Les femmes, épouses et mères de citoyens
De la famille comme catégorie politique dans la construction de la citoyenneté (1789-1848)

Abstract : When seeking to place women in a political context in the first half of the 19th Century, the reply appears self-evident : denied the right to vote, they are excluded from the revolutionary, universal and individual citizenship as defined from 1789 onwards. The fact their exclusion, an objective truth, does not take into account their political situation as viewed during this period (from 1789 to 1848). Few historians or sociologists have considered the manner in which the electoral « cens » (taxpaying status confering voting rights) of electors was calculated : it is presumed to be on an individual basis, that is on the basis of the sole property of the citizen in question. Since, not only does the citizen if he is married, pay the contributions in the name of the common household, but he can also, according to the laws passed from 1802 to 1831 inclusive, include the contributions of other members of the family event if theyr are male and of legal age. The fact that during this period, the family was condidered as a political unit brings us to reconsider people's situation, which cannot be grasped through a singular approach in terms of « voters » and « non voters ». it is as members of the family that women remain outside political participation. It is as « pater familias » that the citizen is vested whith the individual right to vote in the name of the entire Nation. Only by working on the implicit categories of political construction does a « familialistic » concept of suffrage emerge, a characteristic of the entire revolutionary period (1789-1848). It is therefore beyond the resolution of the so called « problem » of the exclusion of women, that we also find our current modified concept of the revolutionary political individual to be further evolved than once thought.
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00003786, version 2

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Anne Verjus. Les femmes, épouses et mères de citoyens
De la famille comme catégorie politique dans la construction de la citoyenneté (1789-1848). Science politique. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), 1997. Français. ⟨NNT : 1997EHES0066⟩. ⟨halshs-00003786v2⟩

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