Ceding to the Circumstances: State Institutions, Civil Society, and Running the Schools in Maine-et-Loire, 1815-1875 Open Access

Gavorsky, Scott Allen (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zk51vh51p?locale=en



Ceding to the Circumstances:
State Institutions, Civil Society, and Running the Schools in
Maine-et-Loire, 1815-1875
By Scott A. Gavorsky

In the nineteenth century, public schools transformed how French citizens understood the
relationship between the individual, local authorities, and the nation-state--but not just
through classroom lessons. Through an analysis of primary education development in the
western department of Maine-et-Loire between the Bourbon Restoration (1815) and the
solidification of the Third Republic (1875), this dissertation argues that debates over
funding, operating and monitoring primary schools became a field to negotiate and
delineate local and national values and responsibilities, ultimately structuring attitudes
and policies towards public institutions and collective ideals of citizenship. Rather than
the still-influential state-centric model of development in the 1870s exemplified by
Eugen Weber's Peasants into Frenchmen, functional school systems were developed
locally by municipal authorities and an active education-oriented civil society starting in
1816. This educational civil society comprised a range of non-state actors, from
individuals leaving endowments to subscription-based organizations promoting specific
pedagogies to parish councils (fabriques). Although state interest increased following the
Guizot Law of 1833, educational civil society continued to work closely with communes
to expand primary education. By the 1850s, however, the relationship between the
communes, educational civil society (especially Catholic organizations), and an
increasingly powerful state education bureaucracy had resulted in open competition
between the providers of primary education. This competition forced new debates on the
roles and responsibilities of communes, local civil society, and the state. The culmination
was a political culture that privileged a direct relationship between the local community
and a national body--either the state or the Catholic Church--that provided vital
resources and direction. The institutional result was the emergence of a preference for
centralized national systems by the mid-1870s. The trade-off was that local civil society
became merely a pressure group to support education policy determined elsewhere--a
retreat from local praxis in favor of national politics.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Historiography of French Primary Education 5
Educational civil society: Between Sociabilité and Democracy 11
Educational civil society in the Ancien Régime and the Revolution 15
Maine-et-Loire as a Case Study 17
History of Maine-et-Loire 22
Structure of the Study 29
Sources 29

Chapter One: The Development of Primary Schooling in Maine-et-Loire 36
The Early History of Primary Education in Maine-et-Loire 39
Education under the Restoration 41
The Explosion of Schooling and the Guizot Reaction 51
Falloux's Experiment: Liberté de l'enseignement and the Decline of Civil Society 57
The (re)Development of Primary Education 63
Conclusion 69

Chapter Two: Not-So-Silent Partners: Educational Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century France 71
Educational civil society under French Law 73
Providing for Education: Congregations and Liberalités 77
Providing Education as Vocation: The Teaching Congregations 77
Individual Provision for Education: Dons et Legs 84
Owning and Providing Education 89
The Fabriques 89
Private Organizations 93
The Operation of the Private Organizations 102
The Question of Toleration: Civil Society without a Right of Association 104
Relationships between Components of Civil Society 104
Relationships with Authorities 108
Conclusion 113

Chapter Three: Building and Running Schools in Maine-et-Loire 116
Cholet 119
The opening of the école mutuelle de Cholet 121
Arguments Against Education: Opening Catholic Schools in Cholet 125
Opening Schools without Municipal Support 132
Beaufort-en-Vallée 138
The Re-Opening of the College and the First Primary School 139
Education Outside the College 141
The Shift to Catholic Education 147
Russé 150
Small Communes and Réunion 151
Russé's Efforts to Open a School 156
The opening of the école de Russé 160
Conclusion 164
The First Narrative: Popular Hostility to Primary Education 164
The Second Narrative: Inadequate Resources 166
The Growing Reliance on the State and its Limitations 167

Chapter Four: L'État comme propriétaire? Owning the Schools in Maine-et-Loire 169
The Legal Environment: Schools as a Form of Property 172
The Legacy of the February Ordinance 173
The Intertwining of Private and Public: Establishing the Schools in Angers 181
The Suppression of the école mutuelle 187
Curtailing Private Ownership: The State Building Schools 195
The Power of the Purse and the Selection of Teachers 201
State Oversight and Inspection Régimes 204
Conclusion 210

Chapter Five: Alternatives to the State-- Liberalités, Dons et Legs 212
The Return of Private Charity after the Revolution 216
The Établissements d'utilité publique 220
The mutuellistes and charity 223
Growing Concerns: The Rejection of the Association 227
Curtailing Private Charity: The Fabriques 233
Why Fabriques? 234
Vieil-Baugé and the Legs Langotière 235
Conclusion: Education as the Property of the State 239

Chapter Six: Pedagogies of Primary Education 242
Pedagogical Effervescence: The Pedagogies of Primary Education 244
The Frères and Mode Simultané 248
Enseignement Mutuel 254
Towards a French Method of Education 263
The Public Judges Education 267
The Education Pamphlet War 269
Inspecting the Schools 278
Local School Inspection Committees 279
Private School Inspection 283
The End of the Notables? 287
A New Professional Inspectorate 287
The Distribution des Prix 290

Chapter Seven: The Decline and Rise of Civil Society 294
Educational Civil Society and the New Generation 295
The Society Sells Its Schools 299
Mgr. Freppel and the Oeuvre des Écoles Chrétiennes 302
The Ligue d'Enseignement and the Oeuvre pour les Frères 305
Towards A Real State Monopoly 308
The New Republican Governments 308
The Final Separation of Church and State 312
Conclusion: Blockheads and Hearts of Gold 314

Bibliography 318
Public and Private Archival Collections 318
Published Primary Documents 319
Document Collections 322
Secondary Sources 322

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