Letters from members of the convention to their fellow citizens : An interface in the process of reciprocal politicisation
The 128 letters sent by the deputies from the department of the Finistère – Claude Blad, Jacques Guermeur and sometimes even the entire deputation – to their fellow citizens, from the beginning of the Convention to the end of the Year II, constitute an interface of politicisation interacting on each of the parties thus placed in contact, despite the geographical distance. This correspondence, which is currently being published, illuminates the relationship between Paris and the provinces, and the constitution of political identities at the Assembly, as well as parliamentary strategies, sociability and the dailylife of the deputies. It shows the means by which information was transmitted and the role of emotions in politics. Above all, it clarifies the process of politicisation of both the voters and those elected to office. This correspondence revises the simplistic view that political initiative was handed down from Paris to the provinces, from deputies supposedlymore politicised than the electorate which, as a result of of ignorance and credulity, was easily manipulated by its elected representatives.