Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. T. Loo

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Holton


The industrialization and large-scale urbanization of France in the nineteenth century drove many working-class people to Paris. With new disposable income and leisure time, they flocked to the boulevards, department stores and cafes of the capital to amuse themselves or simply to wander around the city. Though 1848 was to be France's last real political revolution, Paris remained the scene of cultural and social innovations due largely to this street culture; the mob was as powerful at the tum of the century as it had been in 1789. Vanessa Schwartz writes, "The crowd and the experience of belonging to an urban collectivity ... did not disappear but their violence did, there was a new consumer crowd that became the audience of urban spectacles." City life was the ultimate source of distraction and one of the most avidly followed and hotly debated spectacle of the decade was the Dreyfus Affair. The Dreyfus question dominated publications and intellectual salons for the better part of a decade; politicians, journalists and artists created a unique discourse that has remained of cultural and historical interest.

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