A Vision of Europe; Franco-German Relations during the Great Depression, 1929–1932

A Vision of Europe; Franco-German Relations during the Great Depression, 1929–1932 314 S HO R T NO T I C E S the Societe centrale d’agriculture in Paris, as well as the royal academy in Turin (at a time when women were not admitted). She was appointed as a chevalier du Mérite agricole, a sign of her standing in the world. Surprisingly, French scholars today hardly know Cora Millet-Robinet. The book deserves to be known, as it has a wealth of infor- mation on nineteenth-century rural France; Tom Paine’s translation seems to be as scru- pulous as his valuable introduction. L’Université du Mans NADINE  VIVIER doi:10.1093/fh/cry015 A Vision of Europe; Franco-German Relations during the Great Depression, 1929–1932. By Conan Fischer. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2017. vii + 206 pp. £60.00. ISBN 978 0 1996 7629 3. The arrival of the Great Depression marks, in Zara Steiner’s trenchant formulation, ‘the hinge years’ that brought an end to the hopes raised during an era of Franco-German rec- onciliation and growing liberal internationalism that included the adoption of the Dawes plan (1924), the Locarno Treaties (1925), Germany’s entry into the League of Nations (1926) and the Kellogg-Briand Treaty (1928). Conan Fischer’s study questions just how rapid and inexorable this deterioration in Franco-German relations really was in a re-eval- uation of this period and the larger question of the pre-history of European integration. At the centre of this study is a largely diplomatic history of the Franco-German exchanges that culminated in a 1931 meeting between the two governments to reaffirm their commitment to collaboration and establish a Joint Commission to negotiate and implement a programme of economic cooperation. This would lay the foundation upon which an even more ambitious project for Franco-German collaboration could be built. In tracing the course of these discussions, Fischer makes good use of the relevant files in the German Foreign Ministry archives as well as material from the Quai d’Orsay. Along the way, there are several interesting themes that are developed, such as the role that Catholicism played in explaining and supporting the efforts of those on both sides of the Rhine to foster post-1918, and post-1929, Franco-German reconciliation and cooperation. However, it is asking a great deal of these efforts, and the ill-fated Joint Commission that rapidly fell apart, to revise our appreciation of the consequences of the economic crisis for Franco-German relations and the larger international system. While there were politicians, diplomats, industrialists and others who did continue to work to fostering bet- ter, and closer, relations between Paris and Berlin, the tide was increasingly running in the other direction. Even the areas of greatest common interest, such as trade and invest- ment, were unable to escape the changing politics of the period, and quickly turned acri- monious. The chances of these bilateral negotiations were further undermined by events outside of France and Germany, notably in Great Britain, which left the Gold Standard in 1931, and the United States, two countries far from the centre of this account. What the reader is provided is a case study of the ability of the desire for Franco-German collabora- tion to manifest itself, for a variety of reasons, in rapidly deteriorating conditions. Université du Québec à Montréal ANDREW  BARROS doi:10.1093/fh/cry020 Advance Access publication 3 May 2018 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fh/article-abstract/32/2/314/4992018 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 20 June 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French History Oxford University Press

A Vision of Europe; Franco-German Relations during the Great Depression, 1929–1932

French History , Volume Advance Article (2) – May 3, 2018
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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of French History. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
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0269-1191
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1477-4542
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10.1093/fh/cry020
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Abstract

314 S HO R T NO T I C E S the Societe centrale d’agriculture in Paris, as well as the royal academy in Turin (at a time when women were not admitted). She was appointed as a chevalier du Mérite agricole, a sign of her standing in the world. Surprisingly, French scholars today hardly know Cora Millet-Robinet. The book deserves to be known, as it has a wealth of infor- mation on nineteenth-century rural France; Tom Paine’s translation seems to be as scru- pulous as his valuable introduction. L’Université du Mans NADINE  VIVIER doi:10.1093/fh/cry015 A Vision of Europe; Franco-German Relations during the Great Depression, 1929–1932. By Conan Fischer. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2017. vii + 206 pp. £60.00. ISBN 978 0 1996 7629 3. The arrival of the Great Depression marks, in Zara Steiner’s trenchant formulation, ‘the hinge years’ that brought an end to the hopes raised during an era of Franco-German rec- onciliation and growing liberal internationalism that included the adoption of the Dawes plan (1924), the Locarno Treaties (1925), Germany’s entry into the League of Nations (1926) and the Kellogg-Briand Treaty (1928). Conan Fischer’s study questions just how rapid and inexorable this deterioration in Franco-German relations really was in a re-eval- uation of this period and the larger question of the pre-history of European integration. At the centre of this study is a largely diplomatic history of the Franco-German exchanges that culminated in a 1931 meeting between the two governments to reaffirm their commitment to collaboration and establish a Joint Commission to negotiate and implement a programme of economic cooperation. This would lay the foundation upon which an even more ambitious project for Franco-German collaboration could be built. In tracing the course of these discussions, Fischer makes good use of the relevant files in the German Foreign Ministry archives as well as material from the Quai d’Orsay. Along the way, there are several interesting themes that are developed, such as the role that Catholicism played in explaining and supporting the efforts of those on both sides of the Rhine to foster post-1918, and post-1929, Franco-German reconciliation and cooperation. However, it is asking a great deal of these efforts, and the ill-fated Joint Commission that rapidly fell apart, to revise our appreciation of the consequences of the economic crisis for Franco-German relations and the larger international system. While there were politicians, diplomats, industrialists and others who did continue to work to fostering bet- ter, and closer, relations between Paris and Berlin, the tide was increasingly running in the other direction. Even the areas of greatest common interest, such as trade and invest- ment, were unable to escape the changing politics of the period, and quickly turned acri- monious. The chances of these bilateral negotiations were further undermined by events outside of France and Germany, notably in Great Britain, which left the Gold Standard in 1931, and the United States, two countries far from the centre of this account. What the reader is provided is a case study of the ability of the desire for Franco-German collabora- tion to manifest itself, for a variety of reasons, in rapidly deteriorating conditions. Université du Québec à Montréal ANDREW  BARROS doi:10.1093/fh/cry020 Advance Access publication 3 May 2018 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fh/article-abstract/32/2/314/4992018 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 20 June 2018

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French HistoryOxford University Press

Published: May 3, 2018

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