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For decades after the end of World War II the question of French collaboration with the Nazis was obscured. One of the reasons for this was the desire of de Gaulle and others to downplay the central role of communists in resisting the occupation. In fact, many French civilians were involved to greater or lesser degrees in informing upon their fellows or otherwise furthering the interests of the German invaders. Under the Vichy regime, right-wing politics in France developed an ideological program founded upon an appeal to nationalism, the soil, and the rejection of perceived decadence.
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.