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Forging a national identity for France after 1789: the role of landscape symbols

Alan R.H. Baker

The construction of a national identity for France after the Revolution of 1789 was a slow and deliberate but complex process, associated with the control from Paris of flows of ideas, goods, capital and people over the territory of France. Above all, it was a battle for the minds of those living within its boundaries. The State's powerful armoury included landscape iconography, and it used that weapon effectively. Its impact reached into the remotest corners of the country, deep into 'la France profonde', distant both physically and psychologically from Paris. This article considers the role of some of key cultural icons (including the national flag, the Gallic coq, public buildings such as government offices and schools, and war memorials) in contributing to the construction of a new mental map of France for those who lived within its territory.

  • Price: £2.49 / FREE to subscribers
  • Page Numbers: 22-28
  • Volume: 97
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: Spring 2012

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