Historical Memory in the Process of Formation and Reproduction of Modern National Identity: the French Experience (Part 1)

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The article is devoted to the study of the role of historical tradition and national memory in the formation of modern types of ethno-national identity and mechanisms of consolidation of citizens at the stage of formation of the French state of the modern type. In this regard, various versions of French history were analyzed by representatives of historical and historiographical schools, which still compete with each other for the status of creators of a generally accepted interpretation of important historical events.

It was found that consistently patriotic motivation, which ensures the formation and realization of the innovative potential of the people and social activity of this creative core of the nation, aimed at overcoming any crisis challenges, is formed only on the basis of maximum meaningful synthesis of existing interpretations of French history. In particular, the effectiveness of memory policy is ensured by the fact that symbols, traditions and historical monuments that positively influence the dynamics of national-patriotic motivations and feelings are inevitably (and often, quite consciously) filled with qualitatively new meanings and values.

The complete failure of neoliberal and left-wing radical critiques of Holism's theory and practice has been proved, the conservative elements of which, in particular the appeal to the heroic past, are not at all identical with medieval archaism and almost neo-Nazi political preferences. On the contrary, the typological similarity of Bonapartism and Hollism is due precisely to their ability to effectively oppose reactionary and revolutionary extremism, which is equally destructive to the nation-state.

In this regard, the exceptional relevance of the use of historical memory to form their own traditionalist and authoritarian charisma (in their relationship) by the creator and first president of the Fifth Republic Charles de Gaulle in the process of his opposition to anti-national provocations of far-right and far-left.


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Shmorhun, O. (2021) “Historical Memory in the Process of Formation and Reproduction of Modern National Identity: the French Experience (Part 1)”, Problems of World History, (15), pp. 9-52. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2021-15-1.

Author Biography

O. Shmorhun

Shmorgun Oleksandr – Ph.D. in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Leading Research Fellow of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”.


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