Research Grants 2001


  • Walter BRUYERE-OSTELLS: Les officiers de la Grande Armée dans les mouvements nationaux et libéraux (“The officers of the Grande Armée in French nationalist and liberal movements”)
    Supervisor: Professeur Jacques-Olivier Boudon,
    University of Rouen

    This thesis aims to research the action post-1815 of a not insignificant number of officers who served in the Grande Armée. I shall attempt to measure not only their considerable military influence but also their political influence. The roles of men such as Fabvier in Greece and Spain, the travels of Persat from America to Spain are well known. But their actions are only ever cited in an anecdotal way or simply to illustrated their supposed Bonapartism. I hope to reconsider these men as a group. Hence, I shall first of all draw up a list of the officers concerned. A selection has already been prepared for the Spanish revolution of 1820-23 for a DEA, as has also been done for about 150 French or other officers, the identity of about 100 of whom is known. I shall attempt to draw a complete sociological portrait of those officers who decided to rebel against the system set up by the Holy Alliance. I shall also be trying to discover how officers managed to get into activist circles.

    Partial research has thrown up major problematic results. Initial sociological statistics seem to imply a generational problem. There is one generation of officers who knew all the wars of the Empire and who were convinced that they were spreading the values of the Revolution, notably national and liberal ideals. For them, their life’s work was destroyed by the reaction of 1815. Another generation, which grew up during the Revolution, went to war during the last years of the Empire and saw Napoleon as the last territorial rampart and defender of the heritage of the Revolution. The peace and favour towards the nobles of the Ancien Régime destroyed their hopes for social advancement. My work in this respect will complete and bring up to date the work of J. Vidalenc on the Demi-solde officers and complete or nuance his analyses.

    The most significant point of agreement between these two generations is their perception of the Grande Armée as the symbol of the triumph in Europe of the ideals of 1789. Both generations vouchsafed very patriotic and almost nationalistic sentiments. It would seem that this attitude develops amongst this category of officer very early on with respect to the rest of the population. Is it possible to talk of Chauvinism or nationalism given that certain declarations already bear very marked Barrésian features. For the French, this ‘nationalism’ covers political opinions ranging from Republicans, to Bonapartists and Orleanists. In this respect, one of the principal aims of this study will be to confirm the hypothesis which seems to be emerging from this initial stage, namely the almost complete indifference amongst a majority of officers regarding the Bonaparte and Orléan dynasties up to 1830. For them, the most important feature was that the prince should be a guarantor of the heritage of the Revolution.

    The networks which organised their actions have been subject to all sort of speculations and historiographical excesses. In fact, the Charbonerie/Carbonari movements, sometimes over-, sometimes underestimated, are almost always mentioned in terms of Italian insurrections and French conspiracies. And yet, their actions were always aimed towards some sort of European coordination. It is interesting to consider the example of Colonel Fabvier, whose membership of the Comité Directeur has never been doubted and whose archives held in Nancy are now accessible. He was quite capable, after failing to stop the army of the Duc d’Angoulême, of guiding Noël Nantil by letter in order that he should lead a body of carbonari during agitation at the garrisons in the Lorraine, whilst he himself was preparing a landing in Brittany begun in London. The role of certain Masonic lodges was also not insignificant, pushing ex-officers to join the insurgents. How many officers implicated in liberal movements belonged to carbonari movements or free-masonry?

    Thus when complete, this thesis will make it possible to paint a detailed socio-political picture of the officers engaged in liberal and national movements. It is already clear that a good reputation dating from the Napoleonic period was of primordial importance for being well received in these networks. It is also well known that a large majority of these men began plotting in their own country before becoming involved in the the nationalist and liberal movements in other countries. One of my main studies will be to define the political currents defined (wildly) as ‘galvaudées’: is it possible to distinguish a Bonapartist from a Orleanist before 1830?

  • Jean-François DELOUSTAL: La centralisation napoléonienne en Lozère sous le Consulat et l’Empire, (“Napoleonic centralisation in the Lozère during the Consulate and the First Empire”)
    Supervisor: Professeur Jean Tulard
    Université de Paris IV – Sorbonne

    This study aims to give a picture of the effects and spirit of Napoleonic centralisation in the Lozère during the Consulate and the Empire. For such a topic, study of the administration is essential. I aim to centre my research on secondary administration and to consider all the departmental administrators. No other work of this sort exists. And yet the role of the administration is of primary importance for the Consulate and Empire periods; the administration is in fact the interface between the population and those in power. To begin I shall consider in detail the personalities and roles of these new administrators, as well as the new administrative structures. The Consulate marked the beginning of modern administration in France. The roles of the préfet, the Conseils général and Conseils de préfecture, and then the Sous-préfet and the Conseil d’arrondissement, and finally the mayor and the Lozère conseil municipal needs to be studied. The results will show that there is a great discrepancy between legislative theory and adminiostrative practice.

    Despite the fact that the texts were restrictive and the structures heavy, the actors were not unduly weighed down by the system. Furthermore, they were all carefully chosen by Napoleon and his henchmen. The files currently held at the Archives Nationales reveal the administrative history, the administrative style of the préfets, sous-préfets and conseillers généraux. Some men became permanent in their posts. And notables take an ever greater part in the administration.

