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From Dreyfus to the National Front - 30 credits (HS1741)

Module Tutor: Professor Kevin Passmore

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.

Credits: 30

Availability of module: Every year

Prerequisites
N/A

Necessary for

N/A

Teaching methods

A range of teaching methods will be used in each of the sessions of the course, comprising a combination of lectures and seminar discussion of major issues. The syllabus is divided into a series of major course themes, then sub-divided into principal topics for the study of each theme.

Lectures:
The aim of the lectures is to provide a brief introduction to a particular topic, establishing the salient features of major course themes, identifying key issues and providing historiographical guidance. The lectures aim to provide a basic framework for understanding and should be thought of as useful starting points for further discussion and individual study. Where appropriate, handouts and other materials may be distributed to reinforce the material discussed.

Seminars:
The primary aim of seminars will be to generate debate and discussion amongst course participants. Seminars for each of the course topics will provide an opportunity for students to analyse and further discuss key issues and topics relating to lectures.

Assessment

Students will be assessed by means of a combination of one 1000 word assessed essay [15%], one 2000 word assessed essay [35%] and one two-hour unseen written examination paper in which the student will answer two questions [50%].

Course assignments:

Assessed Essay 1 will contribute 15% of the final mark for the module. It is designed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to review evidence, draw appropriate conclusions from it and employ the formal conventions of scholarly presentation. It must be no longer than 1,000 words (excluding empirical appendices and references).

Assessed Essay 2 will contribute 35% of the final mark for the module. It is designed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to review evidence, draw appropriate conclusions from it and employ the formal conventions of scholarly presentation. It must be no longer than 2,000 words (excluding empirical appendices and references).

The Examination will take place during the second assessment period [May/June] and will consist of an unseen two hour paper that will contribute the remaining 50% of the final mark for this module. Students must write 2 answers in total.

Skills that will be practised and developed:

  • communicate ideas and arguments effectively, whether in class discussion or in written form, in an accurate, succinct and lucid manner.
  • formulate and justify arguments and conclusions about a range of issues, and present appropriate supporting evidence
  • an ability to modify as well as to defend their own position.
  • an  ability to think critically and challenge assumptions
  • an ability to use a range of information technology resources to assist with information retrieval and assignment presentation.
  • time management skills and an ability to independently to organise their own study methods and workload.
  • work effectively with others as part of a team or group in seminar or tutorial discussions.    

Suggested book purchases

N/A

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).