Using class analysis to understand the dynamics of political conflict in mid-nineteenth-century France, Ronald Aminzade explores political activity among workers in three industrialized French cities--Toulouse, Saint-étienne, and Rouen. A comparative case-study design enables the author to analyze how the complex interaction between industrialization, class relations, and party development fostered revolutionary communes in some cities but not others. Challenging traditional theories of industrialization and revolution, Aminzade innovatively uses narratives to provide a historically grounded analysis of the failed municipal revolutions of 1871 and the triumph of liberal-democratic institutions in France.
In each of these cities, distinctive patterns of capitalist industrialization and class restructuring intersected with shifting political opportunities at the national level to produce local republican parties with different ideologies, strategies, and alliances. Focusing on changing relations between republican parties and male workers, whose identities and economic standing were in transition, Aminzade examines struggles within local parties among liberal, radical, and socialist republicans. The outcome of these struggles, he argues, shaped the willingness of workers to embrace the ballot box or take to the barricades.
"This is a work of considerable insight and a major contribution to the understanding of France in the 19th century."--Choice
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations
List of Maps and Tables
Ch. 1 The Political Consequences of Early Industrialization 3
Ch. 2 Mid-Nineteenth-Century French Republicanism: Organization, Ideology, and Opportunities 28
Ch. 3 Patterns of Industrialization and Class Formation 63
Ch. 4 Toulouse: From Liberal Republicanism to an Alliance of Radicals and Socialists 105
Ch. 5 Saint-Etienne: The Transformation and Triumph of Radical Republicanism 139
Ch. 6 Rouen: The Transformation of Radicalism and Triumph of Liberalism 174
Ch. 7 Failed Revolutions: The Communes of 1870-1871 209
Ch. 8 Conclusion: Political Change, Class Analysis, and Republicanism 252
Abbreviations Used in the Notes and Bibliography 266