    The introduction of a new administration and new institutions is perhaps more important in the Lozère than elsewhere and should be studied. The appointments of locals and their duties pose almost insurmountable problems. By reading systematically their correspondence it will be possible to get a better view of their relations, their partners, their roles and daily duties, most notably in the domains of finances, agriculture, industry.

    The maintenance of law and order will be an important part of my study. Those in charge of public security are well known. And they were of great importance during these periods of brigandage, rebellion and desertion. The Archives judiciaires give a very clear picture of the typical crimes and misdemeanours committed in this rural department. As for the justice system, there are too the foundations for a new method of organisation (which will survive) are laid.

    Propaganda and surveillance played a major role in the political life of the Empire. The modern police state was created. Even in the darkest corners of the Lozère, information circulated and the actions of the ‘New Cyrus’ were known to all. It would be interesting to study the impact of the newspapers and the action of the administrators vis-à-vis the people. The results of the referenda could be analysed in the same way.

    Finally my work will consider Lozère society. Medical services almost completely ceased to exist with the sale of ‘biens nationaux’ and the suppression of many religious orders. It would be interesting to get a view of the people in these establishments, their living conditions, how they ran their affairs. Religion was one of the pillars of life in this very pious and ritualistic department. The Concordat completely changed the lives of the inhabitants of the Lozère. It put an end to the confusion and division between Catholics, Protestants, refractories and non-jurors.

    Conscription was of central importance in the Lozère, particularly in the Marvejols arrondissement. Those who were called up were sacked from their jobs. It would be very in interesting to analyse the visceral rejection of conscription and the arsenal established to attempt to deal with those who refused to obey and those who deserted.

    The aim of this work is to study more closely and in greater depth all the aspects of administration and the administrators of a little studied department and to consider the problem of centralisation. To do this I will have to compare my study of the Lozère with studies of other departments.

  • Jean-Marc LAFON: Guérilla et contre-guérilla en Espagne, 1808-1814 (“Guerrilla and Counter-Guerilla in Spain, 1808-1814”)
    Supervisor: Professeur Jules Maurin
    Université de Montpellier IIIC

    Completely unlike N-E Spain, which is very well known, Andalusia has still not received a detailed treatment, one which would explain its paradoxical attitude during the Peninsula war. In 1808, faced with Dupont, their rejection seemed almost visceral. I shall be considering the exacerbated violence, the first guerilla appearances in a chaotic situation, and the role of the Seville Junta as leader of the insurrection which took advantage of the repercussions of Baylen.But in 1810, the whole of the province (except Cadiz) was defeated in less than 15 days. And despite a unfavourable geopolitical environment (British and Spanish troops in Portugal, Murcia), there is a great deal of evidence pointing to the area’s peaceful situation: high payment of taxes, collaboration of the elite and the formation of local auxiliary troops.

    The aim of this thesis is to explain this situation, analysing the coalition of interests in 1808 so as to show:
    a) their ephemeral character,
    b) Soult’s voluntary and coherent counter-insurrection policy, unrelated as it was to the directives from Napoleon and Joseph,
    c) and the rallying of the rump of society.
    d) And finally to paint a picture of occupied Andalusia.

    With this in mind, I have created a database of about sixty French, Spanish, and British eyewitness accounts and more than 300 reviews of books and documents found in French and Spanish archives.

  • Elodie LERNER: Gérard, peintre d’histoire (“Gérard, History painter”)
    Supervisor: Professeur Bruno Foucart
    Université de Paris IV – Sorbonne

    François-Pascal-Simon Gérard lived in historically charged times. Born in Paris in 1770, the painter died in the same town in 1837. He presented his first painting to the public at the dawn of the Revolution (Joseph reconnu par ses frères, (Joseph recognised by his brothers) 1789) and he finished his last during the reign of Louis-Philippe. For Gérard, who had then reached the zenith of his powers, the First Empire marked the beginning of his official recognition.Gérard has recently received the attention of two scholarly studies. Both focus only on part of his work, his portraits. But portraiture was only one of the genres in which Gérard indulged. He dedicated a great deal of time and energy to history painting. Furthermore, Gérard was reputed by his contemporaries (as the art Salon reviews testify) not as a portrait painter but as a history painter, indeed one of the masters of the genre. He was a key figure in the art world of his day, he greatly influenced his entourage, and he became considered a model to be followed, as a result of his history paintings, themselves often the highlights of the salons at which they appeared.

    Gérard’s work needs to be seen in a different light. The existing judgements which deal with the subject, themselves rare and all too brief, are often uncompromising and contradictory: either he is seen as simply a follower of David’s, or the opposite, Gérard is considered as a precursor of Romanticism and as a bold innovator. And yet, Gérard was independent of his master and developed his own style. Gérard’s originality appears to be the fact that he was able to use his canvasses to create powerful images which remained in people’s memories. He had a gift for choosing the key moment in a text or event, to reproduce it and it to give it an air of poetry.

