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Module

HIS2086 : Twentieth Century France 1914-95

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matt Perry
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This course will provide a survey of France’s social and political history in the years from the beginning of the Great War to the end of the Mitterrand double presidency. Despite significant pockets of industrialisation, France at the opening of the century was predominantly rural in terms of its active population. By the end of this period, France had undergone a dramatic modernisation. Yet a series of traumatic events – wars, occupation, general strikes, and economic crisis – punctuated this progress, rendering it far from an even-paced and smooth process. Political crisis and renewal refashioned France’s Republican institutions and constitution on four different occasions.

The ‘état français’ (French state, or the Vichy regime as it became known) formed a wartime dictatorial interlude between democratic constitutions. Vichy intervened between the Third and Fourth Republics and the Algerian crisis led to the formation of the Fifth Republic in 1958. War had a profound impact upon the collective memory and identity of the French people. Each war – the Great War, the defeat of 1940 and Vichy syndrome, as well as the Algerian War (sometimes called France’s Vietnam) – reshaped society, attitudes and political cleavages. Students will develop an understanding of the complexity of the French social and political history during these years.

This module aims:
•To examine the social and political features of France between 1914 and 1995.
•To develop knowledge and understanding of the Third, Fourth and Fifth republics as well as the Vichy regime.
•To understand the role of wars and other key events in the reshaping of French society and collective memory.
•To understand elements of continuity and change in the process of French modernisation.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline syllabus, intended as a guide only; week-by-week topics may be slightly different to the following.

Week 1: France in the Twentieth Century
Week 2: France and the Great War
Week 3: Decline of the 3rd republic
Week 4: Defeat, occupation, and Vichy
Week 5: Resistance, liberation and reconstruction
Week 6: French politics and society during the Cold War
Week 7: Memory and the wars of decolonization: Indochina and Algeria
Week 8: The General returns and the birth of the Fifth Republic
Week 9: France and ‘the sixties’
Week 10: End of the thirty glorious years.
Week 11: The Mitterrand Years.
Week 12: Revision lecture.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable