Patriotic subscription by French women to help liberate occupied departments.

Paris, Typography A. Pougin, [march 1872].

Large poster on paper 850 x 600 mm, folded.

Rare Parisian poster for the Souscription patriotique des femmes de France.

It was part of the liberation of French territory following the Frankfurt Peace Treaty signed between the French Republic and the German Empire on May 10, 1871. France was obliged to pay war indemnities of 5 billion francs.

Thiers' government launched an international loan and paid part of the sum, so that by the end of 1871, German soldiers had evacuated the occupied territories, remaining only in the city of Belfort and six departments of eastern France, including the Ardennes.

March 1872, the date of this poster, marked the start of private initiatives to speed up repayment of the remaining war indemnity and liberate the last occupied territories as quickly as possible.
The Souscription patriotique des femmes de France was part of this national and local movement. "The Charleville municipal archives [...] contain documents relating to the local committee of this association. They show that after dividing the town into neighborhoods, the women of this association knocked on the doors of every inhabitant to obtain cash donations or pledges." [...] "Despite this state support, the subscription did not reach its target of 500 million francs, and the subscribers were reimbursed. It did, however, bear witness to the shared determination of the population and the government to raise the funds needed to liberate the country as soon as possible."

Fragile testimony to the central role played by women in this patriotic effort to liberate France.

Information in this entry comes from the article on the Ardennes departmental archives website: https://archives.cd08.fr/article.php?laref=1653&titre=la-guerre-de-1870-dans-les-ardennes

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