Historical context of Notre Dame Hamlet
In 1830, the decline of popular sovereignty and the rule of King Louis Philippe led to discontent among the French public. Political gatherings were outlawed, prompting liberals to organise private banquets as a platform for discussions. This alternative was also banned, sparking protests that culminated in the February revolution of 1848 and the establishment of the second French Republic.
Under the new government, universal male suffrage was granted, and the right to work was enshrined in the constitution. To tackle unemployment, national workshops were created in Paris, engaging labourers in various projects. However, sustaining wages became challenging, leading to financial instability and clashes between the government and labourers during the June rebellion.
In December 1848, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte III was elected as President, eventually declaring himself emperor. France experienced industrialisation, modernising social infrastructure, transportation, and establishing large industries. Meanwhile, in the rural town of Mallemort, a visionary individual created a rural and quasi-Communist community, employing arts and crafts architecture and modern agricultural techniques, fostering a sense of community and contributing to the local economy.
Portrait of Julie Chaumard:
A socialist visionary from Carpentras in Southern France - In 1896, her family relocated to the idyllic Notre Dame Hamlet in Provence. Inspired by the Parisian national workshops, Julie's father designed a rural community that prioritised the well-being of its workforce. Julie, a passionate socialist, inherited the hamlet and transformed it into a self-sustaining and cooperative community. Although her life was tragically cut short at 23, her vision lives on, even though the hamlet eventually disbanded. Today, the buildings stand as imaginative private homes, preserving a piece of Julie's legacy.
Worker's cottage :
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