Between Popular Demand for Education and Budgetary Constraints: The Example of the Organisation of Hamlet Schools in Savoy (1860–1880)


  • Jean-Yves Julliard Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes



hamlets, foundations, school consortiums, Savoy, elementary schools


In the early nineteenth century, the populations of the former Duchy of Savoy increased the number of hamlet schools. These schools were integrated into the mountain socio-economic system and mainly financed by private funds, but were considered by the Sardinian monarchy as public establishments. This was not the case in France where hamlet schools were mostly established as private schools. After 1860, their integration into the French school system posed difficulties for the French government which intended to develop schooling but to contain public expenditure. Several statutes were granted to them before the law of 1867, inspired by the Savoyard example, legalised these schools. Although the government planned to rationalise their establishment, financial logic and popular demand for education led to the maintenance of this local, public school service. However, the way in which the schools were taken into account in ministerial statistics, invites us to question the evolution of their numbers and more generally that of primary education expenditure at the end of the Second Empire.