War-Widows Pensions: Social Policy in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France

TitleWar-Widows Pensions: Social Policy in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1976
AuthorsWoloch, Isser
Date Published1976

This article explores the issue of war-widows pensions in the era of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815), an issue that did not get much attention until the publication of this article (and afterwards too). Because of the large size of the French army after the introduction of the levée en masse in 1793, when able-bodied men aged 18 to 25 were conscripted, and in 1798 the introduction of universal conscription for all able-bodied men in higher age groups by the "Jourdan Law" with exceptions and replacements, the number of soldiers in the French army increased dramatically. This led also to higher rates of soldiers who died in battle or because of illness, the major cause of soldiers' death.

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