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Nation at war

General Carnot, in the decree of August 1793 introducing mass conscription in France, evokes an inspiring image of an entire nation engaged in war:

'From this moment until the time when our enemies shall be driven from the soil of the republic, all French people are permanently requisitioned for service in the armies. Young men will go forth to battle. Married men will forge weapons and transport supplies. Women will make tents and clothing and serve in hospitals. Children will make lint from rags. Old men will be brought to the public squares to arouse the courage of the soldiers, preaching the hatred of kings and love of the republic.'

Quoted Encylopaedia Britannica 1972, ix, page 917

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