France Since 1871

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Course Date: Anytime (self-paced)

Price: free

Course Summary

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.

Course Instructors

Professor John Merriman

John Merriman is Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University. Specializing in French and modern European history, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His publications include The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848-1851, A History of Modern Europe Since the Renaissance, and Police Stories: Making the French State, 1815-1851. He is currently at work on Dynamite: Emile Henry, the Café Terminus, and the Origins of Modern Terrorism in Fin-de-Siecle Paris. In 2000, Professor Merriman was the recipient of the Yale University Byrnes-Sewall Teaching Prize.

Course Description

Barbusse, Henri. Under Fire. London: Penguin Books, 2004.Bloch, Marc. Strange Defeat. New York: Norton, 1999.Carles, Emilie. A Life of Her Own. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.Farmer, Sarah. Martyred Village. Berkley: University of California Press, 2000.Sowerwine, Charles. France since 1870: Culture, Politics and Society. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.Zola, Emile. Germinal. London: Penguin Books, 2004.In addition to the lectures, there will be a weekly discussion section, time to be arranged. One of the sections will be taught in French. A short paper will be required, in consultation with the instructors. There will be a mid-term examination, and a final exam, which may be taken either as a written or oral examination, and three films will be shown.Grades will be determined by equally weighing the midterm, final and paper grades.


This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2007.Download all course pages [zip - 10MB]Video and audio elements from this course are also available on:

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