defense of their local position. This gradually changed during the 18th century, and the Revolution greatly accelerated the process of integration, at the same time broadening the composition of what may now be termed the Parisian bourgeoisie. Central to Garrioch's argument is the idea that family, politics and power are intimately connected. He shows the centrality of kinship to local politics in the first half of the 18th century, and the way new family structures were related to changes in the nature of politics even before the Revolution. Among the many important issues considered are birth control, the role of women, the importance of lineage, the spatial limits of middle-class lives, and the language and secularization of politics.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674309371
ISBN-10: 0674309375
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x 30mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 3-Mar-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - David Garrioch

David Garrioch is Senior Lecturer in History, Monash University, Australia, and the author of Neighbourhood and Community in Paris, 1740-1790.