March 1, 1789: Parish Cahiers of Écommoy and Mansigné

  • Paul H. Beik
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


To read even a few cahiers is to enter a world of labyrinthine complexity and variety, much of which was to be swept away by the revolution, to be remembered with hostility or affection and named the old regime as soon as awareness of change caught up with events. The cahiers suggest this world, and although they do not tell everything about it they remain one of the most comprehensive sets of observations ever collected about any society. The difficulty lies in making use of these sources, which reflect in variety the world that produced them. One can read and read, accumulating impressions, or await the results of computerized questioning; but meanwhile a particular cahier, like any document, can provide the satisfaction of knowing that this much, at least, existed.


Paris Basin Electoral District Estate General Chief Town Essential Necessity 
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© Paul H. Beik 1970

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  • Paul H. Beik

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