|Power and Rural Populations in Belgium during the 1845-48 Crisis|
|The second half of the 1840’s saw all of Europe plunged into a crisis which was to upset the political, demographic and social landscape for years to come. In Belgium, “the Flanders crisis” plunged part of the Belgian population, essentially rural, into a famine situation.
Based on judicial archives, this paper first of all intends to study the security arrangements the government put in place to maintain order, with the target question being management of gatherings and crowds, a security obsession during the crisis. These problems of security arrangements measure the State’s capacity, and the means at its disposal, to intervene in rural areas in the mid 19th century. The question of the populations’ reactions refers, for its part, both to their reaction to the temporary measures taken during the crisis and to more broadly-based strategies used by local communities aimed at perpetuating traditional modes of social regulation faced with an increasingly centralized State.|