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Le Moyen Age

2007/2 (Tome CXIII)


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Résumé

English

Rumors, propaganda and public opinion during the Civil War (1407-1420) Between 1407 and 1420, the Armagnacs and Burgundians fought a ruthless war, and their men at arms devastated the Île-de-France. Yet, the abominable crimes usually attributed to them (arson, pillage, murder, rape...) are mostly unrecorded. This discrepancy, a major historical problem, can be understood by the spread of rumors and the immoderate use of propaganda. Indeed on both sides it proved essential to manipulate public opinion through manifestos, ballads or sermons, just as it became necessary to keep individuals under observation and control, for every stranger could be a spy or a propagandist. Rumor fed public fears, and one finds village communities taking the initiative and defending themselves against the misdeeds of men at arms. Banditry, far from being the actions of ruffians on the prowl, was in fact presented, in judicial sources, as an act of self-defense.

Key words

  • rumor
  • propaganda
  • public opinion
  • banditry
  • civil war Armagnacs
  • Burgundians

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