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Interwar politics in a French border region: the Moselle in the period of the Popular Front, 1934-1938

Zanoun, Louisa (2009) Interwar politics in a French border region: the Moselle in the period of the Popular Front, 1934-1938. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

Between 1934 and 1936 various organisations of the French left joined forces to create the Popular Front, an alliance borne of an antifascist imperative. After winning the May 1936 legislative elections, and in a climate of growing opposition from conservative and far right forces, the left-wing coalition came to power. By the end of 1938, the Popular Front had collapsed and the right was back in power. During this period (1934-1938), the right and far right repeatedly challenged the left-wing alliance‟s legitimacy and attacked its constituent political parties. This conflict between left and right intensified France‟s political and social tensions and polarised French politics and French society into supporters and opponents of the Popular Front. This thesis examines the role of the right within the context of the Popular Front and seeks to answer the following question: how did the right act in response to the Popular Front between 1934 and 1938? The thesis focuses on the Moselle, a border département returned to French sovereignty after forty-seven years under German domination (1871-1918). By 1934, the Moselle had developed a distinctive political character sympathetic to the right and hostile, or at best indifferent, to the left. By drawing parallels between Parisian and Mosellan events and using new archival material, the thesis demonstrates the originality of the Popular Front in the Moselle, and the responses of the local, and essentially Catholic and particularist, right. No scholarly work has yet examined the conflict between the right and the left within the context of the Popular Front in the Moselle. This thesis demonstrates how the département's distinctive historical, social, linguistic, cultural, political and religious context shaped the Popular Front and the right‟s responses to it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2009 Louisa Zanoun
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DC France
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Boyce, Robert
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/297

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