The training of departments

The training of departments

  • Figurative frame of the territory of France divided into equal divisions between them ...

  • Map of France divided according to the plan proposed to the National Assembly ... September 29, 1789.

  • Boundaries between the departments of Caen and Evreux agreed by the deputies of Normandy

To close

Title: Figurative frame of the territory of France divided into equal divisions between them ...

Author :

Creation date : 1789

Date shown: September 29, 1789

Dimensions: Height 55.5 - Width 57.5

Technique and other indications: Engraving with color highlights, colored ink and handwritten caption

Storage place: Historic Center of the National Archives website

Contact copyright: © Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Picture reference: NN / 50/6

Figurative frame of the territory of France divided into equal divisions between them ...

© Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

To close

Title: Map of France divided according to the plan proposed to the National Assembly ... September 29, 1789.

Author :

Creation date : 1789

Date shown: September 29, 1789

Dimensions: Height 58 - Width 80

Technique and other indications: Note: The only 3 deposits for this card are at the Orléans stables by rue de Chartres, at the Club, and at Desenne bookseller at the Palais-Royal. "

Storage place: Historic Center of the National Archives website

Contact copyright: © Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Picture reference: NN // 57/1/2

Map of France divided according to the plan proposed to the National Assembly ... September 29, 1789.

© Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

To close

Title: Boundaries between the departments of Caen and Evreux agreed by the deputies of Normandy

Author :

Creation date : 1789

Date shown: December 21, 1789

Dimensions: Height 22.7 - Width 17.7

Technique and other indications: 21 December 1789 manuscript

Storage place: Historic Center of the National Archives website

Contact copyright: © Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Picture reference: D / IVbis / 1

Boundaries between the departments of Caen and Evreux agreed by the deputies of Normandy

© Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Publication date: October 2003

Video

The training of departments

Video

Historical context

The bases of the new administrative division

On various occasions in the eighteenth century, there had been talk of remedying the multiplicity of overlaps between the former territorial divisions of the kingdom. But it had not been possible to envisage a reform which did not upset the institutions.
After the night of August 4, 1789 and the abolition of the special privileges of the provinces, two ideas prevail: to divide the provinces with too strong and growing particularism, and to give the same territorial division to all public services and to the national representation.

Responsible for this reform work, the select committee of the Constitution Committee created in July 1789, of which Talleyrand, Sieyès, Le Chapelier and Rabaud Saint-Etienne belong, takes up the idea of ​​a geometric division like the American States , a process illustrated by the geographer Robert de Hesseln in 1780 by drawing up a map of France divided into 81 square “regions”, of approximately 18 leagues by 18 (72 km), themselves divided into 9 districts of 9 cantons each; thus each canton had 4 leagues on each side and an area such that, as Condorcet had wished, “in the space of a day, the citizens furthest from the center could go to the administrative center and treat there. business for several hours and return home ”.

Mirabeau pointed out the drawbacks of this artificial division, being for his part a supporter of 120 departments without intermediate subdivisions, "to bring the administration closer to men and things". The final number is set at 83, and a name given to each of the departments by the decree of February 26, 1790.

Image Analysis

How to register a new organization in space?

Made based on variations on the square, on the model of Hesseln and inscribed in a frame graduated in degrees of longitude and latitude, this map is an abstract figuration. Its geometric frame can help the deputies to think about the proportional (political) representation of the different regions, but the map does not in any way marry the “natural” data of the relief nor the communication routes, does not bear any subdivision likely to bring the administration of the citizens as desired by Condorcet, takes no account of the density of land use or the constraints of the relief (marshes, coastlines, mountains) which can translate into the economy and create differences in resources. While its handwritten title block is self-explanatory, the map is blank and only shows rivers, mountain ranges, light dotted provincial boundaries, and the locations of larger cities. Determined by Cassini and the greatest scientists of the time, the Paris Observatory meridian line is represented by dashes and crosses the country from north to south.

The Hennequin map, intended to show the influence of the new departments, juxtaposes colored areas to outline the outlines of future constituencies, not yet named or fixed. It also bears in ink the rough boundaries of the departments of Ile-de-France, with repentances and hastily hatched hypothetical lines, in particular the five departments which separate Ile-de-France from the north of the Burgundy. The final routes will be significantly different. The title of this working document of the Committees for the constitution and division of the territory is handwritten, we did not have time to engrave the final state of a question in full gestation, which arouses discussions, passions and soon many complaints.

The procedure of delimitation of the provinces was rather pragmatic thanks to the collaboration between the division committee and the deputies of each province, with sometimes rectifications where electoral concerns and quarrels had their part. The document on the boundaries between the departments of Evreux and Caen, dated December 21, 1789, the day before the decree on the division of the kingdom "into 75 to 85 departments", shows that the boundaries are already fixed, but that the departments are not are not yet named and sometimes bear the name of the former province, sometimes, as here, that of their main city.

Interpretation

Equality of the components of the nation

Real "working documents", these maps allow to approach the reflection and the imagination of the deputies of the first revolutionary assemblies, informed of the last scientific advances of their time, curious of progress, dreaming of a just administration and equality. perfect between all the components of the nation. Established using the same methods, the geometric division of the new American states did not raise any major problem. The new division of the kingdom requires adaptations, but they are carried out with haste. These documents testify even in their hesitation to the fever and determination of the deputies of the National Constituent Assembly to make a clean sweep of the past and invent a new country, in which, from 1790, more than 40,000 municipalities will join.

  • administration
  • Constituent Assembly
  • cards
  • Mirabeau (Honoré Gabriel Riqueti de)
  • Normandy
  • Abbot Sieyès

Bibliography

Archives of France The French Revolution through the archives. From the States General to 18 Brumaire The formation of departments, p. 58-66. Paris, 1988.Marcel RONCAYOLO “Le Département” in Pierre Nora (under the direction of), Places of memory. 3 Les Frances Paris, Gallimard, 1992.

To cite this article

Cécile SOUCHON and Marie-Elisabeth ANTOINE, "The formation of departments"


Video: HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS NEW TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS, WELLBEING u0026 ERGONOMIC COURSES.