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L'État éducateur politique dans les campagnes du dix-neuvième siècle

Lectures franco-méditerranéennes d'Eugen Weber

Gilles Pécout

This article explores the role of the state as a vector of political acculturation in the French and Euro-Mediterranean countryside in the nineteenth century. It begins with a consideration of the importance of the reciprocal images of peasants and elites. It goes on to discuss how the terms "modernization" and "modernity" have been called into question, largely on account of how historians have deployed arguments originating in the disciplines of economics and anthropology. Finally, it examines how the debate about the role of the state in rural politicization, based on readings of Eugen Weber's classic book, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France (1870-1914), goes beyond the simple question of the efficiency of the administration and opens up a wider inquiry into the virtual integration of people into the state and the role of rural elites in mediating between the local and the national.