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The student protests of May 1968 in France were linked to international protests against the American war in Vietnam and other political and social consequences of the Cold War. In many respects, the terrible condition of many schools in France that led students to revolt remains a problem. Recent attempts to impose American-style reforms on the university system have met with protests that echo some of the demands made in '68; although, other conditions for revolution seem as though they may never again be realized in the same way.
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.