Between The Wars
After the First World War, the Parliamentary Chamber sported the colour "horizon blue", that of French military uniform. A majority of former combatants were elected deputies. P.Deschanel, R.Poincaré, A.Briand, G.Doumergue et E.Herriot; P. Painlevé, then P. Laval, P. Doumer, A. Lebrun ,E.Daladier, L. Blum, R. Salengro were some of the politicians during this 20 years of uneasy peace. Their names are often used for the streets of French towns and villages.
While the repayment of the war debt caused financial and social problems and strikes, popular jubilation was great after so many years of scars. Women were emancipated. Skirts became shorter, their hair was cut in "boyish styles", respectable men shaved off their beards and American influence made itself felt in France, in both dance and music. The number of artistic movements and new architectural designs burgeoned, soon to be suppressed by the rise of Nazism.
In 1926, the financial crisis intensified, notably with the notorious "crash" of 1929. France distinguished herself in sport and aviation. In 1930, the Maginot line was constructed, a protective barrier on the North and East fronts, facing Germany. It would be very little used, since the German troops came through Belgium. 1936 saw the introduction of paid holidays, the start of our age of leisure.
Hitler invaded Austria in 1938, Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1939. This would be the beginning of the Second World War.