In September 1793 the Convention furthered its role as the guarantor of the basic right to subsistence of all citizens by instituting price maximums on all essential consumer goods, especially foodstuffs, and on wages paid in the production of those goods. The Maximum was to remain in effect, at least theoretically, until the end of 1794 and thereafter would remain for historians evidence that... Read More »
In the fall of 1789, speeches filled the air in Versailles, and a river of pamphlets and newspapers flooded Paris; however, grain remained in short supply. On 5 October, several hundred women staged a protest against the high price of bread at the City Hall. Just as in July, this traditional form of grievance took on a new meaning against the background of political events—in this case, the... Read More »
The magnitude of the Haitian insurrection quickly became clear as alarmed observers related that considerable armies were being raised to fight the rebels. It is noteworthy that such reports even to northern U.S. newspapers expressed little sympathy for the rebels.
In response to his defeat by Napoleon, Prussian King Frederick William I, pushed by his ministers, initiated a series of reforms intended to modernize property relationships and the administration of the state. This edict abolished serfdom.
The "manufactory" owned by Jean–Baptiste Réveillon in the Saint–Antoine neighborhood of Paris made decorative wallpaper, a lucrative luxury item that required highly skilled (and generally well–paid) workers. When a rumor circulated about Réveillon’s ill–timed speech in which he linked reduced wages and lower prices, the animosity of many guildsmen to Réveillon erupted in violence. When troops... Read More »
The writer Louis–Sébastien Mercier recorded in his Portrait of Paris detailed and witty commentaries on many aspects of life among the common people. In this article on the Saint–Marcel neighborhood, he comments on the difficulties faced by urban workers.
In early 1989, shortly after President George H. W. Bush had taken office, the office of US ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack F. Matlock sent this message to the attention of the new National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft. The message details the strains placed on official Marxist-Leninist ideology by the the most recent economic reforms implemented by Gorbachev. Many of these had... Read More »