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'Little Emperors?' Investigating prefectoral rule in the departments

Daly, G 2007 , ''Little Emperors?' Investigating prefectoral rule in the departments', in PG Dwyer and A Forrest (eds.), Napoleon and his empire: Europe, 1804-1814 , Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, pp. 44-60.

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Created by the law of 28 Pluviôse Year VIII, the French prefectoral administration lies at the heart of understanding Napoleonic state formation and the nature of Bonapartism at a local level. At the height of the Empire, each of the 130 Imperial departments (88 French and 44 foreign) was ultimately the responsibility of a single fonctionnaire -the prefect. Important as the prefectoral institution was, however, Napoleonic historiography is not blessed with a rich vein of studies on the daily work of the prefects. As with so many other aspects of the period, regional history, and with it the opportunity to gain a heightened sensitivity to the prefectoral administration, has traditionally come a distant second to the figure of Napoleon and his military campaigns. With few departmental histories to draw on, traditional understandings of the Napoleonic prefect haw largely been derived from the official perspective of Paris.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Daly, G
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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© 2007 Gavin Daly

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