April 02, 2010
Outside of Versailles: Bread
Poor harvest, sure, but not poor enough to create famine. The cost of bread rose when the harvest was less than stellar but more effective to this spike were the past harvest and anticipated fears of the future harvest. With the earlier harvest producing so low, there was less corn to buy for seed and subsequently less available to sell. The fear of another poor year was enough to create a paranoia about food supply. This had an impact on prices. Prices were this high in most city centers, not only Paris.
There was a general feeling of anxiety with France's political environment. With the rising cost of corn, the cost of a loaf rose. With the increased price of bread came a decrease in 'pleasure spending'. That decrease led to less jobs, and now we have poorer populations without steady work and not enough sous for the pricey bread.
On top of that, there had been a disastrous silk harvest previously, and a significant drop in wine prices. These merchants were left in an unfortunate financial state. To further the misery of the French, livestock populations had taken a dive after epidemics that killed the animals off. Could it be worse?