To be a Citizen
The Political Culture of the Early French Third Republic
By (author) James R. Lehning
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To be a Citizen by James R. Lehning
Book DescriptionFrance's Third Republic confronts historians and political scientists with what seems a paradox: it is at once France's most long-lived experiment with republicanism and a regime remembered primarily for chronic instability and spectacular scandal. From its founding in the wake of France's humiliation at the hands of Prussia to its collapse in the face of the Nazi Blitzkrieg, the Third Republic struggled to consolidate the often contradictory impulses of the French revolutionary tradition into a set of stable democratic institutions.To Be a Citizen is not an institutional history of the regime, but an exploration of the political culture gradually formed by the moderate republicans who steered it. In James R. Lehning's view, that culture was forced to reconcile conflicting views of the degree of citizen participation a republican form of government should embrace. The moderate republicans called upon the entire nation to act as citizens of the Republic even as they limited the ability of many, including women, Catholics, and immigrants, to assume this identity and to participate in political life. This participation, based on universal male suffrage alone, was at odds with the notion of universal citizenship-the tradition of direct democracy as expressed in 1789, 1793, 1830, and 1848.Lehning examines a series of events and issues that reveal both the tensions within the republican tradition and the regime's success. It forged a political culture that supported the moderate republican synthesis and blunted the ideal of direct democracy. To Be a Citizen not only does much to illuminate an important chapter in the history of modern France, but also helps the reader understand the dilemmas that arise as political elites attempt to accommodate a range of citizens within ostensibly democratic systems.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801438882
(235mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 11-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author James R. Lehning
European Colonialism Since 1700, Paperback (August 2013)
The only textbook to survey the major Atlantic, Asian and African empires of Europe, from 1700 through decolonization in 1945.
Melodramatic Thread, Paperback (July 2007)
In France, both political culture and theatrical performances have drawn upon melodrama. This "melodramatic thread" helped weave the country's political life as it moved from monarchy to democracy. By examining the relationship between public ceremonies and theatrical performance, the author sheds light on democratization in modern France.
Peasant and French, Paperback (April 1995)» View all books by James R. Lehning
Describes the negotiation of French national identity during the nineteenth century in terms of the relationship between the French and their rural cultures.
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