Single Women and the Rural Credit Market in Eighteenth-Century France

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines the strategies, actions, and meaning of the credit activities of single women in rural credit markets in eighteenth-century France. For the purpose of this article, gender and, more importantly, marital status, are considered as critical categories of historical analysis, and this approach has yielded key data in the examination of loans records from 1733 to 1790. This article concludes that not only did single women gradually become major agents in the circulation of capital within their communities but that they also gained greater social freedom and empowerment thanks to their role as creditors.


  • Elise Dermineur
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History


  • credit, rural history, empowerment, women, early modern France, debt, loans
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-199
JournalJournal of Social History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch