The period from 1698 to 1760 was a period dominated by “shared inventions” and “the emergence of machinism”, machinism being defined as the extension of production through the use of machines (Ellul, 1954). This period primarily involved France and England but also some other countries in Europe; the countries affected by the Treaties of Westphalia, such as the Switzerland of 14 cantons, the seven “United Provinces” (future Netherlands) and the Germany of 350 principalities.
3.1. The situation in 1698
3.1.1. Major changes in social relations, religions and manufactories
The appearance of new social relations due to “salarization by merchants” (according to Fernand Braudel’s formula) strongly marked the 15th and 16th Centuries (Braudel, 1979).
Similarly, manufactories (arising in the middle of the 12th Century) continued to develop in an environment dominated by religious dissidents such as the Waldensian movement, the Albigensians, the Arnold de Brescia movement and the defenders of the “scholastic philosophy” (or “grand scholasticism”), a term that can be translated as “leisure time devoted to study” and, in this era, signified residencies at the universities of the last years of the 12th and 13th Centuries.
These manufactories then experienced difficulties linked to the “second advance of commercial capitalism”, which arose at the end of the 16th Century according to the formulation of André Philip (Philip, 1963, pp. 7 ff).
In particular, ...