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9. General Boulanger and Captain Dreyfus

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9. General Boulanger and Captain Dreyfus

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

Two of the major crises of nineteenth-century France, the Boulanger Affair and the Dreyfus Affair, can be understood in terms of the rising forces of anti-Semitism and Far Right politics. The German conquest of Alsace and Lorraine, in particular, fueled nationalist and right-wing sentiments, especially in rural France. Political orientations and prejudices were formed by the popular media of the time, such as illustrated periodicals and patriotic songs.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Anti-semitic Context: France and the Jews in the Nineteenth Century
07:47 - Chapter 2. The Boulanger Crisis: General Boulanger, General Victory
22:16 - Chapter 3. Developments in Mass Politics: The Spread of Images and Imaginaire
36:16 - Chapter 4. The Dreyfus Affair

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

Le général Boulanger : premier « ni de gauche, ni de droite ? » - Veni Vidi Sensi #10

Le ni droite ni gauche et le front républicain sont ils des phénomènes nouveaux ? Pas tant que ça, si on regarde l'histoire du général Boulanger, dans les années 1880.

1:30 La Troisième République, un régime inachevé ?
6:43 Boulanger, le général devenu ministre de la guerre
12:55 La naissance du Boulangisme
19:31 Apogée et hésitations
24:55 Le premier front républicain ?
31:34 Une aventure sans lendemain ?
37:59 Des leçons encore valables

Une vidéo écrite et présentée par Histony ; montée, réalisée et illustrée par Malo, le tout sous licence CC-BY-SA.

Retrouvez les sources de la vidéo et des précisions sur notre site, pour aller plus loin et recouper les infos :


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The Dreyfus Affair and Anti-Semitism: AP Euro Bit by Bit #36

This video is about the Dreyfus Affair in France in the late 19th century, an event that laid bare deeply held anti-Semitic beliefs of the time. The wrongful conviction of a French military officer led to a public outcry that threatened the stability of the Third Republic. It also helped to begin the Zionist movement, which sought a safe homeland for Jews.

The Dreyfus Affair and the Shock of Anti-Semitism

Jeffrey Mehlman, Professor of French, Boston University.
Professor Mehlman is a literary critic and a historian of ideas. Over a number of years, he has been writing an implicit history of speculative interpretation in France in the form of a series of readings of canonical literary works. His books include A Structural Study of Autobiography (1974), Revolution and Repetition (1977), Cataract: A Study in Diderot (1979), Legacies: Of Anti-Semitism in France (1983), Walter Benjamin for Children: An Essay on His Radio Years (1993), Genealogies of the Text (1995).
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The Dreyfus Affair - #67

10. Cafés and the Culture of Drink

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

Because drinking is such an integral part of French culture, alcohol abuse has been historically ignored. Although there have been celebrated attempts to address this problem, such as Zola's L'Assomoir, it is only in the past five or ten years that the government has seriously tried to tackle the problem of alcoholism. One of the major ways in which alcohol is embedded in the cultural identity of the country is the close association of certain wines and liquors with their regions of production. Likewise, different types of bars serve as loci for social interaction, and have always played a central role in rural as well as urban life.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Locales of French Drinking: A Dictionary of Café Culture
12:09 - Chapter 2. The Mid-Nineteenth Century Wine Surge: Developing Modes of Production and Consumption
26:53 - Chapter 3. Representations of Drinking Culture in Art and Literature
37:17 - Chapter 4. Regional Rates of Consumption
43:21 - Chapter 5. Drinking in France Today: Legislation and Restaurant Culture

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.
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11. Why no Revolution in 1848 in Britain

European Civilization, 1648-1945 (HIST 202)

Revolutions occur when a critical mass of people come together to make specific demands upon their government. They invariably involve an increase in popular involvement in the political process. One of the central questions concerning 1848, a year in which almost every major European nation faced a revolutionary upsurge, is why England did not have its own revolution despite the existence of social tensions. Two principal reasons account for this fact: first, the success of reformist political measures, and the existence of a non-violent Chartist movement; second, the elaboration of a British self-identity founded upon a notion of respectability. This latter process took place in opposition to Britain's cultural Other, Ireland, and its aftereffects can be seen in Anglo-Irish relations well into the twentieth century.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Nature of Revolution: Politicization of the Common Man
09:53 - Chapter 2. A Different Kind of Revolution in Germany and Italy: Unification after the Failure of 1848
20:37 - Chapter 3. The Absence of an 1848 Revolution in Britain: Reform and Chartism
28:20 - Chapter 4. The Unwanted Other: The Irish as a Potential Source of Insurgency

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

Alfred Dreyfus Documentary │ Full video │

Documentary,2015

Dreyfus Revisited: A Current Affair

Written and produced by Lorraine Beitler
Directed by Jonathan Gruber, Black Eye Productions.
2006 Revision by Dawn Freer & Patricia Giniger Snyder, Rembrandt Films
Translation and subtitles provided by Internation, Inc.

