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Peasants into Frenchmen?


Seminar questions:


  • What is Weber’s main argument in Peasants into Frenchmen?

  • What critiques have been levelled at his argument?

  • Did peasants become French between 1870 and 1914?


Core reading:

  • E Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen (1976), chapters 1 'A Country of Savages' and 12 'Roads, Roads, and Still More Roads' [ebook]

  • L Boswell, ‘Rethinking the Nation at the Periphery,’ French Politics, Culture, and Society 27:2 (Summer 2009), 111-26

  • Read a further item from the lists below.


Further reading:


Peasants into Frenchmen and its critics

  • E Weber Peasants into Frenchmen (1976)

  • J Lehning Peasant and French (1995)

  • T Margadant, ‘Tradition and Modernity in Rural France during the Nineteenth Century,’ Journal of Modern History 56:4 (1984), 667-97

  • T Margadant, ‘French Rural Society in the Nineteenth Century,’ Agricultural History 53:3 (1979), 644-51

  • C Tilly, ‘Did the Cake of Custom Break’ in J Merriman (ed) Consciousness and Class Experience in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1979), 17-41

  • Caroline Ford, ‘Peasants into Frenchmen Thirty Years After,’ French Politics, Culture, and Society 27:2 (Summer 2009), 84-93

  • S Gerson, ‘“A World of Their Own”: Searching for Popular Culture in the French Countryside,’ French Politics, Culture, and Society 27:2 (Summer 2009), 94-110
  • P Sahlins, ‘The Nation in the Village: State-Building and Communal Struggles in the Catalan Borderland during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries,’ The Journal of Modern History 60:2 (1988), 234-263

  • T Baycroft, ‘Peasants into Frenchmen? The case of the Flemish in the North of France,’ Review of European History 2/1 (1995)
  • G Robb, Discovery of France (2007)
  • R Price The Modernisation of Rural France (1983)


Peasant politics, society and culture before and after 1870

  • A Corbin The Village of the Cannibals (1992)

  • T Judt, Socialism in Provence (1979)

  • L Frader Peasants and Protest: Agricultural Workers , Politics and Unions in the Aude 1850-1914 (1991)
  • A Baker Fraternity amongst the French Peasantry: Sociability and Voluntary Association in the Loire Valley 1815-1914 (1999)
  • W Brustein, The Social Origins of Political Regionalism: France 1848-1981 (1988)
  • E Weber, ‘The Second Republic , Politics, and the Peasant,’ French Historical Studies 11:4 (1980), 521-550
  • E Berenson, Politics and the French peasantry: The Debate Continues,’ Social History 12:2 (1987) 213-29

  • P Sahlins, ‘Deep Play in the Forest: The War of the Demoiselles in the Ariège, 1829-31,’ in B Diefendorf and C Hesse (eds), Culture and Identity in Early Modern Europe (1993) 159-180

  • P Sahlins Forest Rites: The War of the Demoiselles (1994)

  • P Jones Politics and Rural Society in the Southern Massif Central (1985)

  • P McPhee The Politics of Rural Life 1846-52 (1992)

  • T Margadant French Peasants in Revolt : The Insurrection of 1851 (1979)

  • M Agulhon The Republic in the Village (1970)

  • J Merriman, ‘Radicalisation and Repression: A Study of the Demobilisation of the Democ-Soc’ during the

    Second French Republic ,’ in R Price, Revolution and Reaction (1975)
  • R Magraw, ‘P Joigneaux and Socialist Propaganda in the French Countryside1849-51’ French Historical Studies (1978)

  • E Berenson, Politics and the French peasantry: The Debate Continues,’ Social History 12:2 (1987) 213-29

  • M Lyons, 'What did Peasants Read? Written and Printed Culture in Rural France, 1815-1914,' European History Quarterly 27:2 (1997)

  • R Jonas Industry and Politics in Rural France: Peasants of the Isère 1870-1914 (1994)

  • A Moulin Peasantry and Society in France since 1789 (1991)

  • E Ackerman, ‘Alternative to Rural Exodus: The Development of the Commune of Bonnières-sur-Seine in the Nineteenth Century,’ French Historical Studies 10:1 (1977), 126-48