French History - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This was the era marked with instability that severely weakened the French state. The series of “Republics” which followed the fall of the last…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER98.5% of users find it useful
French History
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "French History"

Although France has made great technological and economic progress in the twentieth century, her political influence has been much reduced. Trace this decline from 1900 to the present."
The 1900s may very well be called as the period which laid the groundwork for France’s decline in international political stage. This was the era marked with instability that severely weakened the French state. The series of “Republics” which followed the fall of the last French empire were mostly experimental systems. The political instability generated by several transitions was highlighted in the 3rd Republic, which lasted for 70 years until the invasion of France by Germany in 1940. Throughout its history, the 3rd Republic stumbled from crisis to crisis, ranging from collapsing governments to the appointment of a mentally ill president. This is also the time when the decolonization began and France lost most of its colonial possessions. It was Charles de Gaulle, writing in his memoirs, who said that France was overburdened with history, wars and revolutions, moving endlessly from grandeur to decline.
At the end of World War II, France adopted a socialist system anchored on a “thick social safety net… by an extraordinary coalition of Gaullists, Socialists, Communists and Christian Democrats.” (Hoffman, 2004) This same policy which is still in effect up to this day is to lead France to economic and political stagnation which contributed greatly to the country’s declining relevance.
For instance, on the premise of governance, the present French bureaucracy is colonized by its employees and unions, where it is impossible for the government to confront its people head-on and implement drastic changes.1 Some observers comment that the French have cultivated and perfected a culture of dissent. We are reminded that one of the factors that determine the amount of political influence a country has is a functioning political system that is capable of mobilizing resources for world political goals and immense ideological influence.
Also, on the economic front, Guy Sorman put it best when he said that France missed the turn when it chose to languish on the economic model of social-statism – a controlled and nationalist economy – and refused a better alternative which was the liberal solution. As countries like China, United Kingdom and the US profit from capitalism, France harbored an “anticapitalist tradition, based on the high value attached to equality, and linked to powerful socialist and Catholic schools of thought.” (Hoffman, 2000) As a result, “the French economy is static relative to those around it, especially Spain and Ireland and the UK.” (Sennot, 2004)
Although, France is still one of the major world powers, the French arrogance as some have put it, is threatening to further reduce the country’s stature to a mere hanger-on. For one, there seems to be a French collective resistance to change and modernization as they brand it as being Anglo-Saxon.2 And in an apparent defiance over the liberal model’s ascendancy, France chose to cling to its current traditional systems, which they even brand as the noble way. As a matter of fact, there is very little public discourse as to how the prevailing systems degenerates their influence because, in the first place the French themselves refuse to accept that they have fallen from their place in the political map.
Works Cited
Hoffman, Stanley, “From Decline to Renewal,” TIME Europe June 2000
Sorman, Guy, “Can France Stop Its Decline By Following Americas Lead?” 2005 Watching America. 12 Apr. 2006 <>
Sennot, Charles M., “France gives critical look at its falling influence.” August 2004 Boston Globe 12 Apr. 2006 Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“French History Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
French History Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words. Retrieved from
(French History Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
French History Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words.
“French History Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document


Role Played by the French Revolution in France's Socialist History

...The role played by the French Revolution in France's Socialist history Communism and socialism were once used together but have recently taken separate understandings. In recent times, communism refers to the assumptions and thoughts borne from Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, plus those who succeeded them. At the heart of communism, stands the idea of elimination of capitalism. This is described as private possession of the factors of production and private income; including the use of force to attain them if needed (Jaures 1). After the communist uprising, in USSR, Russian leaders further advertized the doctrine of communism, as well as leaders in China. Socialism falls as an economic and political...
9 Pages(2250 words)Term Paper

History Questions (1st World War, Socialism, French Revolution)

...the excesses of capitalism, government institutions have enacted measures that will prevent exploitation that emanates from the Bourgeois. The ideas of Karl Marx influenced a wider study on the concepts of capitalism, and therefore resulted into a large pool of knowledge that compare communalism and capitalism, and which is a better economic system. The ideas of Darwin influenced the understanding of mankind in relation to race. It denotes that man emerged from a single being, and due to pressures of the environment, different racial groups emerged. Q. 3 The French revolution occurred between the periods 1789 to 1799, and was characterized by the political and social change in France. The revolution led to the collapse...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Modern French History

