Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Mass, masses
(1,090 words)

1. History of the term and research

The social concept of the “masses” became famous in connection with the levée en masse in the French Revolution (1789): on Aug 23, 1793, the National Convention voted to call up all unmarried or widowed men between the ages of 18 and 25 for military service. With other recruitment measures, by mid-1794 some 800,000 men had been drafted for military service in this way.

The gigantic army as a mass became one of the symbols derived from the Fre…

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Schmale, Wolfgang, “Mass, masses”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 26 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023762>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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