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Police StoriesBuilding the French State, 1815-1851$
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John Merriman

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195072532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195072532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

The System

The System

(p.14) 1 The System
Police Stories

John Merriman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the history of the municipal police in France through the French Revolution and the Napoleonic period. It shows how the Revolution accentuated the construction of an urban hierarchy in France based on population, but also influenced by urban functions (such as market towns and administrative centers), and how this influenced the establishment of commissaires de police in municipalities with at least 5,000 inhabitants (and in some special cases, fewer). It also describes conditions of work, the question of whether it was best to have someone from the town or an “outsider” as a policeman, and the role of agents — police assistants — and secret agents (mouchards), as well as, in larger cities, the nomination of senior commissaires centrals.

Keywords:   lieutenant-général, urban hierarchy, market town, administrative center, commissaire de police, commissaire central, agent, secret agent, mouchard

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