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Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789–1996$
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Avner Ben-Amos

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203285.001.0001

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Funerals of Politicians

Funerals of Politicians

(p.164) (p.165) 6 Funerals of Politicians
Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789–1996

Avner Ben-Amos

Oxford University Press

The long history of state funerals in France might have camouflaged the new direction given to the celebration once the republicans controlled the Third Republic. The continuous governmental denial that these ceremonies were anything more than a simple tribute of the nation to its loyal servants also made them seem identical to their predecessors of the Moral Order and the Second Empire. What are the indicators that the state funerals were, indeed, more than simple tributes paid to the loyal servants of the nation, and began a new departure in relation to those of previous regimes? The most evident indicator is the list of the persons to whom that honour was given; additional indicators are the manner of the celebration and the unofficial statements of the republicans concerning the ceremonies. This chapter looks at the state funerals of French politicians including three presidents: Adolphe Thiers, Léon Gambetta, and Félix Faure. It also discusses the unsuccessful official proposals for the transfer of great men to the Panthéon.

Keywords:   France, state funerals, politicians, presidents, republicans, Third Republic, Adolphe Thiers, Léon Gambetta, Félix Faure, Panthéon

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