Lieber Daniel: Briefe an meinen Sohn (German Edition)

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Philip Niels, a hero of the nation , goes on the quest to find his neighbour, who has mysteriously disappeared. From poor suburbs to the great northern landscapes , from detention centres to ultrasecured zones, he explores a country which has been subjugated by a dictatorship. About us About us.

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National Awards International Awards. Philip Niels, a hero of the nation, goes on the quest to find his neighbour, who has mysteriously disappeared. From poor suburbs to the great northern landscapes, from detention centres to ultrasecured zones, he explores a country which has been subjugated by a dictatorship. Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest. One sunny spring morning the Tasman Bay settlement of Kahukura is overwhelmed by a mysterious mass insanity. A handful of survivors find themselves cut off from the world, and surrounded by the dead. As they try to take care of one another, Young Malian is being trained to rule.

Her people garrison the mountain range known as the Wall of Night against an ancient enemy, keeping a tide of shadow from the rest of their world. Something has gone wrong on the planet of Paradise. It replaced the ancient kingdom of France, ruled by the divine right of kings. Hobsbawm highlighted the role of conscription , invented by Napoleon, and of the s public instruction laws, which allowed mixing of the various groups of France into a nationalist mold which created the French citizen and his consciousness of membership to a common nation, while the various regional languages of France were progressively eradicated.

The Franco-Prussian War , which led to the short-lived Paris Commune of , was instrumental in bolstering patriotic feelings; until World War I — , French politicians never completely lost sight of the disputed Alsace-Lorraine region which played a major role in the definition of the French nation and therefore of the French people.

Successive waves of immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries were rapidly assimilated into French culture. France's population dynamics began to change in the middle of the 19th century, as France joined the Industrial Revolution. The pace of industrial growth attracted millions of European immigrants over the next century, with especially large numbers arriving from Poland , Belgium , Portugal , Italy , and Spain. In the period from to , many immigrants came from Czechoslovakia , Hungary , Russia , Scandinavia and Yugoslavia. Small but significant numbers of Frenchmen in the North and Northeast regions have relatives in Germany and Great Britain.

Hence, by , Jews of North African origin comprised the majority of the Jewish population of France. As these new immigrants were already culturally French they needed little time to adjust to French society. French law made it easy for thousands of settlers colons in French , national French from former colonies of North and East Africa , India and Indochina to live in mainland France. It is estimated that 20, settlers were living in Saigon in , and there were 68, European settlers living in Madagascar in In the s, a second wave of immigration came to France, which was needed for reconstruction purposes and for cheaper labour after the devastation brought on by World War II.

French entrepreneurs went to Maghreb countries looking for cheap labour, thus encouraging work-immigration to France. Their settlement was officialized with Jacques Chirac 's family regrouping act of regroupement familial. Since then, immigration has become more varied, although France stopped being a major immigration country compared to other European countries.

The large impact of North African and Arab immigration is the greatest and has brought racial , socio-cultural and religious questions to a country seen as homogenously European, French and Christian for thousands of years. Most French people speak the French language as their mother tongue , but certain languages like Norman , Occitan , Auvergnat , Corsican , Euskara , French Flemish and Breton remain spoken in certain regions see Language policy in France. There have also been periods of history when a majority of French people had other first languages local languages such as Occitan , Catalan , Alsatian , West Flemish , Lorraine Franconian , Gallo , Picard or Ch'timi and Arpitan.

Today, many immigrants speak another tongue at home. Abroad, the French language is spoken in many different countries — in particular the former French colonies. Nevertheless, speaking French is distinct from being a French citizen. Thus, francophonie , or the speaking of French, must not be confused with French citizenship or ethnicity.

For example, French speakers in Switzerland are not "French citizens". Native English-speaking Blacks on the island of Saint-Martin hold French nationality even though they do not speak French as a first language, while their neighbouring French-speaking Haitian immigrants who also speak a French-creole remain foreigners. The adjective "French" can be used to mean either "French citizen" or "French-speaker", and usage varies depending on the context, with the former being common in France. The latter meaning is often used in Canada, when discussing matters internal to Canada.

