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Catholic Royalism in the Department of the Gard 1814-1852 by Brian Fitzpatrick

By Brian Fitzpatrick

The Gard in southern France was once the scene of intensive bloodshed in 1790, while rivals of the Revolution attempted unsuccessfully to avoid swap, and back in 1815, once they sought revenge via a delicately ready White Terror. The revolutions of 1830 and 1848 additionally provoked violent clash within the Gard, or even whilst the dep. looked as if it would get pleasure from tranquillity, political and social kinfolk there have been soured by way of intimidation and worry. This learn indicates how the royalist counter-revolutionaries have been capable of polarise opinion via emphasising the Protestantism in their competitors. Anti-Protestant sentiment, accentuated by means of the organization of Protestants with the political and fiscal associations of the Revolution and Empire, produced a counter-revolutionary stream during which neighborhood concerns predominated. The Catholic royalist leaders' ambition to accomplish greatest autonomy for his or her specific royaume du Midi introduced them into clash not just with valuable executive but in addition with their proclaimed loyalty to the Bourbons.

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D. Ligou, 'L'Eglise reformee du desert, fait economique et social', Rev. d'Hist. icon, et soc. (1954), 146-67. The department of the Gard 17 cases, these nouveaux convertis, as the Catholics called them, made no more than an outward conversion, continuing to have their children baptised and even married secretly by a fugitive pastor. 61 Besides, the intensity of persecution varied from place to place and with different provincial intendants. Often, nothing more than a formal observance of Catholic requirements was demanded - the Nimes Protestants, for example, had their own pastors and held their services discreetly throughout the entire period of persecution.

Hood, 'Protestant-Catholic relations and the roots of the first popular counterrevolutionary movement in France', Journal ofMod. , 43 (1971), 245-75; a n d 'Permanence des conflits traditionnels sous la Revolution: l'exemple du Gard', Rev. d'Hist. mod. , 24 (1977), 602-40. 243-53; P- Joutard, La legende des camisards: une sensibilite au passe. 20 Catholic royalism in the Gard features determined to a large extent its future growth, Nimes expanded to the east, south and west, forming an inverted triangle between the Tour Magne and the Temple of Diana in the north east, the Porte d'Auguste in the east, and the arena in the south.

To the south west of Nimes, the Vaunage, comprising the cantons of Sommieres and Vauvert, was called 'le petit Canaan' because of its fertility by the Protestants who made up almost 70 per cent of its population. To the north of Nimes, the valley of the Gard river, known as the Gardonenque, was primarily a Protestant stronghold embracing the cantons of Vezenobres (73 per cent Protestant), Ledignan (78 per cent) and Saint-Chaptes (51 per cent). The roads leading north west from Nimes passed through the very heartland of southern Protestantism.

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