Course: France Since 1871 with John Merriman Dnatube

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Lec 1 - Introduction - France Since 1871

"Lec 1 - Introduction" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Professor Merriman lists the books on the syllabus, and offers a brief précis of each of them. Three of the principal themes of the course will be national identity, linguistic identity, and the consequences of the two world wars. Although the course will consider some well-known historical figures, such as Hitler and de Gaulle, it will...
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Lec 2 - The Paris Commune and Its Legacy

"Lec 2 - The Paris Commune and Its Legacy" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The Paris Commune of 1871 remained a potent force in Europe for several generations afterwards. The reprisals following the fall of the Commune anticipated the great massacres of the twentieth century. While the brief reign of the communards witnessed serious adversity in the form of food shortages and disease, it also...
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Lec 3 - Centralized State and Republic

"Lec 3 - Centralized State and Republic" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Despite various attempts at reform, France remains the most centralized state in Europe. The organization of the country around the Parisian center was originally a consequence of the French Revolution, which gave birth to the departmental regions. These regions have retained an oppositional relationship towards the...
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Lec 4 - A Nation? Peasants, Language, an ...

"Lec 4 - A Nation? Peasants, Language, and French Identity" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The problematic question of when people in France began to consider themselves part of a French nation, with a specifically French national identity, has often been explained in terms of the modernizing progress of the French language at the expense of regional dialects. In fact, the development of...
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Lec 5 - Workshop and Factory

"Lec 5 - Workshop and Factory" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Religion in France after the Revolution can be understood in terms of two forms of de-Christianization. The first of these is political, and takes place in the de jure separation of church and state. The second is a decline in religious practice among individual citizens. While the history of the former change is well documented,...
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Lec 6 - The Waning of Religious Authority

"Lec 6 - The Waning of Religious Authority" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The Industrial Revolution in France is often said to have been entirely overshadowed by British industrial development. This analysis is inaccurate because it ignores the significance of domestic and other non-factory occupations. Indeed, it was the class of artisan workers, rather than industrial factory workers, who...
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Lec 7 - Mass Politics and the Political ...

"Lec 7 - Mass Politics and the Political Challenge from the Left" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The history of socialism in France can be understood in terms of the competition between revolutionary socialists and reform socialists. The former advocated abandoning electoral politics, while the latter attempted to improve conditions for workers by means of reforms within the political system....
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Lec 8 - Dynamite Club: The Anarchists

"Lec 8 - Dynamite Club: The Anarchists" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Anarchists, unlike syndicalists and other leftists, seek to destroy the state rather than to capture state power for themselves. Emile Henry and other late nineteenth-century radicals inaugurated the modern practice of terrorism in their individualism and their indiscriminate choice of civilian targets. Despite the...
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Lec 9 - General Boulanger and Captain Dr ...

"Lec 9 - General Boulanger and Captain Dreyfus" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Two of the major crises of nineteenth-century France, the Boulanger Affair and the Dreyfus Affair, can be understood in terms of the rising forces of anti-Semitism and Far Right politics. The German conquest of Alsace and Lorraine, in particular, fueled nationalist and right-wing sentiments, especially in rural...
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Lec 10 - Cafés and the Culture of Drink

"Lec 10 - Cafés and the Culture of Drink" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Because drinking is such an integral part of French culture, alcohol abuse has been historically ignored. Although there have been celebrated attempts to address this problem, such as Zola's L'Assomoir, it is only in the past five or ten years that the government has seriously tried to tackle the problem of alcoholism....
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Lec 11 - Paris and the Belle Époque

"Lec 11 - Paris and the Belle Époque" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Modern Paris was indelibly shaped by the rebuilding project ordered by Napoleon III and carried out by Baron Haussmann in the 1850s and '60s. The large-scale demolition of whole neighborhoods in central Paris, coupled with a boom in industrial development outside the city, cemented a class division between center and...
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Lec 12 - French Imperialism (Guest Lectu ...

