Divorce trends and variations along the rural‐urban gradient in France, 1884‐1913


  • Sandra Brée CNRS, LARHRA




Divorce, France, Urban and Rural populations, Paris, Suburbs


This paper proposes a re-reading of the history of divorces from the re-establishment of divorce in France in 1884 until the eve of the First World War, by distinguishing three major territories: the urban population, the rural population and the Department of the Seine. To refine the analysis, we will add data distinguishing Paris from its suburbs, within the Seine Department. The interest of the analysis, beyond measuring the level of divorces in these territories, is to answer the question of the homogenisation of divorce behaviour between 1884 and 1913. The available sources also provide details on divorces, which are generally unavailable outside the national level, such as which spouse obtained the divorce, the reason for the divorce, the length of the marriage, the age and age difference between the two spouses, and the number of children of divorced couples. In addition to measuring the levels of divorces in these territories, the aim will therefore be to find out whether the characteristics of divorces are the same in the urban and rural populations and in the Seine Department and, if not, to try to understand why they diverge.