History Conferences - Conference II

After becoming the world’s beacon for culture, entertainment and sophistication at the turn of the Twentieth Century, France sinks into the long cataclysm unleashed by the First World War. On Armistice Day on 11 November 1918, France emerged triumphant but battered. How can it be a victory when 1.4 million French soldiers are dead, millions more are maimed or turned widows and orphans, when a fifth of the country’s territory is just a field of ruins and utter devastation? 1919 ushered the time of La Reconstruction for the country, a process that took the best part of a decade. The traumatism created by the sheer cost of the First World War offers a helpful lens to understand interwar France, with a people striving to enjoy the pleasures of life in the Roaring Twenties and social reforms under the Front Populaire, while reluctantly marching toward another global conflict. Should France support the Republicans in Spain in 1936? Should it re-arm massively to be able to defend itself should the occasion arise? What about Germany and Italy: cooperation or opposition? The 1930s prove extremely difficult to navigate for the French, and the optimism of the previous decades progressively recedes into the distance with the rise of totalitarian regimes.

$20 one conference, $50 the three conferences

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