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Intellectual reactions to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 : Ernest Renan and Emile Zola : traitors or patriots?

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Intellectual reactions to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 : Ernest Renan and Emile Zola : traitors or patriots?

Bernstein, Martha E (1993) Intellectual reactions to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 : Ernest Renan and Emile Zola : traitors or patriots? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

In 1870 a brief war between France and Prussia left France defeated and in chaos. Intellectuals of the day were caught unprepared for this disaster and reacted to it in different ways. Ernest Renan and Emile Zola remained in France during the war and the civil strife that followed. Civilians in a time of national disaster, both men took different views of the crisis. Renan saw himself as the "moral conscience of France," while Zola assumed the role of the young republican patriot. Although of completely different characters and background, they shared two qualities: morality and truth. Renan thought immorality was caused by the country's fall from religious grace, while Zola recognized the disaster as a result of immoral class differences. Renan and Zola were accused of anti-patriotic activities in 1870, charges which stemmed directly from their roles during the war and in the period following it. Neither one was a traitor or unpatriotic; rather, they both reacted in their own fashion: Renan in terms of religious morality and Zola in secular republican sentiment. Each man was particularly bound to his country and both proved able prophets of the future. Charges that Renan and Zola were traitors existed into the twentieth century with diverse factions in French political society using both men's 1870 activities to promote their own.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bernstein, Martha E
Pagination:iii, 141 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:History
Date:1993
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hubbard, W. H
ID Code:3493
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 15:28
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:32
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