The League of Education and Youth Celebrations. Demonstrating one’s attachment to the Republic and secular school in the 1930s’

The issue of secularism in the interwar period
By Lydie Heurdier

In a context of constant rivalry between Catholics and secular partisans around the supervision of youth, the League of Education promoted the organisation of Departmental Youth Celebrations. From 1935, the national guidelines, based on multiple past experiences, promoted symbolic celebrations, alongside physical demonstrations. Popular outdoor celebrations, with parades and songs, these large gatherings allowed the State representatives and the republican elected representatives to exalt the Republic and the secular school in their speeches. Resting on the militancy of the teachers and more and more on elementary education, these celebrations endured after World War II before disappearing in the early 1970s.

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