The territorial and political unification of France under the Crown was not completed until the early sixteenth century, and the development of her economic unity was an even slower process. 1 It is perhaps in the reign of Philip the Fair, in the fourteenth century, that we find the real beginning of the attempt to establish a national and monarchic economic policy which should supersede or subordinate to itself the more or less independent economies of the seigneurs and the towns. The regime which he set up was

eminently protective, prohibitive, and restrictive in character, and had its share in producing the circumstances that provoked the outbreak of the Hundred Years War. Under the monarchs of the period of restoration after that war-the founders of the " New Monarchy " in France-the royal economic policy alternated between greater freedom and greater rigour on somewhat empirical lines, and it has to be said that right down to the seventeenth century it was to a large extent more formal than practically effective. Edicts were often issued which were carried out only very partially or not at all, and declarations made which remained merely pious opinions, because edicts and declarations assumed in France a degree of economic unity which did not really exist.