War of the Flour Mills

War of the Flour Mills

 

(Guerre des Farines), a popular movement in France in May 1775, provoked by the acute shortage and rising price of bread. The movement enveloped Paris and the surrounding region. Among the participants in the War of the Flour Mills were the urban lower classes and the poorest of the peasants. They seized mills and grain storehouses and attempted to establish by force a “just” price for bread. The uprising discredited the idea of free trade in bread and was used by the opponents of the policies of Turgot, the comptroller general from 1774 until 1776. Given dictatorial powers, Turgot suppressed the movement; two craftsmen charged with instigating the revolt were executed on May 11, 1775, and many others who took part in the movement were arrested.

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