Napoleon Bonaparte built his career and maintained his empire with soldiers at his back. Often, the fate of the France seemed to hinge on his military success, but that did not mean every man in the country was eager to join the fight. In this episode, Christine looks at some of the ways men avoided serving in Napoleon's army.
G. Balfour, “The Constitution, Composition, and Recruiting of the French Army”, Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, 11 (1868), pp. 569-588.
Harold D. Blanton, “Conscription in France During the Era of Napoleon”, in Conscription in the Napoleonic Era: A Revolution in Military Affairs?, Donald Stoker, Frederick C. Schneid, Harold D. Blanton, Eds., Routledge, (2009).
Alan Forrest, Conscripts and Deserters: The Army and French Society During the Revolution and Empire, Oxford University Press, (1989).
Brian Joseph Martin, Napoleonic Friendship: Military Fraternity, Intimacy & Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century France, University of New Hampshire Press, (2011).
Isser Woloch, “Napoleonic Conscription: State Power and Civil Society”, Past & Present, 111 (May 1986), pp. 101-129.
Adieux de Napoléon à son armée (Fontainebleau 20 avril 1814) via Gallica, Bibliothèque nationale de France.
This episode is part of our Revolutionary France Series
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)