What is the course about?
This course looks at the factors that shaped Anglo-French relations and the response of these countries to the challenges posed by the Nazi dictatorship in Germany and the war which broke out in 1939.
What will we cover?
Britain and France were allies in the First World War. After that ruinous conflict, however, their governments differed on how best to prevent Germany from again disrupting the peace of Europe. We will examine why they found it difficult to develop a common approach to the threat posed by Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 and how these difficulties contributed to the outbreak of war in 1939, the subsequent defeat of France and installation of the Vichy government in France in 1940. We shall investigate British relations with Vichy, the role of the Free French in London and British links with the internal resistance in France and go on to look at how Anglo-French relations developed during the liberation of Europe.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Identify aspects of British and French governments reactions to key developments in Europe – especially Germany - during the period 1920-1939
Describe some of the challenges to the maintenance of good relations between Britain and France in wartime
Outline some of the successes of the the partnership between Britain and the Free French in later stages of the Second World War.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an `introductory` course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good
grasp of English to keep up with the course. You will gain more from the course, in terms of enjoyment and learning,
if you are able and willing to do some supplementary reading. As with most of our history and current affairs
courses, intellectual curiosity and an open mind are more important than specific previous knowledge.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
There will be Illustrated lectures with maps, images and film clips. You will be given handouts showing the chronology of key
events and developments. We will also look at short, relevant texts from the period (in translation where appropriate) and you will be encouraged to read these in preparation for each session.. You will not need to do any other preparation for the classes, but you will be given a book list in case you wish to take your studies further.
There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and join in discussions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will find a notebook (or electronic device) useful if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in Brotish, French or European history. Please see the City Lit website.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details