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French culture is threatened both by European Unification and the rise of xenophobia within France itself. The defeat of the referendum on the European Constitution testified to the dissatisfaction of many people in rural France with the economic realities of the new international community. Racist policies targeting residents of France's poor suburbs threaten the national ideal of liberty, equality, and fraternity. These problems remain to be resolved if France is to preserve its unique identity.
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.