Filling the Ranks: The Remplacement Militaire in Post-Revolutionary France
31 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018
Date Written: December 1, 2018
Many economists have analyzed the efficiency of a volunteered army relative to a conscripted army. However, they have rarely studied the working of real-world alternative, market-based, military institutions where military obligations are traded among the citizens. This paper fills this gap by studying the rise and fall of the Remplacement Militaire in 18th and 19th century France. This system endured for more than three-quarters of a century until the French government progressively moved toward universal conscription after 1872. We explain why, as the proportion of men drafted increased, the State systematically restricted the trade of military obligations.
Keywords: Military history, French economic history, Economics of property rights
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