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Protestants and the French nation under the Third Republic: Between recognition and assimilation

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The French Protestant minority has always maintained an ambiguous relationship to the French nation. At the end of the nineteenth century, confronted by a Catholic supremacy that placed their continued existence in doubt, they found in the Republican cause a mode of integrating themselves into the national political community. Their integration into the nation went hand in hand with their efforts to decrease the danger of Catholic domination through the laws separating church and state. The association with the war effort in 1914, and again in 1939, enabled them to silence the anti-Protestant rhetoric of Maurrasian nationalists and overcome the ultimate barrier to their full integration into the nation.

Keywords: France; Protestants; laicisation; minority; nation; republicanism; state

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University College Cork, Ireland

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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