At the Head of the French State: From Absolute Monarchs to Modern Presidents

The election of Emmanuel Macron in the spring of 2017 renewed interest in the place and role of the President of the French Republic. The central role of the President today is not new: it is the product of a long tradition that begins with the Monarchy of the Ancien Régime and continues through to General de Gaulle, founder of the current Fifth Republic (1958).

This course proposes to retrace this history of several centuries (Monarchy, Bonapartist Empire, Second, Third and Fourth Republics) and to focus on the most recent period, that of the Fifth Republic. All the dimensions of the history of the "Head of State" will be taken into account: not only the evolution of political powers, but also the symbolic aspects, the relationship to religion, the military role, and the weight of public opinion and French society. Analyzing the image of the “Head of State” will therefore be seen as a means to understand France's national identity today and its political and cultural evolution.

Prerequisite(s): No pre-knowledge required, but all readings will be in French. Instruction in French. (300-level).

1:40pm-2:55pm on Tuesday, Thursday (Sep 8, 2020 to Dec 4, 2020)
Main Campus: ONLINE (Online Course)