Anglo-French Relations 1904 - 1945 - HIST6035

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The diplomatic relationship between Britain and France in the first half of the twentieth century can be seen as a marriage of convenience. Not natural historical allies, the British and French governments were forced increasingly to work together to combat the tensions in Europe that led to the outbreak of the First and Second World Wars.

This module explores the love-hate relationship between the two countries in tracing the origins of the Entente Cordiale, and by addressing some of the major historiographical debates in twentieth century international history. Lectures will provide students with an overview of these debates and the topics listed below, and seminars will encourage students to consider their understanding of these areas and critically engage with them through discussion.

Themes explored will typically include, imperialism, political reform and its impact on foreign policy formation, democratisation, the rise of nationalism, peacemaking at the end of the two world wars; the Ruhr Crisis, the Treaty of Locarno, the League of Nations; the Kellogg Briand Pact; the Briand Plan; the Geneva disarmament conferences of the late 1920s/early 1930s; Eastern Europe and Russia; different strategies to deal with the rise of Hitler; the fall of France, the rise of Vichy; the secret war; the outbreak of the Cold War.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 270
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay 1 3000 words 16%
Essay 2 3000 words 16%
Presentation 15 minutes 4%
Seminar Performance 4%
Exam 2 hours 60%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes
By the end of this module, level 6 students will have:
1 Gained a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between Britain and France between 1904 and 1945. They will be able to identify, analyse and discuss the nature of this relationship and how it had a bearing on other European countries.
2 Gained a detailed knowledge of the operation of European diplomacy in the first half of the twentieth century.
3 Gained a working knowledge of some key concepts in diplomatic theory, for example, balance of power diplomacy, crisis diplomacy.
4 Challenged received wisdoms about the apparent advantages of being on the winning side at the end of a war.
5 Obtained the skills to think critically and analytically; be able to write prose that shows insight into the issues discussed using a combination of primary and secondary sources; be able to use the scholarly apparatus of referencing and construction of a bibliography accurately.

The intended generic learning outcomes
By the end of this module, level 6 students will have:
1 enhanced their ability to express complex ideas and arguments orally and in writing, skills which can be transferred to other areas of study and employment
2 enhanced communication, presentational skills and information technology skills
3 demonstrated the acquisition of an independent learning style when engaging with the course content, for example in the preparation and presentation of course work, in carrying out independent research, in compiling bibliographies and other lists of research materials, by showing the ability to reflect on their own learning and by mediating complex arguments in both oral and written form
4 acquired the ability to approach problem solving creatively, and form critical and evaluative judgments about the appropriateness of these approaches
5 gained the ability to present the outcomes of the research and learning in a form appreciable by both specialist and non-specialist audiences in a variety of settings and contexts


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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