The Fountain of Privilege applies contemporary economic and political theory to answer long-standing historical questions about modernization. In particular, it contrasts political stability in Georgian England with the collapse of the Old Regime in France. Why did a century of economic expansion rupture France’s political foundations while leaving those of Britain intact? Comparing the political and financial institutions of the two states, Hilton Root argues that the French monarchy’s tight control of markets created unresolvable social conflicts whereas England’s broader power base permitted the wider distribution of economic favors, resulting in more flexible and efficient markets. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1994.