The dioceses are divided into parishes each under a parish priest known as a curé or desservant (incumbent). The bishops and archbishops, formerly nominated by the government and canonically confirmed by the pope, are now chosen by the latter. The appointment of curés rested with the bishops and had to be confirmed by the government, but this confirmation is now dispensed with. The archbishops used to receive an annual salary of £600 each and the bishops £400.
The archbishops and bishops are assisted by vicars-general (at salaries previously ranging from £100 to £180), and to each cathedral is attached a chapter of canons. A curé, in addition to his regular salary, received fees for baptisms, marriages, funerals and special masses, and had the benefit of a free house called a presbytère. The total personnel of state-paid Roman Catholic clergy amounted in 1903 to 36,169. The Roman priests are drawn from the seminaries, established by the church for the education of young men intending to join its ranks, and divided into lower and higher seminaries (grands et petits séminaires), the latter giving the same class of instruction as the lycées.
The number of Protestants may be estimated at about 600,000 and the Jews at about 70,000. The greatest number of Jews is to be found at Paris, Lyons and Bordeaux, while the departments of the centre and of the south along the range of the Cévennes, where Calvinism flourishes, are the principal Protestant localities, Nîmes being the most important centre. Considerable sprinklings of Protestants are also to be found in the two Charentes, in Dauphiné, in Paris and in Franche-Comté. The two Protestant bodies used to cost the state about £60,000 a year and the Jewish Church about £6000.
Both Protestant churches have a parochial organization and a presbyterian form of church government. In the Reformed Church (far the more numerous of the two bodies) each parish has a council of presbyters, consisting of the pastor and lay-members elected by the congregation. Several parishes form a consistorial circumscription, which has a consistorial council consisting of the council of presbyters of the chief town of the circumscription, the pastor and one delegate of the council of presbyters from each parish and other elected members. There are 103 circumscriptions (including Algeria), which are grouped into 21 provincial synods composed of a pastor and lay delegate from each consistory. All the more important questions of church discipline and all decisions regulating the doctrine and practice of the church are dealt with by the synods. At the head of the whole organization is a General Synod, sitting at Paris. The organization of the Lutheran Church (Église de la confession d’Augsburg) is broadly similar. Its consistories are grouped into two special synods, one at Paris and one at Montbéliard (for the department of Doubs and Haute-Saône and the territory of Belfort, where the churches of this denomination are principally situated). It also has a general synod—composed of 2 inspectors, 5 pastors elected by the synod of Paris, and 6 by that of Montbéliard, 22 laymen and a delegate of the theological faculty at Paris—which holds periodical meetings and is represented in its relations with the government by a permanent executive commission.The Jewish parishes, called synagogues, are grouped into departmental consistories (Paris, Bordeaux, Nancy, Marseilles, Bayonne, Lille, Vesoul, Besançon and three in Algeria). Each synagogue is served by a rabbi assisted by an officiating minister, and in each consistory is a grand rabbi. At Paris is the central consistory, controlled by the government and presided over by the supreme grand rabbi.
Of the population of France some 17,000,000 depend upon agriculture for their livelihood, though only about 6,500,000 are engaged in work on the land. The cultivable land of the country occupies some 195,000 sq. m. or about 94% of the total area; of this 171,000 sq. m. are cultivated. There are besides 12,300 sq. m. of uncultivable area covered by lakes, rivers, towns, &c. Only the roughest estimate is possible as to the sizes of holdings, but in general terms it may be said that about 3 million persons are proprietors of holdings under 25 acres in extent amounting to between 15 and 20% of the cultivated area, the rest being owned by some 750,000 proprietors, of whom 150,000 possess half the area in holdings averaging 400 acres in extent. About 80% of holdings (amounting to about 60% of the cultivated area) are cultivated by the proprietor; of the rest approximately 13% are let on lease and 7% are worked on the system known as métayage (q.v.).
The capital value of land, which greatly decreased during the last twenty years of the 19th century, is estimated at £3,120,000,000, and that of stock, buildings, implements, &c., at £340,000,000. The value per acre of land, which exceeds £48 in the departments of Seine, Rhône and those fringing the north-west coast from Nord to Manche inclusive, is on the average about £29, though it drops to £16 and less in Morbihan, Landes, Basses-Pyrénées, and parts of the Alps and the central plateau.
(Thousands of Acres).
(Thousands of Bushels).
per Acre (Bushels).
|Wheat . . . .||17,004||16,580||294,564||317,707||17⋅3||19⋅1|
|Meslin . . . .||720||491||12,193||8,826||16⋅9||17⋅0|
|Rye . . . .||3,888||3,439||64,651||56,612||16⋅6||16⋅4|
|Barley . . . .||2,303||1,887emsp;||47,197||41,066||20⋅4||21⋅0|
|Oats . . . .||9,507||9,601||240,082||253,799||25⋅2||26⋅4|
|Buckwheat . .||1,484||1,392||26,345||23,136||17⋅7||16⋅6|
|Maize . . . .||1,391||1,330||25,723||24,459||18⋅4||18⋅4|
Forage Crops.—The mangold-wurzel, occupying four times the acreage of swedes and turnips, is by far the chief root-crop in France. It is grown largely in the departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais and in those of the Seine basin, the southern limit of its cultivation being roughly a line drawn from Bordeaux to Lyons. The average area occupied by it in the years from 1896 to 1905 was 1,043,000 acres, the total average production being 262,364,000 cwt. and the average production per acre 10½ tons. Clover, lucerne and sainfoin make up the bulk of artificial pasturage, while vetches, crimson clover and cabbage are the other chief forage crops.
Vegetables.—Potatoes are not a special product of any region, though grown in great quantities in the Bresse and the Vosges. Early potatoes and other vegetables (primeurs) are largely cultivated in the districts bordering the English Channel. Market-gardening is an important industry in the regions round Paris, Amiens and Angers, as it is round Toulouse, Montauban, Avignon and in southern France generally. The market-gardeners of Paris and its vicinity have a high reputation for skill in the forcing of early vegetables under glass.
|Potatoes: Decennial Averages.|
| Average Yield |
- Inspectors are placed at the head of the synodal circumscriptions; their functions are to consecrate candidates for the ministry, install the pastors, &c.
- Cultures industrielles.—Under this head the French group beetroot, hemp, flax and other plants, the products of which pass through some process of manufacture before they reach the consumer.