By Peter McPhee

ISBN-10: 0333997506

ISBN-13: 9780333997505

This quantity offers an authoritative synthesis of modern paintings at the social background of France and is now completely revised and up-to-date to hide the 'long 19th century' from 1789-1914. Peter McPhee deals either a readable narrative and a particular, coherent argument approximately this century. McPhee explores topics corresponding to peasant interplay with the surroundings, the altering adventure of labor and rest, the character of crime and protest, altering demographic styles and kinfolk constitution, the non secular practices of staff and peasants, and the ideology and inner repercussions of colonisation.

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The municipal revolution was paralleled by the second great consequence of the taking of the Bastille. News of this unprecedented challenge to the might of the State and nobility reached a countryside in an explosive atmosphere of conflict, hope and fear. Since December 1788, peasants had refused to pay taxes or dues or had seized food supplies in Provence, the Franche-Comté, the Cambrésis and Hainaut in the north-east, and the Paris basin, partly in expectation of royal recognition of their plight.

The 60 per cent or more of adult males who were ‘active’ citizens were the social base of a democratization of political culture. In every aspect of public life – administration, the judiciary, the armed forces, the Church, policing – traditions of corporate rights, appointment and hierarchy gave way to civil equality, accountability, and elections within national structures assuming the common identity of French citizens of whatever social or geographic origin.

When noble revenge failed to materialize, village militias instead sometimes turned their weapons on the seigneurial system itself, compelling seigneurs or their agents to hand over feudal registers to be burned on the village square. In other places, other targets of local hatred were attacked, such as grain merchants; in Alsace, Jews were singled out. 14 The panic-stricken response of the Assembly was to abolish feudal dues on 4 August and then, in the succeeding week, to make a distinction between personal servitude (serfdom, corvées, seigneurial courts, hunting rights) which were abolished outright, and ‘property rights’ (dues payable on harvests) for which peasants had to pay compensation before ceasing payment.

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A Social History of France, 1789-1914 by Peter McPhee


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