Books  General Natural History  Environmental History 

Forests in Revolutionary France: Conservation, Community, and Conflict, 1669–1848

Integrates the history of political upheaval and far-reaching policy changes
Reinterprets one of the world's most important historical events (the French Revolution) in light of environmental struggles that still resonate today
Appeals to readers interested in law, politics, rural society, and economics

Series: Studies in Environment and History

By: Kieko Matteson (Author)

329 pages, 3 b/w illustrations, 2 maps

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Apr 2015 | #215762 | ISBN-13: 9781107043343
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £66.99 $82/€75 approx

About this book

Forests in Revolutionary France investigates the economic, strategic, and political importance of forests in early modern and modern Europe and shows how struggles over this vital natural resource both shaped and reflected the ideologies and outcomes of France's long revolutionary period. Until the mid-nineteenth century, wood was the principal fuel for cooking and heating and the primary material for manufacturing worldwide and comprised every imaginable element of industrial, domestic, military, and maritime activity. Forests also provided essential pasturage. These multifaceted values made forests the subject of ongoing battles for control between the crown, landowning elites, and peasantry, for whom liberty meant preserving their rights to woodland commons. Focusing on Franche-Comté, France's easternmost province, Forests in Revolutionary France explores the fiercely contested development of state-centered conservation and management from 1669 to 1848. In emphasizing the environmental underpinnings of France's seismic sociopolitical upheavals, it appeals to readers interested in revolution, rural life, and common-pool-resource governance.



1. The lay of the land
2. 'Agromania' and silvicultural science
3. 'A necessity as vital as bread'
4. 'Seduced by the word 'liberty''
5. 'Nothing is more respected than the right of property'
6. 'Not even a branch of wood has been granted to us'
7. Epilogue: 'homo is but arbor inversa'

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Kieko Matteson is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Hawai?i, Ma-noa. Her dissertation received the American Society for Environmental History's Rachel Carson Prize and Yale University's Henry A. Turner Prize for outstanding work in European history.

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