...?The French Revolution and the European itarianism After the demise of the monarchy, the political fate of France differed significantly from its European rivals such as Britain. This is mainly because almost every generation- from the 19th century onto the 20th century - was marred by a revolution. The upheavals saw power being transferred from one person to another or to a small group of men. These were typified by democratic revolutions that involved the direct participation of the people and the establishment of authoritarian regimes, thereafter, which the state turned to for some semblance of stability. This political development, particularly the French Revolution, is related to the European authoritarianism in the sense... that it...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

African history- railway strike in west French Africa

...and general strategy of West African natives against the French regime. However, Sembene explores internal diversities amongst the West African natives. For example, N’Deye Touti is a fictional character that receives intense criticism and mockery from fellow African women15. She is ridiculed due to her literacy and knowledge of French ideologies and culture. Therefore, there is a perspective difference towards the groups by the two literary forms. Conclusion African nations were under the rule of colonial authorities for a long time in history. West African nations were subject to the rule of French colonialists until the attainment of independence. The railway strike...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

European History, The French Revolution

...Dear child, This is probably the last correspondence that I am making to you; I have been tried at the court today and shall end my life by tomorrowat the court's orders. As you know we have been witnessing havoc out here since last four years, but the real reasons for this lie in the degrading situation since the late 70s when the economic inefficiencies began to surface. At that time financial system of the monarchy had no centralized bank or treasury and coupled with the fact that the state got involved in a number of wars, the economic condition consistently deteriorated with the state taking more loans than what it could repay. At times it also appeared that the royal family's lavish spending was unsustainable. The sources... child,...
2 Pages(500 words)Personal Statement

How did France come to look like a consolidated democracy and why the fifth republic has been a relatively stable period in French history

...How did France come to look like a consoli d democracy and why the fifth republic has been a relatively stable period in French history As expressions of primordial human aspirations, freedom and order are the key components of the equation of politics. Beginning with Plato, political thought and the philosophy of law have generally treated them as antithetical, because both concepts proceed from mutually exclusive systems of value. Debating the finality of the state, scholars have privileged either order and security or freedom and democracy, with each ideal being achievable only at the expense of the other. Hobbes' De Cive and Spinoza's Tractatus are two well-known intellectual illustrations of this...
10 Pages(2500 words)Essay

History of the French Revolution

...History of the French Revolution The French Revolution is one of the most studied and analyzed historical wars in the history of the world. It brought down an unwanted aristocracy and brutally punished those of the aristocracy whom the revolutionists deemed responsible for their sad lot in life. This war was more than an act of rebellion by the masses of France, it was meant to spearhead the much needed changes in the social and political structure of French society. This paper seeks to delve deeper into the causes of the French Revolution and the changes that it tried to enact after, ending with an analysis of whether the revolution...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Analysis of the French Revolution and Human Rights: A Brief Documentary History by Lynn A. Hunt

... and thus came to have a satisfactory life. The speaker is very precise, and his message is clear to the audience: enjoy the freedom and do not waste time thinking about what would have been. The speaker says, “Everything revives the memories of the cruelties of this barbarous people” (Hunt, 155-158). With this, it is safe to say that the speaker is a member of the Haitian state and fought for independence. His target audience is those who have enjoyed the benefits of independence. Bibliography Hunt, Lynn A. The French Revolution and Human Rights: A Brief Documentary History. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1996. Print.... Chapter 22 textbook (listen to the past) Q1 Sieyes condemns the privilege system that...
3 Pages(750 words)Assignment

French History

...that the new National Assembly was promoting equal rights for all men and wanted to get rid of slavery”. Moreover, I feel the writer could well make use of various videos especially found in YouTube. I have found one quite important and relevant video which is a documentary that was featured in the History Channel. It’s a 90 minute video explaining facts about the French Revolution. The link to the video “The French Revolution” is . Also, I found another quite useful video for this essay which is about the leadership of Toussaint Louverture in the Haiti Revolution. The link to this video “Haitian Revolution Toussaint L’Overture” is...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

History contrast between England and French political structures

...History –contrast between England and French political structures Europe is among the first continents where countries were discovering as well as changing their ways of operation, both politically and economically. Some of the states in this continent opted to stick to their traditional ways of life while others were ready to embrace changes. The examples of countries with such different ways of life are England and France. Despite them being located in the same continent, they had concrete differences in their political structure which we are going to explore. To start with, the French government was under a king and was considered absolute monarchy. This is because it was believed...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic French History for FREE!

Contact Us