The first local history of Napoleonic France to appear in the English language, Inside Napoleonic France: State and Society in Rouen, 1800-1815 redresses the traditional neglect of regional history during this period. Relying on extensive French archival sources, Gavin Daly sets out to investigate the nature of the Napoleonic state and its short and longer-term impact upon local society. Specifically, it examines the question of state power and its implementation and reception at a local level, the relationship between central government and the regions, the social and economic impact of war and how the Napoleonic regime addressed Rouen's revolutionary past. Having carefully studied these issues, Daly argues that despite an unprecedented degree of social control, the Napoleonic state was not all-powerful, and that the central government's power was tempered by local considerations. It is this interaction between the representatives of central government and the regional elites which provides the central focus of the book.
'It is high time someone wrote a book like this. Gavin Daly's title is apt, and the ground he has chosen to cover is essential territory to those who wish to grasp the essence of the Napoleonic regime…. His choice of subject is to be applauded…. a mine of useful information and insight into an aspect of the period badly in need of such solid, direct research…. Gavin Daly has broken important new gound and given students of the Napoleonic period many important insights along the way.' H-France 'It is refreshing to read a book on Napoleonic France that presents a mass of unfamiliar information and fresh insights….those who wish to understand the inner workings of the regime will find much of value… written in clear, largely jargon-free academic prose… extensive and thorough… well worth its publication cost for its unique look at Napoleon's France.' The Napoleon Series website 'Napoleonic France has always been something of a poor relation of the revolutionary France in terms of the attention paid it by historians. All contributions to its historiography are therefore welcome, but this is especially so of those of the quality of this work by Gavin Daly.' History
Contents: Introduction; City on the Seine: Rouen in 1800; The Prefectoral administration; Law and order: the war on brigandage; The Concordat; The Rouen notables; The plight of maritime commerce; The statistical culture of the empire; The Rouen cotton industry; The problem of subsistence; Conscription; Public opinion from Brumaire to the Hundred Days; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.