Why did the Industrial Revolution not begin in France?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the Industrial Revolution did not start in France because of the political and social situation in that country.  France had a political and social system that was rather hide-bound and aristocratic.  It had an absolute monarchy where England (where the Industrial Revolution did start) had a much more free and open society.

Because France's society was dominated by an aristocracy, there was not a lot of room for innovation and the development of new ways.  There was not the sort of large, relatively well-off merchant and middle class that was needed.  Peasants were tied to the land and were not available to come work in factories.

So, because France's society was more old-fashioned, it was not able to be at the leading edge of change.