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Les cantaliens et la conscription : du refus militaire à l'insertion nationale, 1789-1852

Jean-Pierre Serre


From the Ancien Régime to the early 1840s, the department of Cantal rejected the different schemes of military recruitment. The forms and the intensity of this failure varied, depending on the war and on the peace, but the essence of this opposition was permanent. Then, one can set a double problem: what was the meaning of such a constant historical phenomenon? And why did it evolve under Louis-Philippe? As usual, the forms of this resistance were socially differentiated. It relied on a family and village resistance, where violence remained the ultimate argument against the hold of the state. Two explanations are then possible. The first one focuses on political factors, in particular during the revolution and the Empire. The second insists on economic aspects, with extreme poverty and emigration which resulted from it. The fact that military recruitment was accepted in Cantal by 1840 points to the validity of this second explanation: it occurred at the same time as economic and political integration of the department in France of the July Monarchy.

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Index terms

Chronologique :

XIXe siècle
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Electronic reference

Jean-Pierre Serre, « Les cantaliens et la conscription : du refus militaire à l'insertion nationale, 1789-1852 », Cahiers d'histoire [Online], 46-1 | 2001, Online since , connection on 22 May 2018. URL :

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