In Year 2 of the Revolution (1794) Robespierre, seeking to establish a new deist national morality created the Festival of the Supreme Being celebrated on 20 Prairial Year 2 (8 June 1794). This book begins by tracing the progress in the development of Robespierre’s thinking on the importance of the problem which the lack of any acceptable national moral system through the early years of the Revolution had created, his vision of a new attitude towards religion and morality, and why he chose a Revolutionary Festival to launch his idea. It focusses on the importance of the Festival by showing that it was not only a major event in Paris, with a huge man-made mountain on the Champ de Mars; it was also celebrated in great depth in almost every city, town and village throughout France. It seeks to redefine the importance of the Festival in the history of the Revolution, not, as historians have traditionally dismissed it, merely as the performance of a sterile and compulsory political duty, but on the contrary, as a massively popular national event. The author uses source material from national and local archives describing the celebrations as well as the reaction to the event and its importance by contemporary commentators. This is the first book since the 1980s and the only work in English to focus on this Festival and to redefine its importance in the development of the Revolution.
As they trudged over the Pyrenees, the Spanish republicans became one of the most iconoclastic groups of refugees to have sought refuge in twentieth-century France. This book explores the array of opportunities, constraints, choices and motivations that characterised their lives. Using a wide range of empirical material, it presents a compelling case for rethinking exile in relation to refugees’ lived experiences and memory activities. The major historical events of the period are covered: the development of refugees’ rights and the ‘concentration’ camps of the Third Republic, the para-military labour formations of the Second World War, the dynamics shaping resistance activities, and the role of memory in the campaign to return to Spain. This study additionally analyses how these experiences have shaped homes and France’s memorial landscape thereby offering an unparalleled exploration of the long-term effects of exile from the mass exodus of 1939 through to the seventieth-anniversary commemorations in 2009.
French rule in Algeria ended in 1962 following almost eight years of intensely violent conflict, producing one of the largest migratory waves of the post-1945 era. Almost a million French settlers - pieds-noirs - and tens of thousands of harkis - native auxiliaries who had fought with the French army - felt compelled to leave their homeland and cross the Mediterranean to France. Tracing the history of these two communities, From Empire to Exile explores the legacies of the Algerian War of Independence in France. It uses the long-standing grassroots collective mobilisation and memory activism undertaken by both groups to challenge the idea that this was a ‘forgotten’ war that only returned to public attention in the 1990s. Revealing the rich and dynamic interactions produced as pieds-noirs,harkis and other groups engaged with each other and with state-sanctioned narratives, this study demonstrates the fundamental ways in which postcolonial minorities have shaped the landscapes of French politics, society and culture since 1962. It also helps place the current ‘memory wars’ deemed to be sweeping France in their wider historical context, proving that the current competition for control over the representation of the past in the public sphere is not a recent development, but the culmination of long-running processes. By reconceptualising the ways in which the Algerian War has been debated, evaluated and commemorated in the five decades since it ended, this book makes an original contribution to important discussions surrounding the contentious issues of memory, migration and empire in contemporary France.
Wartime physical culture in France encompasses two complementary phenomena: a massive State investment in national regeneration, best exemplified by the creation of a sports bureaucracy (the Commissariat général à l'éducation générale et aux sports) and a concomitant rise in participation among ordinary people who during the wartime joined local sporting associations in greater numbers than ever before. Why did popular participation in sports explode during the wartime and how much did the Government’s programmes succeed in using the popularity of athletics to promote their conservative ideology? This book sets out to explore the interplay between these two circumstances. The first two chapters examine the French State’s role in the development of sports during the interwar period through to the Occupation. The second half of the book centres on popular participation in sports. Chapter 3 deals with physical education in State schools while chapter 4 investigates how the largest professional clubs survived the Vichy State’s attempt to deprofessionalise sports. Chapter 5 looks at a dozen local sporting associations to better understand how ordinary French people used their clubs to overcome the hardships imposed by the Germans and the Vichy Government. Each of these chapters emphasises the power of everyday French men and women to frustrate the Government’s physical cultural agenda. A final chapter provides a finale to the book, examining what happened to sports after the Liberation of France, and how sporting organisations reshaped their institutional memory of the wartime through the lens of collaboration and resistance.
In Psychoanalysis and the family, Richard Bates reveals the striking range and extent of the influence of Françoise Dolto (1908–88) – child psychoanalyst and France’s leading authority on parenting and family dynamics from the 1970s onwards. Against the backdrop of rapid economic, social and cultural change, Dolto emerged as a new, reassuring, national presence. Seen as a national treasure, her views proved influential on a wide range of issues linked to psychology, parenting, education, gender, sexuality, bioethics and children’s culture and rights. Dolto claimed the mantle of a progressive, innovative expert who swept away outdated concepts – but Bates demonstrates that her ideas in fact had deep roots in right-wing, anti-feminist currents. Dolto used her media platforms and the cultural authority of psychoanalysis to ensure that her psychoanalytic vision affected the whole French nation and was implanted in a variety of institutional settings. Bates shows how her vision had lasting repercussions, in areas ranging from the treatment of autism to the organisation of children’s centres. In demonstrating Dolto’s importance, this highly original, thoroughly researched book makes an essential contribution to historical understanding of twentieth-century French society. It forces a reassessment of the place of psychoanalysis in French social history, showing that its true significance lay well beyond the academic seminar or the consulting room.
