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26 Working Paper

Secularizing the Schools in France, 1870-1900: Controversy, Continuity, & Consensus

1990 – Barry H. Bergen


In looking at the secularization of moral instruction in the public primary schools of France's Third Republic, contemporaries and historians alike have focused on conflict and controversy. The paper argues that, in spite of those conflicts, a basic continuity existed regarding the values, function, and place or morality in the educational system between earlier religious moral instruction and the new secularized morality.