Winner of The David Pinkney Prize in French history of the Society for French Historical Studies
In the spring of 1789 the people of France, from peasants to nobles, assembled to write down their grievances in documents known as cahiers de doléances. Over forty thousand of these cahiers were produced. The French Revolution is the only such upheaval that began by generating such a systematic collection of what it was that people were complaining about. This book develops new methods of content analysis to permit the systematic analysis of these important texts. Particular chapters take up the most common grievances; the nature of consensus and conflict; the role of social mobility as a source of radicalism; the distinctiveness of attitudes toward religious questions in western France; the depiction of the King; the grievances of the peasants and the connection of peasant grievances and peasant insurrection.
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