Rich pictorial imagery is presented along with texts from the period, following the events and themes of the Affair, including: the trials of Alfred Dreyfus and the Dreyfus family; the turbulent historical background of nineteenth-century France; the role of the media; and the work in support of Dreyfus by Georges Picquart and Emile Zola.

7. Mass Politics and the Political Challenge from the Left

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

The history of socialism in France can be understood in terms of the competition between revolutionary socialists and reform socialists. The former advocated abandoning electoral politics, while the latter attempted to improve conditions for workers by means of reforms within the political system. These two attitudes found figureheads in Jules Guesdes and Paul Brousse, respectively. Reform socialists and revolutionary socialists are united under the leadership of Jean Jaures, whose organizing efforts define and influence French socialism well into the twentieth century.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Lure of Revolutionary Socialism: Jules Guesde, the Red Pope
17:09 - Chapter 2. The Challenge of Reform Socialism: Brousse and the 'Possibilists'
22:20 - Chapter 3. Fragile Integration: Compromises in Municipal Socialism
30:18 - Chapter 4. The Heroic Age of Syndicalism: The Dream of Fernand Pelloutier
38:32 - Chapter 5. Jean Jaures and the Unification of the Socialist Party

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.
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France and the Dreyfus Affair

Prof. Pierre Birnbaum explores the development of antisemitism in 19th century France and the notorious Dreyfus Affair. On this topic and more in Yad Vashem's new online course: Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present. For registration:
For more details:

24. Retreat from Reconstruction: The Grant Era and Paths to "Southern Redemption"

The Civil War and Reconstruction (HIST 119)

This lecture opens with a discussion of the myriad moments at which historians have declared an end to Reconstruction, before shifting to the myth and reality of Carpetbag rule in the Reconstruction South. Popularized by Lost Cause apologists and biased historians, this myth suggests that the southern governments of the Reconstruction era were dominated by unscrupulous and criminal Yankees who relied on the ignorant black vote to rob and despoil the innocent South. The reality, of course, diverges widely from this image. Among other accomplishments, the Radical state governments that came into existence after 1868 made important gains in African-American rights and public education. Professor Blight closes the lecture with the passage of the 15th Amendment, the waning radicalism of the Republican party after 1870, and the rise of white political terrorism across the South.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction: Peace Among Whites? End of Reconstruction?
05:05 - Chapter 2. Freedmen's Desires for Socioeconomic and Political Mobility
17:23 - Chapter 3. The Myth of the Carpetbag Rule
29:53 - Chapter 4. The Lasting Influences of the Carpetbaggers
38:51 - Chapter 5. The Passing of the 15th Amendment and Waning of Republican Radicalism
48:07 - Chapter 6. The Growing White Supremacist Violence and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2008.
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The Dreyfus Affair (In Our Time)

Melvyn Bragg and guests Robert Gildea, Ruth Harris and Robert Tombs discuss the Dreyfus Affair, the 1890s scandal which divided opinion in France for a generation.In 1894, a high-flying Jewish staff officer in the French Army, one Alfred Dreyfus, was convicted of spying for the Prussians. He was publicly humiliated: before a large Paris crowd, he was stripped of his badges of rank and his sword was ceremonially broken. Some of those watching shouted 'Down with Judas!' Then he was dispatched to Devil's Island. But when it emerged that Dreyfus was innocent, a scandal erupted which engulfed the Army, the Church and French society as a whole, exposing deep political rifts, and the nation's endemic anti-Semitism. It pitted Catholics against Republicans, provoked fighting in the streets, and led to the prosecution of the novelist Emile Zola, after his famous J'Accuse polemic against those protecting the real spy and so prolonging Dreyfus's suffering. The Affair became so divisive that it posed a serious threat to the French Republic itself. Finally, in 1905, it prompted the separation of Church and State. The scandal and the anti-Semitism at the heart of it cast a very long shadow. In 1945, when the ultra-nationalist one-time 'anti-Dreyfusard' Charles Maurras was convicted of collaborating with the Nazis, he reacted by declaring that his punishment was Dreyfus's revenge. Robert Gildea is Professor of Modern History at Oxford University; Ruth Harris is Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford University; Robert Tombs is Professor of French History at Cambridge University.

HISTOIRE DE L'EXTRÊME-DROITE : 2. LA CRISE BOULANGISTE - 3 sur 1

À la fin du XIXè siècle, la IIIè République, déjà fragile, va davantage être ébranlée par l'émergence d'un mouvement politique de protestation. C'est la crise boulangiste. Déroule pour plus d'infos !

