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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 4: 1800-1945$
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Stuart Macintyre, Juan Maiguashca, and Attila Pók

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199533091.001.0001

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Historical Writing in France, 1800–1914

Historical Writing in France, 1800–1914

Chapter:
(p.184) Chapter 9 Historical Writing in France, 1800–1914
Source:
The Oxford History of Historical Writing
Author(s):

Pim den Boer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199533091.003.0010

This chapter argues that historical visions and future perspectives in France have always been dominated by the Revolution of 1789. Not only have historical visions been dominated by the subsequent revolutions and counter-revolutions of the July Revolution of 1830 and the February Revolution of 1848, but also by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. Also, the Paris Commune forcefully reactivated the ideals of revolution and reaction. This chapter states that all thinking about the past in French society remained dominated by the spectre of the revolution and this lasted until the new cataclysm of World War I. The past was often adapted and reconstructed in order to serve claims and ideals of the present and future, becoming an important terrain for contemporary political struggle and personal ambitions.

Keywords:   France, French society, World War I, history, February Revolution, July Revolution, Paris Commune

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