Revolution and Environment in Southern France, 1780-1830: Peasants, Lords, and Murder in the Corbières
In the forty years after the Revolution of 1789, the peasants and former seigneurs of the isolated and arid region of the Corbieres, Languedoc, fought a protracted battle over the consequences of revolutionary change. Central to this conflict was control of the rough hillsides or garriguesused as sheep pastures, which the poorer peasantry seized and cleared. This social conflict culminated in the murder of two nobles by a band of villagers in the aftermath of the Revolution of 1830. Professor McPhee's book highlights two significant new perspectives on the Revolution of 1789. First, the actions of poorer peasants in massive land-clearance occasioned an impassioned debate about the environmental consequences of uncontrolled tree-felling. Secondly, much of the cleared land wasused for vineyards, suggesting the importance of far-reaching changes initiated by the poorest sections of the community.
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