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Level 5

5AAH2011: The French Civil War, 1934-1970

Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor (2018/19): Professor Richard Vinen
Teaching pattern: 20 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Prerequisites: A reading knowledge of French is required
Assessment: 1 x 3 hour examination (60%), 2 x 2,000 word essays (15% each) & 1 x oral presentation (10%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment by the following methods: 1 x 3 hour examination (60%); 2 x 2,000 word essays (15% each); 1 x 1500 word essay (10%)

N.B. This module cannot be taken in conjunction with 5AAFF254 Modernity and the City due to possible overlap of content.

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

This module deals with the series of violent political conflicts that shook France between the right-wing riots of 1934 and the death of de Gaulle in 1970. Special attention will be given to the strikes of 1936 and 1938; the internal roots of the defeat in 1940; the Vichy government; the conflict within France brought by the Algerian war and the protest movements of 1968.

Provisional teaching plan

Semester 1

1. Introduction
2. The 1930s and the Popular Front
3. The defeat
4. The Establishment of the Vichy regime
5. Pétainisme
6. Charles de Gaulle in 1940
7. The resistance to 1942
8. Vichy policy
9. The Resistance from 1942
10. The Liberation/purges

Semester 2

11. The Fourth Republic 1947-1951
12. The Fourth Republic 1951-1958
13. Indo-China
14. Algeria 1954-1958
15. The fall of the Fourth Republic and the return of de Gaulle
16. The Algerian War 1958-1962
17. A permanent coup d’état?  The stabilization of the Fifth Republic
18.1968: students
19. 1968 workers 
20. 1968 high politic

Introductory reading list

This is suggested reading and purchase of these texts is not mandatory.

Eugen Weber, The Hollow Years: France in the 1930s (New York, 1995). DC 389 WEB

Ernst May, Strange Victory: Hitler’s Conquest of France (New York, 2000) D 802.F8May

Robert Paxton, Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order (New York, 1972), DC397PAX

Julian Jackson, France: the Dark Years, 1940-1944 (Oxford, 2002), DC397JAC

Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria, 1954-1962 (New York, 2006) DT295.5HOR

Jean Lacouture De Gaulle (2 volumes, London, 1990 and 1991), DC 407.G2LAC

Kristin Ross, May 68 and its Afterlives (Chicago, 2002) DC412ROS

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