The Abolition of Feudalism: Peasants, Lords, and Legislators in the French Revolution

By John Markoff | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
6

RHYTHMS OF CONTENTION

Peaks and Troughs

As a baseline for what follows, Figure 6.1 displays the overall ebb and flow of rural conflict from June 1788 through June 1793. Each point represents the total number of events in a one-month span. In addition to the number of events, it is often valuable to consider other facets of the intensity of conflict. I had no confidence in being able to assess the duration of more than a small minority of those cases that lasted beyond a day, themselves a minority of all events. The number of bailliages in which conflict took place over the course of a month was as easy to measure as the sheer number of incidents, and could serve to indicate the geographic range of conflict. The number of participants was rarely given very clearly but the number of parishes whose people joined the event was much more commonly indicated; one might think of this as a measure of size, Old Regime style, in which a corporate, rather than an individualistic, sense of representation prevailed. One might also hope to measure the destructiveness of particular events

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