By Roger Price
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Extra info for An Economic History of Modern France, 1730-1914
This varied with the needs of the Government, becoming particularly high in time of war. Its burden was obviously greatest when food prices were high. The circulation of goods depends upon a corresponding circulation of the means of payment, which was vastly improved by the railways and the telegraph. The railways and the economic and social changes accompanying them ended isolation and finally removed the fear of famine. Improved circulation of foodstuffs brought a decline in the amplitude of price fluctuation making the hoarding of money less necessary, and this together with the psychological release associated with the transition from closed to open societies created a new attitude towards money.
During the eighteenth century market structures slowly changed, commercial activity increased and provided a growing and vital stimulus to productive activity. The growing animation of the fairs reveals this. The turnover at that of Caen increased from 2% million livres per year in 1715 to 9 million in 1767, and at Beaucaire from 14 million livres in 1750 to 41 million in 1788. This increase in value was due only in part to the general increase in prices. In the Auvergne the growth in the number of fairs held from the 1740s - from 344 in 1743 to 407 in 1777- also reveals the development of a money economy.
Notes 1. , Les banques europeennes et /'industrialisation internationale dans Ia premiere moitie du 19e siecle, 1964. 2. , 1967, p. 15. 3. d. 4. , p. 33. 5. Toutain, op. , p. 19. 6. , La navigation vapeur sur Ia Saone et Ia Rhone, 1962. 7. Levy-Leboyer, op. , p. 278. 8. Rivet, op. , p. 162. 9. Levy-Leboyer, op. , p. 290. 10. Wo1kowitsch, op. , p. 51. 11. This section owes a great deal to F. Caron, Histoire de /'exploitation d'un grand reseau. La compagnie du chemin du fer du Nord, 1846-1937, 1973, pp.