The modern ethnic French are the descendants of Romans , Celts , Iberians , Ligurians and Greeks in southern France, [63] [64] mixed with Germanic peoples arriving at the end of the Roman Empire such as the Franks and the Burgundians , [28] [65] [66] and some Vikings who mixed with the Normans and settled mostly in Normandy in the 9th century.

According to Dominique Schnapper , "The classical conception of the nation is that of an entity which, opposed to the ethnic group, affirms itself as an open community, the will to live together expressing itself by the acceptation of the rules of a unified public domain which transcends all particularisms". However, despite its occasional nativist usage, the Gaulish identity has also been embraced by French of non-native origins as well: It has been noted that the French view of having Gallic origins has evolved over history.

Before the French Revolution, it divided social classes, with the peasants identifying with the native Gauls while the aristocracy identified with the Franks. Myriam Krepps of the University of Nebraska-Omaha argues that the view of "a unified territory one land since the beginning of civilization and a unified people" which de-emphasized "all disparities and the succession of waves of invaders" was first imprinted on the masses by the unified history curriculum of French textbooks in the late s. Since the beginning of the Third Republic — , the state has not categorized people according to their alleged ethnic origins.

Hence, in contrast to the United States Census , French people are not asked to define their ethnic appartenance, whichever it may be. The usage of ethnic and racial categorization is avoided to prevent any case of discrimination; the same regulations apply to religious membership data that cannot be compiled under the French Census. This classic French republican non- essentialist conception of nationality is officialized by the French Constitution , according to which "French" is a nationality , and not a specific ethnicity.

France has been influenced by the many different human migrations that wide-crossed Europe over time. Prehistoric and Neolithic population movements could have influenced the genetic diversity of this country. The five main haplogroups are R1 The high frequency of this haplogroup is typical in all West European populations. Haplogroups I and G are also characteristic markers for many different West European populations. Only adults with French surnames were analyzed by the study.

Provence , a province of southern France was colonized by Ancient Greeks who founded the cities of Marseilles and Nice. There was also some evidence for limited Greek influence in Corsica. French nationality has not meant automatic citizenship. Some categories of French people have been excluded, throughout the years, from full citizenship:. France was one of the first countries to implement denaturalization laws. Philosopher Giorgio Agamben has pointed out this fact that the French law which permitted denaturalization with regard to naturalized citizens of "enemy" origins was one of the first example of such legislation, which Nazi Germany later implemented with the Nuremberg Laws.

Furthermore, some authors who have insisted on the "crisis of the nation-state" allege that nationality and citizenship are becoming separate concepts. They show as example " international ", " supranational citizenship" or " world citizenship " membership to international nongovernmental organizations such as Amnesty International or Greenpeace. This would indicate a path toward a " postnational citizenship".

Beside this, modern citizenship is linked to civic participation also called positive freedom , which implies voting, demonstrations , petitions , activism , etc. Therefore, social exclusion may lead to deprivation of citizenship. In France, the conception of citizenship teeters between universalism and multiculturalism , especially in recent years.

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French citizenship has been defined for a long time by three factors: Political integration which includes but is not limited to racial integration is based on voluntary policies which aims at creating a common identity, and the interiorization by each individual of a common cultural and historic legacy.

Since in France, the state preceded the nation, voluntary policies have taken an important place in the creation of this common cultural identity. On the other hand, the interiorization of a common legacy is a slow process, which B. Villalba compares to acculturation. According to him, "integration is therefore the result of a double will: Villalba thus shows that any democratic nation characterize itself by its project of transcending all forms of particular memberships whether biological - or seen as such, [79] ethnic, historic, economic, social, religious or cultural.

