Notably, inflation was a major problem during the Postwar era. Rival Federation trade unions rose to counter communist dominated confederations. In 1947, an extensive strike broke out and lost legitimizing rival confederations. Consequently, budget deficits fuelled inflation rates. As a result, a program of subsidies to businesses was introduced to prevent efficiency for international competitiveness. The Hirsch plan was introduced in 1954 -1957.The plan advocated for 25%increase in key economic sectors over a three year period (Hayward, n.d.). Remarkably, the planning target was achieved.
In the 19th century, France experienced urbanization, commercialization of agriculture and industrialization. Predominantly, the economy developed from an agriculturally dominated economy to artisanal industrial production. The period between 1830 and 1840 was characterized by increased innovation, comprising of railway construction, textiles, metallurgy, and engineering sectors. Steam was adopted as a major form of power. Primarily, wood and water were the main fuel and energy sources. Subsequently, iron and coal replaced them.
The social history of France expanded towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of 20 the century. Noteworthy, the 1950s to 1980s had massive expansion spells, characterized by social movement groups and classes and social change (“France Economy” 2017). Moreover, ways of life, urbanization, ethnic groups, families, and household recorded increases were seen. Social class differences emerged between the rich and poor dictating the areas of worship and residence for both classes of people.
Urbanization was a significant feature in ancient France with citizens moving to urban centers for economic gain. Homelessness and poverty were indicators of the widening gap between the upper, middle and lower class citizens of ancient France. Diseases and low education levels were indicators of the social class differences between the rich and the poor. The rich could afford better health services and access education facilities unlike the poor.
Historically, inflation rates were high during the growth of France s economy. Today, not much has changed with regards to inflation. Predominantly, high prices of goods and services are a factor in any modern day economy. Today, Income inequality is still a challenge for France s economy. Female Workers still earn lower wages than their male counterparts (Hayward, n.d.). Gender equality in wage earning is being advocated for by most OECD countries. Socially, the gap between the rich and the poor in the society still prevails. Additionally, urbanization is another challenge today. Migration to urban centers has put pressure on urban settlers and resources leading to high crime rates in cases of unemployment.
Population growth led to social stress during the French revolution. By and large, large population growth is still a problem in modern day France. Illegal and legal immigrants add to France’s population. Subsequently, this puts pressure on the available resources in the country. Furthermore, pollution is a significant issue. Ancient France industries used non-renewable sources of fuel and energy which contributed heavily to pollution. Likewise, modern industries pollute the environment in the process of production and manufacture (McParttland, 2015).
Today, Poor housing facilities, poor infrastructure, poverty, unemployment are some of the economic challenges facing French population. Social isolation, family breakdown are some of the social challenges. Also, Distrust for government institutions, inequality, national cohesion erosion is a major concern for France. There is a growing gap between the rich and poor population (Bolongora, 2016). Income inequality has led to homelessness and poverty in France. Illegal immigration, racism, religious and cultural diversity are some of the social challenges.
Bolongora, K. (2016). France s growing inequality problem. Aljazeera. Retrieved 21 January 2017, from https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/01/france-growing-income-inequality-problem-201512311224855101.html
McPartland, B. (2015) France in 2015: Ten problems it must face. The Local. Retrieved 21 January 2017, from https://www.thelocal.fr/20150924/france-facing-same-old-problems-in-future
Watkins, T. The economic history France and the economy of France. Retrieved 24 January, from https://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/france0.htm
France in the 16th and 17th centuries. Northern University. Retrieved 24 January 2017, from https://www3.northern.edu/marmorsa/delinenotes16thfrance.htm.
Hayward, JS. Solidarity; The social history of an idea in the nineteenth century France. Retrieved 24 January 2017, from https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S0020859000001371
France economy (2017). Michigan University. Retrieved 21 January 2017, from https://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/france/economy
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