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Confiscating the common good

Small towns and religious politics in the French Revolution

By Edward Woell

Confiscating the common good
Hardcover

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5913-7
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: August 2022
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, French Revolution, History, Modern History, Revolutions, uprisings, rebellions, RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State, HISTORY / Revolutionary, HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century, HISTORY / Europe / France, Humanities / Religion & politics, France
  • Series: Studies in Modern French and Francophone History

Description

Comprising five microhistories, this book proposes that the French Revolution's religious politics in small towns weakened democratic society to such an extent that it precluded political democracy. It details two revolutionary dynamics that damaged the civic life of small towns: social polarisation and the loss of local institutions that had been a source of social capital as well as a common good. Detailed narratives about Pont-à-Mousson, Gournay-en-Bray, Vienne, Haguenau and Is-sur-Tille also reveal that contrary to the view upheld by many scholars, small-town religious politics extended far beyond the pivotal Ecclesiastical Oath of 1791. Other developments - the nationalisation of Church property, the dissolution of religious orders, and the elimination of bishoprics, chapters, parishes and collegial churches - also adversely affected the wellbeing of these small urban communities not only in the Revolution but also in the two centuries that followed.

Contents

Introduction
1 Hidden in plain sight
2 A new story
3 Two tribes
4 Out of many, one
5 Myth and realpolitik
6 A forgotten fight
Conclusion
Index

Author

Edward J. Woell is Professor of History at Western Illinois University

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