The citizen thus emancipates himself from the particularisms of identity which characterize himself to attain a more "universal" dimension. He is a citizen, before being a member of a community or of a social class [80]. Therefore, according to Villalba, "a democratic nation is, by definition, multicultural as it gathers various populations, which differs by their regional origins Auvergnats, Bretons, Corsicans or Lorrains Ernest Renan described this republican conception in his famous 11 March conference at the Sorbonne , Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?

A nation-state is not composed of a single homogeneous ethnic group a community , but of a variety of individuals willing to live together. Renan's non-essentialist definition, which forms the basis of the French Republic, is diametrically opposed to the German ethnic conception of a nation, first formulated by Fichte. The German conception is usually qualified in France as an "exclusive" view of nationality, as it includes only the members of the corresponding ethnic group, while the Republican conception thinks itself as universalist , following the Enlightenment 's ideals officialized by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

While Ernest Renan's arguments were also concerned by the debate about the disputed Alsace-Lorraine region, he said that not only one referendum had to be made in order to ask the opinions of the Alsatian people, but also a "daily referendum" should be made concerning all those citizens wanting to live in the French nation-state. Henceforth, contrary to the German definition of a nation based on objective criteria, such as race or ethnic group , which may be defined by the existence of a common language , among other criteria, the people of France is defined as all the people living in the French nation-state and willing to do so, i.

This definition of the French nation-state contradicts the common opinion , which holds that the concept of the French people identifies with one particular ethnic group. This contradiction explains the seeming paradox encountered when attempting to identify a "French ethnic group ": This universalist conception of citizenship and of the nation has influenced the French model of colonization. While the British empire preferred an indirect rule system, which did not mix the colonized people with the colonists, the French Republic theoretically chose an integration system and considered parts of its colonial empire as France itself and its population as French people.

This ideal also led to the ironic sentence which opened up history textbooks in France as in its colonies: However, this universal ideal, rooted in the French Revolution "bringing liberty to the people" , suffered from the racism that impregnated colonialism. Liberal author Tocqueville himself considered that the British model was better adapted than the French one and did not balk before the cruelties of General Bugeaud 's conquest.

He went as far as advocating racial segregation there. This paradoxical tension between the universalist conception of the French nation and the racism inherent in colonization is most obvious in Ernest Renan himself, who went as far as advocating a kind of eugenics. In a 26 June letter to Arthur de Gobineau , author of An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races —55 and one of the first theoreticians of " scientific racism ", he wrote:. The French mind turns little to ethnographic considerations: France has little belief in race, [ Does that mean total decadence? Yes, certainly from the standpoint of the stability of institutions, the originality of character, a certain nobility that I hold to be the most important factor in the conjunction of human affairs.

But also what compensations! No doubt if the noble elements mixed in the blood of a people happened to disappear completely, then there would be a demeaning equality, like that of some Eastern states and in some respects China. But it is in fact a very small amount of noble blood put into the circulation of a people that is enough to ennoble them, at least as to historical effects; this is how France, a nation so completely fallen into commonness, in practice plays on the world stage the role of a gentleman.

Setting aside the quite inferior races whose intermingling with the great races would only poison the human species, I see in the future a homogeneous humanity. Feudal law recognized personal allegeance to the sovereign , but the subjects of the sovereign were defined by their birthland. According to the 3 September Constitution, those who are born in France from a foreign father and have fixed their residency in France, or those who, after being born in foreign country from a French father, have come to France and have sworn their civil oath, become French citizens.

Because of the war, distrust toward foreigners led to the obligation on the part of this last category to swear a civil oath in order to gain French nationality.

French Third Republic - Wikipedia

However, the Napoleonic Code would insist on jus sanguinis "right of blood". However, according to Patrick Weil , it was not "ethnically motivated" but "only meant that family links transmitted by the pater familias had become more important than subjecthood". With the 7 February law, voted during the Second Republic — , "double jus soli " was introduced in French legislation, combining birth origin with paternity.