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Sources utilisées pour cette vidéo :
PROCHASSON, Christophe, Les Années 1880 : au temps du boulangisme, in WINOCK, Michel (dir.), Histoire de l'extrême-droite en France. Le Seuil, Points Histoire, 1993, p. 51-82.
Le Général Boulanger : premier ni de gauche, ni de droite ? sur le site de Veni Vidi Sensi : (pour voir la vidéo :

Pour aller plus loin :
Boulanger : quel populisme ? dans l'émission Concordance des temps (France Culture) :
Le Boulangisme dans l'émission La Marche de l'Histoire (France Inter) :

2. The Paris Commune and Its Legacy

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

The Paris Commune of 1871 remained a potent force in Europe for several generations afterwards. The reprisals following the fall of the Commune anticipated the great massacres of the twentieth century. While the brief reign of the communards witnessed serious adversity in the form of food shortages and disease, it also presided over many progressive social measures, such as the relative emancipation of women. The brutality of the army's actions against the communards would cast a pallor over leftist politics in Europe for decades to come.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Paris Commune in Its Historical Context: Napoleon III and the Franco-Prussian War
06:17 - Chapter 2. The Siege of Paris
19:48 - Chapter 3. The Fall of France and the Formation of the Paris Commune
32:17 - Chapter 4. Composition of the Commune: Tensions between Urban and Rural France
38:23 - Chapter 5. The State Strikes Back: The Massacre of the Paris Commune

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.
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23. May 1968

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

The student protests of May 1968 in France were linked to international protests against the American war in Vietnam and other political and social consequences of the Cold War. In many respects, the terrible condition of many schools in France that led students to revolt remains a problem. Recent attempts to impose American-style reforms on the university system have met with protests that echo some of the demands made in '68; although, other conditions for revolution seem as though they may never again be realized in the same way.

00:00 - Chapter 1. A Protest around the World: The Revolutionary Moment of 1968
09:18 - Chapter 2. The Crisis in the French University System
17:05 - Chapter 3. The Student Demonstrations
26:34 - Chapter 4. The Workers' Strikes
30:07 - Chapter 5. The Common Cause of Students and Workers: Against the Brutalization of Human Relations in the Capitalist Age of Technology
41:41 - Chapter 6. The Inadequacy of the Gaullist Response: A Sincere Revolution without Direction

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

19. Resistance

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

If the extent of French collaboration during World War II has been obscured, so too has the nature of resistance. Although the communist Left represented the core of the resistance movement, resistors came from any different backgrounds, including in their ranks Catholics, Protestants, Jews and socialists. Unlike the relationship between de-Christianization and right-wing politics, in the case of the resistance there is no clear correlation between regional locations and cells of resistors. It has been argued that the definition of resistance itself should be broadened to include the many acts of passive resistance carried out by French civilians during the occupation.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Jews in Vichy France
10:35 - Chapter 2. Mitterrand's Confession
13:01 - Chapter 3. The Resistance: Roots in the Existing Communist Organization
24:40 - Chapter 4. Religious Resistance Movements: The Jewish Underground and the Protestant Adoptions
30:18 - Chapter 5. Defining Resistance: Mapping the Grey Areas
39:04 - Chapter 6. Regional Resistance? The Lack of Geographic Determinism

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

18. The Dark Years: Vichy France

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

For decades after the end of World War II the question of French collaboration with the Nazis was obscured. One of the reasons for this was the desire of de Gaulle and others to downplay the central role of communists in resisting the occupation. In fact, many French civilians were involved to greater or lesser degrees in informing upon their fellows or otherwise furthering the interests of the German invaders. Under the Vichy regime, right-wing politics in France developed an ideological program founded upon an appeal to nationalism, the soil, and the rejection of perceived decadence.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Outbreak of War: French and German Military Capacities
05:32 - Chapter 2. The Fall of France
09:02 - Chapter 3. Collaboration: Vichy France in Power
12:35 - Chapter 4. Gaps in National Memory: Problems in the History of Collaboration
21:16 - Chapter 5. The Collaborator Trials: The Vindication of History
33:20 - Chapter 6. The Character of the Collaborators: Identity and Motives

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

Emile Zola and the Dreyfus Affair: Intervention and Consequences

Emile Zola et L'Affaire Dreyfus: Movilisation et Consequences.
Henri Mitterand, Professor Emeritus, Sorbonne Nouvelle and Columbia University, interviewed by Lance Donaldson-Evans, Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania.

21. Vietnam and Algeria

France Since 1871 (HIST 276)

France's colonial territories were of very high importance after the embarrassment of occupation during World War II. Algeria, in particular, was a complicated case because it involved large numbers of French settlers, the pieds-noirs. Despite international support for Algerian independence, right-wing factions in the military and among the colonizers remained committed to staying the course. After Charles de Gaulle presided over French withdrawal, the cause of the pieds-noirs has remained divisive in French political life, particularly on the right.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Decolonization After the Second World War
05:13 - Chapter 2. Vietnamese Independence: Ho Chi Minh and the Vietminh
14:31 - Chapter 3. The Algerian Case: The Colons versus the Front de Libération Nationale
21:18 - Chapter 4. The Fight for North Africa: Rise of Right-Wing Military Control
29:09 - Chapter 5. De Gaulle's Return to Power: Betrayal of the Army, the Exit from Algeria

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

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