After WWI France found itself in economic and political problems due to its military involvement in the first of two World Wars, the country which had been considered one of the several major powers was forced rebuild itself in more than one way. The French economy was obliterated due to the loss of man power and the destruction of crucial agricultural land. In the presence of extended political upheaval due to the implementation of a parliamentary system of government, France found its way to domestic prosperity in the 1920s, leading to a period known as the Decadence of France. Characterized by the extravagant, exorbitant way of life among wealthy city-dwellers, the decadence also included internal political struggles and the loss of France’s international prowess on the World stage. These struggles and change in focus on international matters stemmed from dissatisfaction with the ineffective government and political scandal. After the depression hit France in 1931, interest in political parties rose. Eventually anti-Parliamentary riots led by Fascist supporters sparked the rise of the Popular Front which was a broad coalition of radical left wing parties that sought to oppose authoritarian forces on the right. During the 1930’s the Popular Front came into power not only in France but in Spain as well. In this project we will evaluate the events leading to the rise and fall of the Popular Front, and the effects that Popular Front diplomacy had on France leading up to WWII.
Juana Reyes, ’15
Majors: French, International Relations
Vashti Blackmon, ’15
Majors: Spanish, International Relations
Courtney Elahee, ’14
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Sponsor: Robert Givens