Thus, it gave French nationality to the child of a foreigner, if both are born in France, except if the year following his coming of age he reclaims a foreign nationality thus prohibiting dual nationality. This law was in part passed because of conscription concerns. This system more or less remained the same until the reform of the Nationality Code, created by the 9 January law.

The reform, which defines the Nationality law , is deemed controversial by some. It commits young people born in France to foreign parents to solicit French nationality between the ages of 16 and This has been criticized, some arguing that the principle of equality before the law was not complied with, since French nationality was no longer given automatically at birth, as in the classic "double jus soli " law, but was to be requested when approaching adulthood. Henceforth, children born in France from French parents were differentiated from children born in France from foreign parents, creating a hiatus between these two categories.

French Third Republic

The reform was prepared by the Pasqua laws. The first Pasqua law, in , restricts residence conditions in France and facilitates expulsions. With this law, a child born in France from foreign parents can only acquire French nationality if he or she demonstrates his or her will to do so, at age 16, by proving that he or she has been schooled in France and has a sufficient command of the French language.

This new policy is symbolized by the expulsion of Malians by charter. The second Pasqua law on "immigration control" makes regularisation of illegal aliens more difficult and, in general, residence conditions for foreigners much harder. Charles Pasqua, who said on 11 May Therefore, modern French nationality law combines four factors: Exposed as the Affaire Des Fiches , the scandal undermined support for the Combes government, and he resigned. It also undermined morale in the army, as officers realized that hostile spies examining their private lives were more important to their careers than their own professional accomplishments.

This law was heavily supported by Combes, who had been strictly enforcing the voluntary association law and the law on religious congregations' freedom of teaching. On 10 February , the Chamber declared that "the attitude of the Vatican" had rendered the separation of Church and State inevitable and the law of the separation of church and state was passed in December The Church was badly hurt and lost half its priests. In the long run, however, it gained autonomy; ever after, the State no longer had a voice in choosing bishops, thus Gallicanism was dead.

Foreign-policy was based on a slow rebuilding of alliances With Russia and Britain in order to counteract the threat from Germany. Bismarck's decision came in response to popular demand, and the Army's demand for a strong frontier. It was not necessary since France was much weaker militarily than Germany, but it forced Bismarck to orient German foreign policy to block France from having any major allies. Alsace and Lorraine were a grievance for some years, but by had largely faded away with the French realization that nostalgia was not as useful as modernization.

France rebuilt its Army, emphasizing modernization in such features as new artillery, and after invested heavily in military aircraft. Most important in restoring prestige was a strong emphasis on the growing French Empire, which brought prestige, despite large financial costs. Very few French families settled in the colonies,, and they were too poor in natural resources and trade to significantly benefit the overall economy.

Nevertheless, they were second in size only to the British Empire, provided prestige in world affairs, and gave an opportunity for Catholics under heavy attack by the Republicans in Parliament to devote their energies to spread French culture and civilization worldwide. An extremely expensive investment in building the Panama Canal was a total failure, in terms of money, many deaths by disease, and political scandal.

For example, Berlin broke its close ties with Moscow, allowing the French to enter through heavy financial investment, and a Paris-St Petersburg military alliance that proved essential and durable. Germany feuded with Britain, which encouraged London and Paris to drop of their grievances over Egypt and Africa, reaching a compromise whereby the French recognized British primacy in Egypt, while Britain recognized French primacy in Morocco.

This enabled Britain and France to move closer together, finally achieving a informal military relationship after French diplomacy was largely independent of domestic affairs; economic, cultural and religious interest groups paid little attention to foreign affairs. Permanent professional diplomats and bureaucrats had developed their own traditions of how to operate at the Quai d'Orsay where the Foreign Ministry was located , and their style changed little from generation to generation.

