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Now, nostalgia is something very different, a kind of warm sustenance, a wistful appreciation for the past.
In 1851, with the nostalgia outbreaks and other mishaps of 1848 still raw, he proposed to Napoleon III a solution to nostalgia that seemed to steer into it.
His suggestion was the wholesale transfer of entire communities of Bretons—people from France’s rural northwest, where Bourel-Roncière was a notable local leader—to planned communities in Algeria.
In Dodman’s analysis, this change has something to do with the evolution of European militaries in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Smaller, more localized bands of soldiers were giving way to larger, consolidated, bureaucratic structures.
Though nostalgia first emerged as a Swiss idea—some doctors blamed it on brain damage from the clanging of Swiss cowbells—it gradually came to be seen as a French phenomenon. Paris had grown into the hub of European medical science by the early 19th century, and a culture of diagnosis flourished.
At the same time, the French military had developed into a more repressive, disciplinarian institution than its European counterparts, with a lottery draft system.
To some, this affliction seemed to be distinctively French, and stymied the country’s ability to compete with other European powers, particularly the United Kingdom. ” asked political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville in 1833, quoted in Jennifer Sessions’s .
In his assessment, it was because “the Frenchman loves the domestic hearth …
In addition to dealing with disease and conflict, these settlers were almost uniquely ill-equipped for their task.
Though they were supposed to be tilling a new frontier—with little regard for the people who had already been living there—the colonists were disproportionately urban artisans with no experience handling plows.