    A second area of research will be Gérard’s links with the regimes, particularly in the light of the great commissions for history paintings made during the Empire and the Restoration.

    A third area of research will be the diversity of the history paintings executed by Gérard. Gérard did not limit himself to the sub-category ‘battle’ within this genre – he also painted religious scenes.

    A fourth approach will be to analyse his artistic procedures. Did he paint in the academic style? Are there thematic and stylistic links between his portraits, his landscape sketches, his book illustrations and his history painting?

    Finally, I shall study Gérard’s success vis-à-vis his contemporaries and successors. Even though he never had pupils, Gérard would appear to have had a large influence upon the contemporary arts because his historical works were widely distributed in engravings and very often copied onto cloth or porcelain.

  • Jérôme MERCERON: Les fils Jacob, 1796-1847 (“The Jacob sons, 1796-1847”)
    Supervisors: Professeur Bruno Foucart and Bill Pallot
    Université de Paris IV – Sorbonne

    This study takes as its subject the descendants of Georges Jacob (two generations), one of the most famous Paris-based cabinet makers of the second half of the 18th century. His sons played an essential role in the creation of his early 19-century furniture. Georges Jacob retired from his business in 1796; he ceded his shop and rented his workshop to two of his sons, Georges II and François-Honoré-Georges. From this date, the two brothers worked as Jacob Frères. The former died suddenly in 1803.

    The second, François-Honoré-Georges was born in Paris on 6 February, 1770. In April 1798 he married Adélaïde-Anne Lignereux, who gave him five childen: Georges-Alphonse and four daughters. Better known under the name Jacob-Desmalter, having added the patronymic of a family property in Burgundy, he went into partnership with his father after the death of his brother. Despite significant commissions, he was forever in financial straits. He died on 15 August, 1841, after having sold his shop to his son in 1824, against a yearly lease.

    Georges-Alphonse, was born on 15 February, 1799 in Paris. A pupil of his father’s, he took over the management of the firm on 1 January, 1825. He died on 7 June, 1870 in Paris after having sold his business to Jeanselme.

    This study will begin at the key moment when business took an upturn after the Revolutionary troubles, and when the favour which the Jacob brothers enjoyed from the Bonapartes gave a new order of things to their business. It will be largely monographic.
    It is surprising that such great names have not incited more specific academic interest. The only relevant work – by Hector Lefuel, a descendant of the Jacob family – is a biography of François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, published in 1925. This work however needs to brought up to date, through work in the Minutier Central des Notaires at the Paris Archives Nationales, and through study of unpublished documents in an attempt to reconstruct the life of the man, his work and his entourage. I shall also create the most exhaustive catalogue possible of work by the Jacob family, from 1796 to 1847.


Emmanuelle PAPOT: L’Académie Impériale de Médecine sous le Second Empire (“The Académie Impériale de Médecine during the Second Empire”)
Supervisor: Professeur Danielle Gourevitch
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Is there a more noble State project than that of encouraging progress? Or a more noble design than to improve the lot of a nation and its people? Very early on, Napoléon III tried to give his contemporaries acceptable living conditions, tried to a solve public health problems and attempted to drive a policy whose watchword was ‘Hygiene for all’. Public health became one of the Emperor’s key interests. The Second Empire took great interest in medical matters. “Modern medicine” and surgery advanced with great strides. Doctors began to have time enough to do research. Key centres of interest were the control of pain and infection, notably the three As, anaesthetics, asepsis and antisepsis.
Of the official organisations providing forums for discussion (indispensable for the general acceptance of ideas), the Académie de médecine played a key, if little-known, role. At the beginning of the 1850s, the Académie had hardly changed from that created thirty years earlier by an ordnance of 20 December, 1820. In order to perform its functions appropriately it needed a suitable site and strict organisation. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow the Académie to be fixed in one place, thus hampering the development of the organisation.
The Académie met regularly, following a strict protocol. It would seem that membership of the 150-strong body was highly sought after (despite the lack of any remuneration) and a sign of high prestige and recognition in the scientific and medical world. Membership was for life and election only took place on the death of an existing member.

After having undertaking a full description of the Académie de médecine, I shall study the Académie and its ideas, with the aim of discovering whether it was a platform for innovation or rather a dogmatic body closed in on itself.
Was there a defined policy pursued by the Académie during the Second Empire or can the work of the body be divided up into different phases related to the system of academic thought? Did the Académie wield a certain moral influence in the scientific and medical world? What were the key questions which principally interested the Académie? I shall attempt to shed light on these questions using the example of the discoveries and quarrels in which the eminent practitioners in various fields took part.

I shall then consider the Académie’s external relations. Firstly, what were its relations with other intellectual institutions, such as universities, hospital departments and, most importantly of all, the Académie des sciences, whose role was to establish links between the scientists working in similar areas? After that I shall consider the Académie’s relations with the scientific world in general, both in France and abroad, and compare it with similar organisations in those countries?

Lastly, I shall approach the problem of the Académie’s relations with the regime, the state and the emperor. Did the Academy receive advice, directives, or assistance? Were relations continuous, irregular or unequal? Did the state have a say, and if so in what way?