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War in PeaceParamilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War$
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Robert Gerwarth and John Horne

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654918

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654918.001.0001

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Defending Victory

Defending Victory

Paramilitary Politics in France, 1918–1926. A Counter-example

(p.216) 13 Defending Victory
War in Peace

John Horne

Oxford University Press

John Horne's chapter discusses the counter-example to the overall thesis of this volume by exploring why paramilitarism did not become a prominent feature of postwar political life in metropolitan France and Britain. It is argued that not only were Britain and France ‘victorious’ in November 1918, their political systems coped successfully with the strains of the war. Postwar social conflict, while serious, did not fundamentally challenge the established order. With the major exception of the War of Independence in Ireland, their geographical integrity was not called into question. Understanding why this was so, and what factors limited paramilitarism, casts light on its far more extensive and violent manifestations elsewhere.

Keywords:   France, Britain, cultures of victory, unions

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