The Moral Disarmament of France: Education, Pacifism, and Patriotism, 1914-1940

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Juni 2016



While French schoolteachers of the late nineteenth century have been widely celebrated for converting 'peasants into Frenchmen', their interwar counterparts have enjoyed little such acclaim. Both contemporary critics and subsequent scholars have condemned French pacifist schoolteachers of the interwar decades for cultivating antipatriotism and facilitating the defeat of 1940. Mona L. Siegel challenges such equations of teachers' pacifism with national betrayal. Drawn to pacifist ideals in the aftermath of World War I, schoolteachers sought to 'morally disarm' the nation by purging their classrooms of the militaristic images, symbols, narratives, and values that had led their generation to accept war without question in 1914. At the same time, however, their teaching remained rooted in longstanding patriotic and republican traditions. Siegel argues that interwar schoolteachers ultimately solidified French citizens' patriotic loyalties in an era when economic hardship and political extremism threatened to undermine those very ideals.


Introduction; 1. 'Raise Their Hearts to the Fatherland' - Patriotism, pacifism, and primary school education during the First World War; 2. 'Little French Children, Do Not Forget!' - Immediate postwar lessons and French collective memory of the Great War; 3. 'There are Only False Victories and Great Miseries' - Socialist internationalism, feminist pacifism, and the forging of a new ideological consensus; 4. 'War is Atrocious for All Fatherlands' - Pacifist scholastic narratives of the Great War; 5. 'To Love France is to Love All Humanity' - Patriotic education between the wars; 6. 'We Do Not Want War!' - Schoolteachers confront fascism and international conflict, 1933 to 1940.


Mona L. Siegel is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento. She has published in The Journal of Modern History and in French Historical Studies.


Review of the hardback: 'We found this book was an excellent example of how a history of education could address a broad historiographical question, namely the role of French schoolteachers in shaping pacifist and patriotic attitudes in the interwar period. We were also impressed with the quality of research, the range and variety of sources, and the careful development of the argument. We found this book to be a model of how to write the history of education ...' History of Education Society Review of the hardback: 'Siegel uses her sources to paint a complex picture of primary school education in interwar France and the variety of ways teachers responded to the moral implications of the Great War. ... Mona Siegel has written an important study that reveals the complexity of teachers' views of the war and relates directly to some of the pressing issues of our own place and time. As such, like all good histories, it prompts us to reflect on the ways the concerns of the past illuminate our current condition.' H-Net Review of the hardback: 'Using a rich variety of unpublished papers by elementary school teachers and their pupils, Mona L. Siegel traces the extraordinary trajectory of patriotic ideology in France from the outbreak of the Great War to the eve of the unwanted, feared Second World War.' Political ReviewNet
EAN: 9780521839006
ISBN: 0521839009
Untertitel: 'Studies in the Social and Cult'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Juni 2016
Seitenanzahl: 317 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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