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Journal of Social History

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In the early evening hours of a warm September night sorne two thousand women gathered in front of a French dairy farm to the rallying cry, "We must have butter at 30 sous, or it will be revolution!"1 One might well guess that the date of this demonstration was 1789, or perhaps the tumultuous years of social protest and food riots that heralded the coming of the Second Republic and then the Second Empire. But the date is 1911 and the place is the small town of Somain located in the department of the Nord...


This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Social History following peer review. The version of record Hanson, Paul R. "The 'Vie chère' riots of 1911: Traditional protests in modern garb," Journal of Social History, vol. 21, no. 3, (March, 1988), 463-482. is available online at: