Birth and Death
The demographic history of France is very revealing not only about the attitudes of individuals towards the most basic facts of life and the status of the family, but also about the clash between their interests and the nationalist aspirations of the politicians. This conflict and the contrast between the ambitions of different sections of the community, and the way they could ignore each other, makes the problems of population much more than an exercise in statistics. The reasons why Frenchmen had small families but also deplored them are worth investigating. This chapter shows that the relationship between attitudes to death and behaviour in life, if it is ever worked out with greater precision, is unlikely to be a simple one, which can be stated by reference to a single, or even a few, social variables. It suggests, as do also the statistics on population and family, that several fundamentally opposed forms of behaviour coexisted. France was not all one in the way it tackled birth, death, or anything else.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.