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The Paris Commune of 1871 remained a potent force in Europe for several generations afterwards. The reprisals following the fall of the Commune anticipated the great massacres of the twentieth century. While the brief reign of the communards witnessed serious adversity in the form of food shortages and disease, it also presided over many progressive social measures, such as the relative emancipation of women. The brutality of the army's actions against the communards would cast a pallor over leftist politics in Europe for decades to come.
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.