The Necklace Affair the royal scandal that wasn't

Harvest failures - starvation and speculation

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Harvest failures - starvation and speculation

As in many other revolutions, food shortages, high prices and hunger formed a volatile social backdrop to the French Revolution. The French people were no stranger to hunger, however. The labour intensive, semi-medieval methods used by most peasant-farmers meant inefficient production; and it also rendered them susceptible to variations such as pestilence and the weather. The majority of people were generally able to cope with this; in times of poor production and low grain storage they simply ate less, or foraged for alternative food sources. At the outbreak of the revolution, however, they had endured a horror year in terms of food availability and prices - and another similar year looked to be coming.

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