By James R. Lehning

Peasant and French examines the connection among French peasants and the improvement of the French nationwide identification throughout the 19th century. Drawing on tools from cultural reviews, social heritage and a huge diversity of literary and archival assets, Lehning argues that sleek France has partially outlined itself as diversified from the peasantry. instead of seeing rural French background as a technique within which peasants lose their identities and turn into French, he perspectives it as an ongoing strategy of cultural touch during which either peasants and the French country negotiate their identities with regards to the opposite. The booklet indicates a brand new type of rural historical past that areas the nation-state in its nationwide context instead of in isolation.

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Peasants," he announces in the first chapter of his Revolution francaise, written just after the First World War, "were the beasts of burden" of the ancien regime, a metaphor that had already occurred to many Frenchmen. : Harvard University Press, 1975); Hutton, "Role of Memory," 62-65; and Fritz Ringer, Fields of Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 1992), esp. 174-175; 265-282. 47 Alphonse Aulard, Histoire politique de la Revolution francaise, 5th ed. (Paris: Colin, 1913), 16, 19, 25, 29. , 260, 375-77.

The stoically admirable characters in Les Paysans, especially the gamekeeper Michaud, drew their strength from their service in the army: they were certainly outsiders to rural society, but their origin, the Napoleonic army, made them different from other French men and women, such as Blondet or the vacuous countess. And if the defrocked Benedictine Rigou seems to have turned the ideals of the Revolution upside down in his pursuit of money and power, there is also a character such as the old Jacobin, Jean-Francois Niseron, whose "sublime" relationship to France made him "a part of France itself.

Kaplan, Bread, Politics and Political Economy in the Reign of Louis XV (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1976), vol. 1: 31-32; Moheau, Recherches et considerations sur la population de la France (Paris: Geuthner, 1912), 58-59; L. , 1766). 2 Marie-Noelle Bourguet, Dechiffrer la France (Paris: Archives contemporaines, 1988), esp. 123, 208, 295. 35 36 Peasant and French the countryside as different is that they were linked to the rest of society by a market for agricultural goods, by streams of migration that brought country dwellers into the cities, or, as was increasingly the case in official Enquetes, by a state that aimed, by its actions, to bring a disparate peasantry into a unified nation.

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