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Citizenship, National Belonging and the Grain Regulation Question in Britain and France, 1750- 1780

Gibbs, DH; (2016) Citizenship, National Belonging and the Grain Regulation Question in Britain and France, 1750- 1780. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

During the prelude to the industrial revolution, as Britain and France experienced the first age of globalisation, with its associated expansion of markets and regional specialisation, certain assumptions were called into question. These included the traditional mentalités of trust in local markets; belief in the economic responsibilities of political authorities; and the idea of ‘the economy’ itself in relation to the region and nation. While globalisation could offer increased income and consumer choice, this could come at the cost of restricting the life and autonomy of regional economies. Historians have explored these tensions in treatments of the friction between capitalism and adherence to a moral economy. However, even capitalistic ideas about free trade were heavily concerned with national economic competitiveness. This thesis addresses this dynamic by examining theoretical and practical approaches to the grain trade. It aims to unravel contemporary interpretations of the role of government, regions and individuals in national economic stability and growth, which in turn informed ideas about national belonging. It explores attempts by French and British writers, legislators, and people to assert their interpretation of economic identity, and design an economic destiny for their nation or region. Since this thesis is chiefly concerned with national belonging and citizenship, it draws on the work of historians who have examined the role of commodities in forming or defining national identities. These include Anderson’s treatment of vernacular print literature, which differentiated European nations, or Morieux’s depiction of the shared economic interests that bridged the Channel. It uses primary sources relating to administration (such as laws, parliamentary debates, and local court rulings) and contemporary published economic works to produce a thorough comparison of economic identity in each nation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Citizenship, National Belonging and the Grain Regulation Question in Britain and France, 1750- 1780
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475900
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