By Ronald Aminzade
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Extra info for Class, politics, and early industrial capitalism: a study of mid-nineteenth century Toulouse, France
The Local Case Study This book has two interconnected tasks. It attempts to provide a class-based theoretical analysis of the development of political institutions, ideologies, and conflicts. An effort is made to develop a noneconomistic, nonreductionist Marxist theory of politics that acknowledges the contradictory character of political ideologies, political parties, and the state and the complex and often indirect manner in which socioeconomic structures ultimately determine political structures.
A merchant could buy every kind of commodity, but labor as a commodity he could not buy. "3 Guild regulations, Marx noted, also guarded against an increased division of labor. "If circumstances called for a further division Page 3 of labor, the existing guilds split themselves up into varieties, or founded new guilds by the side of old ones; all this, however, without concentrating various handicrafts into a single workshop. " 4 The social organization of handicraft industry provided workers with a certain degree of collective control over their production processes.
Central state activities also promoted the growth of factories by helping to develop an extended marketing and railroad network. The central government guaranteed interest on railroad company stocks, purchased the rights of way for railroad lines, and built roadbeds and train stations. 12 The period of the Second Empire (18511870) witnessed the further development of French manufacturers as well as the rapid growth of mechanized factory production utilizing steam power and unskilled labor. 13 Steam power was increasingly employed within the textile industry while in the metal industry cementation replaced puddling and the Bessemer process was introduced.