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Question about a normal day in the Napoleonic Era

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During the Napoleonic times, you also had obviously people that led their normal life outside the war. Normal civilians so to speak. What I ask myself is, was it a good life that they had? I mean did they have to fear the constant possibility for a war outcome in their village/city? Because war back then was much more common on such a large scale on our planet. We also face wars now, but it mostly happens in the Middle-East. I am trying to get a better knowledge of everything Napoleonic related.

I would imagine during the Waterloo period  they would have been mainly pressed into service, spending alot of time either in battle or marching, not sure how much freetime they would have had.
I am sure some of the reinactors will be along soon  to discuss in far better detail than myself.

Certainly on main land europe war had wreaked havoc for a good 25 years come 1815. Conscription is a good point as most civilians would have been affected to some extent, whether by family members being lost to various campaigns or enlisting themselves out of neccessity or revolutionary fervour. Needless to say life was rough by comparison to today for 90% of the population; families were larger with death being a more common theme due to disease or deprivation, average life expectancy at just over 30. but at least during this period most had jobs due to still thriving agriculture through manual labour... mechanisation coming into play in years to come would put many livelihoods, agricultural in particular at risk.

Just my tuppence... In short life was fookin grim and those who survived to adult hood from poor backgrounds were tough feckers.

The wars of the Napoleonic period were not total like those of World War I or World War II. Nevertheless, all the populations were affected by the war but not only the Napoleonic wars: also those of the revolution which led, in France, to a great movement of weariness in particular on the part of Napoleon's generals after the 100 days epic and to a return of the monarchy.
We can say that the war affected France from 1790 to 1815, between the civil wars in the Vendée and the external wars against Europe. Very few European countries did not have to suffer an army. I am thinking of the Balkan nations or even the British, protected by the English Channel. No, this century was not an easy one but war was only periodic and did not mobilize the whole population at the same time over a long period of time.

As Kincaid says: conscription is a good example because the whole French population was affected by the war.

An anectode says that Napoleon in disguise, leaving for his exile in Elba, asks an innkeeper what she thinks of the Emperor. The latter, unaware of who he was, replied: I lost my two sons to conscription and they never came back. Who will give them back to me?

Napoleon resumed his journey while tears ran down his face

That was actually very interesting to read. Thank you for your inputs. Also, was there mandatory conscription in the sense if you didn't want to go to war that you would get lined up against a wall and get shot? Or were people these days very patriotic in defending their own lands? Because I can imagine if you need to fill multiple regimental battalions you'll need a lot of men.


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