Although France was one of the few republics in Europe, its diplomats mingled smoothly with the aristocratic representatives at the royal courts. Prime ministers and leading politicians generally paid little attention to foreign affairs, allowing a handful of senior men to control policy. In the decades before the First World War they dominated the embassies in the 10 major countries where France had an ambassador elsewhere, they set lower-ranking ministers.

In terms of foreign policy, there was general agreement about the need for high protective tariffs, which kept agricultural prices high. After the defeat by the Germans, there was a strong widespread anti-German sentiment focused on revanchism and regaining Alsace and Lorraine. The Empire was a matter of great pride, and service as administrators, soldiers and missionaries was a high status, occupation.

Although religion was a hotly contested matter and domestic politics, the Catholic Church made missionary work and church building a specialty in the colonies. Most Frenchman ignored foreign policy; its issues were a low priority in politics. French foreign policy was based on a fear of Germany—whose larger size and fast-growing economy could not be matched—combined with a revanchism that demanded the return of Alsace and Lorraine.

The most dangerous episode was the Fashoda Incident of when French troops tried to claim an area in the Southern Sudan, and a British force purporting to be acting in the interests of the Khedive of Egypt arrived. Under heavy pressure the French withdrew, securing Anglo-Egyptian control over the area. The status quo was recognised by an agreement between the two states acknowledging British control over Egypt, while France became the dominant power in Morocco , but France suffered a humiliating defeat overall.

The Suez Canal , initially built by the French, became a joint British-French project in , as both saw it as vital to maintaining their influence and empires in Asia. In , ongoing civil disturbances in Egypt prompted Britain to intervene, extending a hand to France. The government allowed Britain to take effective control of Egypt. France had colonies in Asia and looked for alliances and found in Japan a possible ally. At Japan's request Paris sent military missions in — , in — and in — to help modernize the Japanese army. Admiral Courbet destroyed the Chinese fleet anchored at Foochow.

The treaty ending the war put France in a protectorate over northern and central Vietnam, which it divided into Tonkin and Annam. Under the leadership of expansionist Jules Ferry , the Third Republic greatly expanded the French colonial empire. French foreign policy in the years leading up to the First World War was based largely on hostility to and fear of German power. France secured an alliance with the Russian Empire in after diplomatic talks between Germany and Russia had failed to produce any working agreement.

The Franco-Russian Alliance served as the cornerstone of French foreign policy until A further link with Russia was provided by vast French investments and loans before The Entente Cordiale , which functioned as an informal Anglo-French alliance, was further strengthened by the First and Second Moroccan crises of and , and by secret military and naval staff talks.

Preoccupied with internal problems, France paid little attention to foreign policy in the period between late and mid, although it did extend military service to three years from two over strong Socialist objections in The Third Republic, in line with the imperialistic ethos of the day sweeping Europe, developed a French colonial empire. French administrators, soldiers, and missionaries were dedicated to bringing French civilization to the local populations of these colonies the mission civilisatrice.

Some French businessmen went overseas, but there were few permanent settlements.


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The Catholic Church became deeply involved. Its missionaries were unattached men committed to staying permanently, learning local languages and customs, and converting the natives to Christianity. France successfully integrated the colonies into its economic system. By , one third of its exports went to its colonies; Paris businessmen invested heavily in agriculture, mining, and shipping. In Indochina, new plantations were opened for rubber and rice.

In Algeria, land held by rich settlers rose from 1,, hectares in to 2,, hectares in ; combined with similar operations in Morocco and Tunisia, the result was that North African agriculture became one of the most efficient in the world. Metropolitan France was a captive market, so large landowners could borrow large sums in Paris to modernize agricultural techniques with tractors and mechanized equipment. The result was a dramatic increase in the export of wheat, corn, peaches, and olive oil. French Algeria became the fourth most important wine producer in the world.

Opposition to colonial rule led to rebellions in Morocco in , Syria in , and Indochina in , all of which the colonial army quickly suppressed. Not involved in the decision-making were military leaders, arms manufacturers, the newspapers, pressure groups, party leaders, or spokesmen for French nationalism.

