Search publications, data, projects and authors
Peasant life and protestantism in the 16th century “Middle Poitou” at the Revolution





Thèse are some conclusions from a thesis mainly upheld by a study of the fiscal and judiciary archives of the Saint-Maixent «élection». At that time, the Plain of Niort and the Bocage of Melle made up « Protestant Moyen-Poitou», an original agrarian and sociological unit, mainly in comparison with neighbouring and still Catholic Gâtine. Hère, regular Clergy, Nobility and prin- cipally Urban Middle Class shared the lands of farms and crofts, giving very little space to Peasantry landed property. Yet, in the XVIIIth Century, share - croppers' liquid assets had been growing, on account of the exports of their wheat and the famous «mules of Poitou». Such a System of complex and long range exchanges, in addition to the nearness of La Rochelle, could have played a great part in the unusual openness of this land to modem views. With a large majority of country people, decimated as early as 1681 by the « Dragonnades», local Protestantism still survived, owing to «Désert» meetings, which had a large following, in spite of a brutal and enduring repression. From ail that resulted a new ruling class, that of rich farmers and millers, who will be among the future acquirers of « National properties » , while finally triumphant Protestantism was taking on the hue of « enlightenment philosophy », thus preparing the massive and lasting adhérence to Republican views, in 1792.

Report a bug

Under construction

We're in Beta!

The GoTriple platform is still in Beta and we keep adding new features everyday. Check the project's website to see what's new and subscribe to our Mailing List.