The brothers Emile and Isaac Pereire were among the descendants of the Spanish conversos and Portuguese refugees from auto da fe. They were to become pivotal and sensational figures in nineteenth-century France, their lives and careers a lens through which to re-examine its history. In their relationship to Judaism, in their Saint-Simonianism, their socialism, their partnership, their business practices, their political allegiance, they have been subjects of criticism, comment and analysis by historians and others for over 150 years. This book uses the lives of these individuals to re-examine the history of France in the nineteenth century. It first deals with the 'making' of their grandsons, two Jewish boys born after the Revolution into the close-knit Sephardic community of Bordeaux. Then, it shows how, through Saint-Simonianism, Emile and Isaac Pereire found their vocation as railway entrepreneurs. The economic and financial reforms advocated by Saint-Simon and his followers came to be realised with the coming of rail to France. The book deals with the stage of railway development in France which followed the inauguration of the Paris-St-Germain (PSG) line, the hesitant administrative arrangements, and the insufficiency of investment capital to finance railway development. Next, it addresses the roles and methods of Emile and Isaac Pereire and of their family in what they treated as 'a family business'.
This book investigates the Comité Régional d'Action Viticole (CRAV), a loose affiliation of militant winegrowers in the southern vineyards of the Languedoc. Since 1961, they have fought to protect their livelihood. Using guerrilla style military tactics, the CRAV has surfaced to mobilise the aspirations of Languedocian winegrowers at moments of specific economic and social crisis throughout the twentieth century. They were responsible for sabotage, bombings, hijackings and even the shooting of a policeman. In French history more broadly, 1907 remains a strange moment, with the left supporting a seemingly anti-Jacobin uprising, Socialists, Monarchists and anti-Dreyfusards voting in unison, and the hero of the revolt eventually forsaken by his own movement. 1907 was the founding myth of viti-cultural radicalism in the Languedoc. The 1953 crisis had a transformative effect on the Languedocian wine industry, drawing cooperatives towards increased production despite government inducements to improve quality. After the tumultuous summer of 1961, the CRAV was clearly on its way to becoming a prominent force in the winegrowing Languedoc. The interaction of Oc and vine illustrates the Régional narrative which developed throughout the twentieth century. In the decade after 1976, the compact between winegrowers, local elites and the Socialist party in the Midi slowly disintegrated as a new development strategy supplanted the Défense movement's rebellious appeal. The CRAV's history ends in 1992 with the condemnation of CRAV activists as 'terrorists' by Colonel Weber.
Châteaux and landed estates, family portraits, names, titles and coats of arms are symbols of aristocratic identity and integral to the collective memory of nobility. In this study of tangible and intangible cultural heritage Elizabeth Macknight explains the significance of nobles’ conservationist traditions for public engagement with the history of France. During the French Revolution nobles’ property was seized, destroyed, or sold off by the nation. State intervention during the nineteenth century meant historic monuments became protected under law in the public interest. The Journées du Patrimoine, created in 1984 by the French Ministry for Culture, became a Europe-wide calendar event in 1991. Each year millions of French and international visitors enter residences and museums to admire France’s aristocratic cultural heritage. Drawing on archival evidence from across the country, Macknight presents a compelling account of power, interest and emotion in family dynamics and nobles’ relations with rural and urban communities.
This book offers a new interpretation of the debates over education and politics in the early years of the French Revolution. This period witnessed a series of amazingly ambitious efforts to reform and reinvent the nation's political institutions, cultural politics, and social order. Deputies, political commentators, and private citizens alike recognized that reinventing French politics and transforming French society would require rethinking the principles and practices of education. The book aims to recapture the dynamism of this polyvalent debate and to flesh out the ambitions and dilemmas that gave it meaning during this most turbulent of historical moments. It traces an ambivalent strain in Enlightenment thought on education, a deep tension at the point of contact between seemingly limitless philosophical possibilities and the apparent limitations imposed by political and social realities. The book analyses the debate over education amid broader concerns about the nature and efficacy of representative government and the nascent idea of "public instruction" from its emergence as a revolutionary ambition through efforts to fulfill the constitutional promise of national education. It argues for a new understanding of "public instruction" as a pedagogical and political ideal and, with that, a revised sense of education's role in regenerating France and in working towards a representative and participatory system of government. The book also focuses on letters and proposals submitted by people affiliated or associated with the schools and related institutions. Finally, it surveys the changes the "education question" took on an explicitly republican form after September 1792.
In May 1774, Louis XV died, triggering a sequence of rituals unseen in fifty-nine
years. This book explores how these one-in-a-reign rituals unfolded fifteen
years before the Revolution. From the deathbed of Louis XV, the book covers his
funeral, the lit de justice of November 1774, and the coronation of Louis XVI
and related ceremonies in June 1775, relating them all to the politics of the
day. Threads of continuity emerge from this closely woven narrative to form a
compelling picture of these ceremonies in the dynamic culture of 1770s France.
Light is shed on the place of monarchy, the recall of the parlements and the
conduct of the coronation. This study provides an overview of the current state
of the field of ritual studies in English and French, situating ritual in
relation to court studies as well as political history. It covers court life,
the relationship between the monarch and the parlement, the preparation of
large-scale rituals and the ways in which those outside the court engaged with
these events, providing rich detail on this under-researched period. Written in
a clear, lively style, this book is the ideal text for the non-specialist and,
as each chapter deals with one ritual, it lends itself readily to undergraduate
teaching of topics around monarchy, court society, ritual, and politics,
including the Maupeou coup. More advanced students and specialists on the period
will find new perspectives and information presented in an engaging manner.