participants in a number of antifeudal peasant movements in the late 16th century and first half of the 17th in France. The name was derived from their slogan, “At the ro-dents” (Aux croquants; “rodents” was the term used by the insurgents for the nobility, clergy, crown bureaucrats, and tax-farmers) and, perhaps, from the region of Crocq (the province of Marche), where the movement began in January 1592.
The uprisings were directed against the increase in tax burden and seignorial requisitions. In 1594—96 the Croquant movement embraced such provinces as Périgord, Quercy, Limousin, Saintonge, and Poitou. In some areas the urban poor gave support to the Croquants. The government succeeded in suppressing the movement by 1598; however, King Henry IV was forced to carry out a number of reforms: the direct tax was lowered and confiscation of the peasants’ stock for nonpayment of debts was prohibited.
A new wave of uprisings occurred in the 1620’s through 1640’s. Uprisings in Quercy in 1624 and the southwestern provinces in 1636–37 had the greatest sweep. Périgord, where peasants, with the help of the urban commoners, had seized the towns of Eymet, Sainte Foy, and Bergerac, became the center of the latter uprising. In 1643 a Croquant uprising again broke out in the south of France, with its center at Rouergue. The insurgents seized Villefranche. In the fall of that year the movement, suppressed in the south, spread to Angoumois, Poitou, and other western provinces; it was routed in 1645. The 17th-century uprisings of the Croquants, like other popular movements of this period, were a manifestation of antifeudal popular opposition to absolutism on the eve of the Fronde.
REFERENCESPorshnev, B. F. Narodnye vosstaniia vo Frantsii pered Frondoi (1623–1648). Moscow, 1948.
Lesokhina, E. I. “Dvizhenie krokanov (1592–1598 gg.).” In the collection Srednie veka, issue 6. Moscow, 1955.
E. I. LESOKHINA