The Longue Durée of the French Bourgeoisie

in Historical Materialism
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Beginning with Engels, Marxist historiography viewed the absolute monarchy in France as mediating between the nobility and the emergent capitalist bourgeoisie. More recent Marxist accounts stress that the absolute monarchy reflected the interests of the nobility. Revisionist Marxist historians have taken this perspective to an extreme arguing that, at the height of the Bourbon monarchy in the seventeenth century, a capitalist bourgeoisie did not exist. This paper argues that, in taking such a view, these historians have ignored the ongoing dialectical opposition between the forces of rent and profit in the early-modern period. As a result, they have severed the connection between the ancien régime and the Revolution of 1789. Despite being thrown on the defensive by the advance of rent and the crystallisation of the absolutist state, a capitalist bourgeoisie that emerged in sixteenth-century France survived and persevered during the seventeenth century. It resumed the initiative in the succeeding period of the Enlightenment.

The Longue Durée of the French Bourgeoisie

in Historical Materialism


Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 57 57 7
Full Text Views 121 121 1
PDF Downloads 32 32 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0