La vie et les problèmes juridiques des populations civiles à l'arrière du front dans le département des Vosges pendant la Première Guerre mondiale

Abstract : We have decided to study the life and juridical issues of civilians residing behind the front line in the department of the Vosges. This included Charmes, Épinal and Plombières, and the area to the east of the line drawn through these locations. In the department of the Vosges, this section of the territory is where the disruptions to the juridical system and psychological and material changes caused by the War are most pronounced. Known as the ?devastated? zone, this area was established by the ministerial order of 12 August 1919. Due to its strategic position, the department of the Vosges was part of the armed forces zone for the entire duration of the First World War. Moreover, between 1914 and 1918, it was divided into three military regions (7th region, 20th region and 21st region), and French troops, belonging to three different armies (but coordinated and mutually supportive), were stationed there. A decree of 2 August 1914 placed the entire country in a state of emergency, which marked the transference of all policing powers held by the civil authority to the military. This relinquishment in favour of the military seems to have been particularly radical in the Vosges: located in the military zones, this department was placed under the exclusive authority of the General in supreme command. Furthermore, the degree of military control increased with proximity to the front line. Being in a military combat zone which was not subject to common law, the military authority held an ambivalent attitude towards civilian life. This ambivalence was in itself a potential source for disorder, and required discretion in order for it not to become an obstacle to the deployment of forces. The military authority therefore set out on a major operation to pacify the civilian population. On the other hand, the presence of civilians behind the front line was indispensable to the war effort. It was essential for supplying the forces and ensuring civilian participation in the national defence, and the continuation of civilian life was in itself of strategic importance in territories that were under threat from the enemy.
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Anne Peroz. La vie et les problèmes juridiques des populations civiles à l'arrière du front dans le département des Vosges pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. Droit. Université Nancy 2, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011NAN20005⟩. ⟨tel-01749038⟩

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