By Peter Jones

This "comparative micro-historical" examine for the transitional interval among the previous and the recent France, (1760-1820) analyzes six small localities. It explains how kingdom dwellers disengaged themselves from the congeries of neighborhood societies that made up the ancien r?gime, and hooked up themselves to the broader polity of the progressive and Napoleonic kingdom. the result's a strikingly new point of view at the rural background of France in the course of an epoch of momentous swap.

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Extra info for Liberty and Locality in Revolutionary France: Six Villages Compared, 1760-1820 (New Studies in European History)

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Roquelaure (based on a plan drawn in 1855) 3 2 N chemin d’Auch Pasture Gardens Arable KEY 1 Church 2 Chateau 3 Place de l’Espérou 4 Faubourg de Lomban 5 Elm 6 Pond Mise-en-sc`ene 37 village in a westerly direction, but a traveller arriving from Auch would have observed a countryside dotted with farmsteads long before he caught sight of the village proper. These farmsteads, known as m´etairies, were a typical feature of the landscape of the Haut-Armagnac. In origin they resembled the seigneurial granges of Provence, except that they were under sharecrop tenancy and were highly visible one to another.

Defining and then measuring literacy is therefore a matter for some discussion among historians, but even if we confine our approach to a simple count of the frequency with which marriage partners signed the parish register, it is evident that a differential geography of functional literacy existed at the end of the ancien r´egime. Broadly speaking, the Revolution erupted in a society that can be divided by a diagonal drawn from Saint-Malo situated on the Channel coast to Geneva. To the north and east of this fictional frontier more than half of adult males could read (something) and write (something), whereas to the south and west more than two-thirds could do neither.

Nearly all farmers planted wheat in preference to any other cereal since roughly half the arable surface passed muster as being of ‘good’ quality, and only a quarter as ‘substandard’. And wheat, as landowners were all too aware, was a cash crop that could easily be marketed thanks to the nearby ‘route d’Espagne’, that is to say the highway running from Auch to Agen, the Garonne and places 13 14 Morineau, Pour une histoire ´economique vraie, p. 125. A. , NN 96/2; A. D. du Gers, C 22, 6M 33, 6M 977, 3P 42; G.

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