The Politics of Provisions

Food Riots, Moral Economy, and Market Transition in England, c. 1550–1850
Bohstedt, John
Date published: 
September 2010

The 'politics of provisions' - forceful negotiations over sustenance - has created surprising contests in world history, particularly in times of market transition. In England a 'politics of provisions' evolved in a dialogue between popular riots and paternalist subsistence policies from Tudor dearths to the Victorian embrace of free-market doctrines. Hence provision politics was a core ingredient of both state-formation and of the emergence of the first market economy and society in England. This book is the first full-scale critical revision of E.P. Thompson's seminal model of the 'moral economy of the crowd', which has had huge influence across the social sciences.