Abstract

One of the defining features of eighteenth-century France was a pervasive anxiety over the possible collapse of the hierarchical and corporate social order. Contemporaries feared that open commerce would abolish the traditional system of corps, and luxury would confuse the symbols that represented an individual’s état. In reaction to Turgot’s “Six Edicts” (1776) and against the celebration of le doux commerce, moralists, political economists, philosophers, and petitioners from Parisian guilds articulated a corporeal critique of economic modernity. They argued that a society driven by commerce and competition would be detrimental not only to the corps politique but, more importantly, to the corps unique of each French subject.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 72-85
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-02
Open Access
No
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