As a form of social control, undercover tactics played an important state-building role during the Nineteenth Century, in both the United States and France. Yet undercover policing played this role very differently in France than in the US, which made do with a less developed surveillance capacity at all levels of government. The instability of successive French regimes encouraged French political authorities to expand their use of infiltration and to privilege high policing purposes of undercover tactics over the crime-fighting purposes favored by local elites. And while nineteenth-century France, like the United States, often governed through delegations of authority to local elites, French authorities jealously guarded undercover tactics as their exclusive prerogative. As a result, undercover tactics became a marginal crime-fighting tactic in nineteenth century France, becoming identified primarily with the state's surveillance of its political opponents. In the United States, by contrast, the private sector was able to deploy undercover tactics against suspected criminals, organized labor, political radicals, and purveyors of vice. Though the private sector readily accepted delegations from the public sector, the direction of influence also ran in the opposite direction, from the private sector to the state, as American private sector used undercover tactics to replace, bypass, and harness state institutions in ways that their French counterparts could not. In the United States, the private sector's use of undercover tactics came to shape public policing, as prominent detectives entered government and brought their tactics with them, and as Progressive era reformers took up the undercover tactics pioneered by private detectives, modeled them for the state through public-private partnership, and used them to set the anti-corruption, anti-radical, and anti-vice enforcement agenda of government. If French undercover tactics helped to build the French state from the inside out, by consolidating the state's hold over territory and attempting to control disorder and dissent, American undercover tactics became a vector of private sector influence that helped build the state from the outside in by shaping both investigative means and ends at all levels of government.