In The Fruits of Revolution Jean-Laurent Rosenthal investigates two central questions in French economic history: To what extent did institutions hold back agricultural development under the Old Regime, and did reforms carried out during the French Revolution significantly improve the structure of property rights in agriculture? Both questions have been the subject of much debate. Historians have touched on them in a number of local studies, yet usually they have been more concerned with community conflict than with economic development. Economists generally have researched the performance of the French economy without paying much attention to the impact of institutions on specific areas of the economy. This book attempts to utilize the best of both approaches: It focuses on broad questions of economic change, yet it is based on detailed archival investigations of the impact of property rights on water control.
List of tables, figures, and maps; Series editors' preface; Preface; 1. Introduction; Part I. History And Economics: 2. The French Revolution and French economic history; 3. Institutions and economic growth; Part II. Drainage and Irrigation: 4. A survey of water control projects; 5. Relative prices and the supply of water control; 6. Drainage in the Pays d'Auge, 1700–1848: the weight of uncertain property rights; 7. The development of irrigation in Provence, 1700–1860: the French Revolution and economic growth; Part III. Property Rights and Litigation under Absolutism: 8. The weaknesses of monopoly power; 9. Settlement, litigation, and the drainage of marshes in England and France, 1600–1840; 10. Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.