Britain wanted to remain neutral but entered the war when the German army invaded Belgium on its way to Paris. The French victory at the Battle of the Marne in September ensured the failure of Germany's strategy to win quickly. It became a long and very bloody war of attrition, but France emerged on the winning side. French intellectuals welcomed the war to avenge the humiliation of defeat and loss of territory in The economy was hurt by the German invasion of major industrial areas in the northeast. By , the war economy went into high gear, as millions of French women and colonial men replaced the civilian roles of many of the 3 million soldiers.

Considerable assistance came with the influx of American food, money and raw materials in This war economy would have important reverberations after the war, as it would be a first breach of liberal theories of non-interventionism. Inflation was severe, with the franc losing over half its value against the British pound. To uplift the French national spirit, many intellectuals began to fashion patriotic propaganda. After the French army successfully defended Paris in , the conflict became one of trench warfare along the Western Front , with very high casualty rates.

It became a war of attrition. Until spring of , amazing as it seems, there were almost no territorial gains or losses for either side. Georges Clemenceau , whose ferocious energy and determination earned him the nickname le Tigre "the Tiger" , led a coalition government after that was determined to defeat Germany. Meanwhile, large swaths of northeastern France fell under the brutal control of German occupiers. A change of fortunes in the late summer and autumn of led to the defeat of Germany in World War I. The most important factors that led to the surrender of Germany were its exhaustion after four years of fighting and the arrival of large numbers of troops from the United States beginning in the summer of Peace terms were imposed on Germany by the Big Four: Clemenceau demanded the harshest terms and won most of them in the Treaty of Versailles in Germany was largely disarmed and forced to take full responsibility for the war, meaning that it was expected to pay huge war reparations.

France regained Alsace-Lorraine, and the German industrial Saar Basin , a coal and steel region, was occupied by France. From to , France was governed by two main groupings of political alliances. The Bloc was supported by business and finance and was friendly toward the army and the Church. Its main goals were revenge against Germany, economic prosperity for French business and stability in domestic affairs.

Herriot's party was in fact neither radical nor socialist, rather it represented the interests of small business and the lower middle class. It was intensely anti-clerical and resisted the Catholic Church. The Cartel was occasionally willing to form a coalition with the Socialist Party. Anti-democratic groups, such as the Communists on the left and royalists on the right, played relatively minor roles.

The flow of reparations from Germany played a central role in strengthening French finances. The government began a large-scale reconstruction program to repair wartime damages, and was burdened with a very large public debt. From to , the French economy prospered and manufacturing flourished. Foreign observers in the s noted the excesses of the French upper classes, but emphasized the rapid re-building of the regions of northeastern France that had seen warfare and occupation.

They reported the improvement of financial markets, the brilliance of the post-war literature and the revival of public morale. The world economic crisis known as the Great Depression affected France a bit later than other countries, hitting around In addition, there was no banking crisis. Foreign policy was of growing concern interest to France during the inter-war period. The horrible devastation of the war, including the death of 1. France demanded that Germany assume many of the costs incurred from the war through annual reparation payments.

France enthusiastically joined the League of Nations in , but felt betrayed by President Woodrow Wilson , when his promises that the United States would sign a defence treaty with France and join the League were rejected by the United States Congress. The main goal of French foreign policy was to preserve French power and neutralize the threat posed by Germany.

When Germany fell behind in reparations payments in , France seized the industrialized Ruhr region. France tried to create a web of defensive treaties against Germany with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. There was little effort to build up the military strength or technological capabilities of these small allies, and they remained weak and divided among themselves.

In the end, the alliances proved worthless. France also constructed a powerful defensive wall in the form of a network of fortresses along its German border. It was called the Maginot Line and was trusted to compensate for the heavy manpower losses of the First World War. The main goal of foreign policy was the diplomatic response to the demands of the French army in the s and s to form alliances against the German threat, especially with Britain and with smaller countries in central Europe. Appeasement was increasingly adopted as Germany grew stronger after , for France suffered a stagnant economy, unrest in its colonies, and bitter internal political fighting.

