La patrie en danger: The French Revolution and the First Levée en masse

TitleLa patrie en danger: The French Revolution and the First Levée en masse
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsForrest, Alan
EditorMoran, Daniel, and Arthur Waldron
Book TitleThe People in Arms: Military Myth and National Mobilization since the French Revolution
Pagination8-32
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge
Abstract

This book chapter on the French Revolution and the first levée en masse in the edited volume The People in Arms: Military Myth and National Mobilization since the French Revolution studies the introdcuction of the levee  on 12 August 1793 and its aftermath. After the first year of the French Revolutionary Wars that had started in April 1792, when not enough volunteers followed the call to arms to protect La Patrie, the revolutionary motherland, this first levée was introduced. The law conscripted all  able-bodied  men aged 18 to 25. It formed an integral part of the creation of national identity, making it distinct from forms of conscription which had existed before this date.  French men were called up as citizens of the state, citizenships rights and military service were closely linked in the rhetoric arounf the levee.  The  levée significantly increased the number of men in the French army, reaching a peak of about 1,500,000 in September 1794, although the actual fighting strength probably peaked at no more than 800,000.

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48951345

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