1999 Volume 108 Issue 8 Pages 1393-1429,1549-
The purpose of this article is to analyse how the department of Seine-Inferieure benefitted from the system of replacement, taking into consideration the social, economic and the cultural aspects of the department between the year VII of the Republic and 1815. Using the deeds drawn up by notaires and signed by the substitutes and their employers as the major sources, the author examines 325 replacements for service in the army and 353 replacements for the national guard and coastguard gunners. He shows that the average substitute was either a day laborer or worked in the textile industry as a weaver, and was poorer and less educated than his employer. The fact that many weavers were among the substitutes shows how the textile industry developed within the department. Moreovers, the typical employer was a quite well-off educated "cultivateur." Employers usually resorted to replacement due the requirements of farming making it difficult for them to join the army. In addition replacement was resorted to in the case of brothers or communes who hired substitutes for some of their citizens, although these were not the common practice. Replacement cost more in the department of Seine-Inferieure than in the average department. This reflects the high cost of labour due to scarcity in agriculture and industry. During the Empire, replacement became too expensive for the Normans, who were characteristically thrifty. Therefore, the number of replacements decreased. On the other hand, replacement for the national guard and coastguard gunners was often chosen because the price was moderate. This shows how much the people of Seine-Inferieure resented joining the army, which was more foreign to them than the people from the border zone in the East of France.