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118 Such a vision was easily deployed by the many currents of anti-feminism that have littered France’s recent past,119 but it was also central to France’s dominant republican culture. As Michelle Perrot has written: ‘the creation of a universalist and individualist citizenship has placed women in an inescapable position . . 122 Here the view is that, if the Revolution initially opened up possibilities for the involvement of women in politics, these were quickly closed down, with women again being confined to a purely domestic role.

Article XIII, recognizing the injustice of the tax privileges of the nobility and the clergy, stipulated that taxation ‘should be equitably distributed among all the citizens in proportion to their means’. Equality, therefore, was to be achieved by and through the law, which itself was to embody equality through its generality and 1 Pierre-Louis Roederer, L’Esprit de la Révolution de 1789 (1831) and Germaine de Staël, Considérations sur la Révolution française (1983), 221. 2 Roederer, L’Esprit de la Révolution, 9.

First, the emphasis upon the political history of the Revolution is not incompatible with an awareness of the importance of cultural and social practices. 126 Political ideas and events, Rosanvallon stated, cannot be studied in isolation from the complex phenomena which make up a political culture. If this was true in general, it was especially the case in France where, according to Rosanvallon, politics ‘does not only have as its function the guaranteeing of liberties and the regulation of collective life, as is the case in England and the United States’.

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50 Fighters 1939-45 -Volume 1

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