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  • Series: Studies in Modern French and Francophone History x
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Education and revolution in eighteenth-century France

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.

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France and the Spanish Civil War refugees, 1939–2009

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.

Bankers, Socialists and Sephardic Jews in nineteenth-century France

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'.

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.

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Sport, spectatorship and mass society in modern France

The stadium century traces the history of stadia and mass spectatorship in modern France from the vélodromes of the late nineteenth century to the construction of the Stade de France before the 1998 soccer World Cup, and argues that stadia played a privileged role in shaping mass society in twentieth-century France. Drawing off a wide range of archival and published sources, Robert W. Lewis links the histories of French urbanism, mass politics and sport through the history of the stadium in an innovative and original work that will appeal to historians, students of French history and the history of sport, and general readers alike. As The stadium century demonstrates, the stadium was at the centre of long-running debates about public health, national prestige and urban development in twentieth-century France. The stadium also functioned as a key space for mobilizing and transforming the urban crowd, in the twin contexts of mass politics and mass spectator sport. In the process, the stadium became a site for confronting tensions over political allegiance, class, gender, and place-based identity, and for forging particular kinds of cultural practices related to mass consumption and leisure. As stadia and the narratives surrounding them changed dramatically in the years after 1945, the transformed French stadium not only reflected and constituted part of the process of postwar modernisation, but also was increasingly implicated in global transformations to the spaces and practices of sport that connected France even more closely to the rest of the world.

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The winegrowers of the Languedoc and modern France

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.

History and memory within the pied-noir and harki communities, 1962–2012

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.

The search for a republican morality

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.

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Ritual and politics in France before the Revolution

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.