"Lec 12 - French Imperialism (Guest Lecture by Charles Keith)" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) France's colonial properties were thought of in the latter half of the nineteenth century as consolation for the bitter loss of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany. As civilian administrators came to replace military personnel in the colonies, and as more and more French settlers arrived, empire and...
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Lec 13 - The Origins of World War I

"Lec 13 - The Origins of World War I" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The traditional, diplomatic history of World War I is helpful in understanding how a series of hitherto improbable alliances come to be formed in the early years of the twentieth century. In the case of France and Russia, this involves a significant ideological compromise. Along with the history of imperial machinations,...
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Lec 14 - Trench Warfare

"Lec 14 - Trench Warfare" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The sacred union that united France's political parties during World War I contributed to a resilient morale on the home front. Germany's invasion of France, and the conflict over Alsace-Lorraine in particular, contributed to French concern over atrocities and the national investment in the war effort. New weapons and other fighting...
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Lec 15 - The Home Front

"Lec 15 - The Home Front" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) 1917 is a critical moment in World War I, as the Bolsheviks seize power in Russia and Woodrow Wilson leads the U.S. into war on the side of the Allied powers. Although morale held steady on the home front in France, there were multiple mutinies and strikes as the war progressed. These mutinies were not in favor of German victory; rather,...
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Lec 16 - The Great War, Grief, and Memor ...

"Lec 16 - The Great War, Grief, and Memory (Guest Lecture by Bruno Cabanes)" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The human cost of World War I cannot be understood only in terms of demographics. To better understand the consequences of the war upon both soldiers and civilians it is necessary to consider mourning in its private, as well as its public dimensions. Indeed, for many French people who...
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Lec 17 - The Popular Front

"Lec 17 - The Popular Front" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) A plethora of Far Right and fascist organizations emerged in the wake of World War I. Economic depression, nationalism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia all played a part in this upsurge. On the left, the tension between communist revolutionaries and socialist reformers was reconciled, for a time, in the Popular Front government of Leon...
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Lec 18 - The Dark Years: Vichy France

"Lec 18 - The Dark Years: Vichy France" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) For decades after the end of World War II the question of French collaboration with the Nazis was obscured. One of the reasons for this was the desire of de Gaulle and others to downplay the central role of communists in resisting the occupation. In fact, many French civilians were involved to greater or lesser degrees in...
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Lec 19 - Resistance

"Lec 19 - Resistance" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) If the extent of French collaboration during World War II has been obscured, so too has the nature of resistance. Although the communist Left represented the core of the resistance movement, resistors came from any different backgrounds, including in their ranks Catholics, Protestants, Jews and socialists. Unlike the relationship between...
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Lec 20 - Battles For and Against America ...

"Lec 20 - Battles For and Against Americanization" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Anti-Americanism in France has historically been directed toward the U.S. government and corporations rather than American citizens. In the wake of World War II, the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe was considered by many to be a form of American imperialism. Along with the establishment of American military...
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Lec 21 - Vietnam and Algeria

"Lec 21 - Vietnam and Algeria" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) France's colonial territories were of very high importance after the embarrassment of occupation during World War II. Algeria, in particular, was a complicated case because it involved large numbers of French settlers, the pieds-noirs. Despite international support for Algerian independence, right-wing factions in the military and...
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Lec 22 - Charles De Gaulle

"Lec 22 - Charles De Gaulle" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) Charles de Gaulle's importance in postwar French political life was matched by his importance in the nation's collective imagination. This authority was consciously contrived by de Gaulle, who wished to bear upon his figurative body the will of the French people to maintain the power of their nation in the face of a political...
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Lec 23 - May 1968

"Lec 23 - May 1968" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) The student protests of May 1968 in France were linked to international protests against the American war in Vietnam and other political and social consequences of the Cold War. In many respects, the terrible condition of many schools in France that led students to revolt remains a problem. Recent attempts to impose American-style reforms on...
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Lec 24 - Immigration

"Lec 24 - Immigration" France Since 1871 (HIST 276) French culture is threatened both by European Unification and the rise of xenophobia within France itself. The defeat of the referendum on the European Constitution testified to the dissatisfaction of many people in rural France with the economic realities of the new international community. Racist policies targeting residents of France's...

France Since 1871 with John Merriman


Source of these courses is Yale 
This course covers the emergence of modern France. Topics include the social, economic, and political transformation of France; the impact of France's revolutionary heritage, of industrialization, and of the dislocation wrought by two world wars; and the political response of the Left and the Right to changing French society.
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