Appeasement, says historian Martin Thomas was not a coherent diplomatic strategy or a copying of the British. In , the socialist movement split, with the majority forming the French Communist Party. When Stalin told French Communists to collaborate with others on the left in , a popular front was made possible with an emphasis on unity against fascism. In , the Socialists and the Radicals formed a coalition, with Communist support, to complete it. The Popular Front's narrow victory in the elections of the spring of brought to power a government headed by the Socialists in alliance with the Radicals.

The Communists supported its domestic policies, but did not take any seats in the cabinet. In two years in office, it focused on labor law changes sought by the trade unions, especially the mandatory hour work week , down from 48 hours. All workers were given a two-week paid vacation. A collective bargaining law facilitated union growth; membership soared from 1,, to 5,, in one year, and workers' political strength was enhanced when the Communist and non-Communist unions joined together. The government nationalized the armaments industry and tried to seize control of the Bank of France in an effort to break the power of the richest families in the country.

Farmers received higher prices, and the government purchased surplus wheat, but farmers had to pay higher taxes.

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Wave after wave of strikes hit French industry in The higher prices for French products resulted in a decline in overseas sales, which the government tried to neutralize by devaluing the franc, a measure that led to a reduction in the value of bonds and savings accounts. The overall result was significant damage to the French economy, and a lower rate of growth.

Most historians judge the Popular Front a failure, although some call it a partial success. There is general agreement that it failed to live up to the expectations of the left. Politically, the Popular Front fell apart over Blum's refusal to intervene vigorously in the Spanish Civil War , as demanded by the Communists. Above all, the Communists portrayed themselves as French nationalists.

Young Communists dressed in costumes from the revolutionary period and the scholars glorified the Jacobins as heroic predecessors. Historians have turned their attention to the right in the interwar period, looking at various categories of conservatives and Catholic groups as well as the far right fascist movement. The favorite enemy was the left, especially as represented by socialists. The conservatives were divided on foreign affairs. The Revue des deux Mondes , with its prestigious past and sharp articles, was a major conservative organ. Summer camps and youth groups were organized to promote conservative values in working-class families, and help them design a career path.

France's republican government had long been strongly anti-clerical. The Law of Separation of Church and State in had expelled many religious orders, declared all Church buildings government property, and led to the closing of most Church schools. In the papal encyclical Maximam Gravissimamque , many areas of dispute were tacitly settled and a bearable coexistence made possible. The Catholic Church expanded its social activities after , especially by forming youth movements.

It encouraged young working women to adopt Catholic approaches to morality and to prepare for future roles as mothers at the same time as it promoted notions of spiritual equality and encouraged young women to take active, independent, and public roles in the present. Catholics on the far right supported several shrill, but small, groupings that preached doctrines similar to fascism. It was intensely nationalistic, anti-Semitic and reactionary, calling for a return to the monarchy and domination of the state by the Catholic Church. France and Great Britain abandoned Czechoslovakia and appeased the Germans by giving in to their demands concerning the acquisition of the Sudetenland the portions of Czechoslovakia with German-speaking majorities.

Intensive rearmament programs began in and were re-doubled in , but they would only bear fruit in and Historians have debated two themes regarding the sudden collapse of the French government in One emphasizes a broad cultural and political interpretation, pointing to failures, internal dissension, and a sense of malaise that ran through all French society. As the French 1st, 7th, 9th armies and the British Expeditionary Force moved in Belgium to meet Army Group B, the German Army Group A outflanked the Allies at the Battle of Sedan of by coming through the Ardennes , a broken and heavily forested terrain that had been believed to be impassable to armoured units.

The Germans also rushed along the Somme valley toward the English Channel coast to catch the Allies in a large pocket that forced them into the disastrous Battle of Dunkirk.