Brigands or insurgents

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Abstract—In December 1805 church bells ringing from village to village called to rebellion<br>the inhabitants of the mountainous region of the duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla.<br>Due to Administrator General Moreau de Saint-Méry’s ineffectiveness, the counter-insurgency<br>was conducted by civilian and military officers from the department of Genoa and the 28th<br>Military Division which had jurisdiction over the duchies. The military phase ended swiftly<br>with the complete defeat of the rebellion. However, seeking common ground on which to<br>build new institutions, French officials went to great length to minimize violent methods and<br>reach out to insurgents. In this process, the discourse of criminalization proved a versatile<br>tool, used simultaneously to justify massive law and order operations and to exonerate the<br>majority of the population. Such flexibility incurred Napoleon’s wrath; still, aiming for lastingstability, the officials in charge found ways to steer a relatively moderate course.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26
JournalFrench History
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015


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