The introduction sets out the contexts for understanding the early modern French state's decision to intervene proactively in its subjects' reproductive lives. It defines pronatalism, a terms that refers to policies intended that promote both population growth and the extension of the gendered identities associated with procreation and childrearing. The adoption of pronatalist policies in early modern France coincides with some of the earliest statistical evidence for the practice of contraception; both contraception and pronatalism demonstrate the spread of attitudes accepting human intervention to shape fertility. Pronatalist policy also extended the early modern French state's growing interest in regulating the domain of marriage and family.
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