Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

 

France 1870–1968- 30 credits (HS1739)

Module Tutor: Chris Millington

The Third Republic (1870-1940) was born from the collapse of the Second Empire, as German armies marched upon Paris. The new regime failed to evict the invader, and for years its republicanism made it a diplomatic pariah. Yet it survived longer than any other regime in modern French history. It fought off challenges from monarchists, Catholics, Boulangists and nationalists on the right, and from socialists and communists on the left. It repelled a new German invasion in 1914-18, at the cost of 1.3 million dead. It established a secular democracy, and yet excluded women and millions of immigrant workers from the political process. In spite of these difficulties, only another German invasion in 1940 destroyed the regime. This course will provide a broad introduction to the major political, social, gender, military and cultural developments in this period. In the first semester we shall consider the general political developments; in the second we shall adopt a thematic approach, and conclude with an introduction to Vichy and the Occupation.


Dr Chris Millington is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

Preliminary Reading for this module:
Charles Sowerwine, France since 1870 (London, 2000)
Rod Kedward, La vie en Blue: France and the French since 1900 (London, 2006)
Philip Nord, The Republican Moment: Struggles for Democracy in Nineteenth-Century France  (Cambridge MA, 1998)
CE Forth and Bertrand Taithe (eds) French Masculinities: History, Culture and Politics (London,2007)
Leonard V. Smith, Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, and Annette Becker, France and the Great War (Cambridge, 2003).