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Regional Republicans: the Alsatian socialists and the politics of primary schooling in Alsace, 1918-1939

Carrol, Alison (2011) Regional Republicans: the Alsatian socialists and the politics of primary schooling in Alsace, 1918-1939. French Historical Studies 34 (2), pp. 299-325. ISSN 0016-1071.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00161071-1157385

Abstract

This article deals with political discussions about the place of language and religion in interwar Alsatian primary schools viewed through the lens of the local Socialist Party (SFIO). After Alsace's return to France in 1918, primary schools exemplified the problematic process of reintegrating the province, and parties from across the political spectrum discussed the appropriate language of instruction and whether Alsatian schoolchildren should receive religious education. For the Alsatian Socialists, the answer lay in the broad reform needed to ease reintegration and was motivated by their self-proclaimed republicanism. Thus the party argued for secularity, which would place the province on the same terrain as all other parts of France, and for bilingualism, which would allow the retention of Alsatian regional cultures. In making this argument, the Alsatian SFIO revealed that not everyone in interwar France associated regional language with religion or believed that republican ideas needed to come packaged in the French language. Moreover, the SFIO's actions offer insight into the development of regional political cultures and the varieties of grassroots republicanism in interwar France.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2011 10:47
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3588

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