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France in the Early 20th Century: Fascinating Historical Photos documenting French Life

Two world wars largely dominated French history in the 20th century. Throughout the years between 1900 and 1950, France and other Western European countries underwent an ongoing industrialization process. The French government of the early 1900s was one of the leftist governments in Europe: a mixture of centrists and socialists. There were laws guaranteeing freedom of religion and the separation of church and state; all government funding of churches was abolished, and all religious buildings were nationalized.

Paris occupied a preeminent position in the art world at the beginning of the twentieth century. After 1900, the French avant-garde continued the development of artistic modernism that began in the nineteenth century. Despite periodic efforts at decentralization, Paris continues to be the economic, political, cultural, and social center of French life.

Below are some fascinating historical photos that show life in France in the early 20th century.

#1 Generations of a French family in a Paris garden, circa 1900

Generations of a French family in a Paris garden, circa 1900

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#2 Girl on the steps of the family house with his toy boats, circa 1900

Girl on the steps of the family house with his toy boats, circa 1900

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#3 Huelgoat’s river and forest, circa 1900

Huelgoat's river and forest, circa 1900

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#4 Shipbuilding yards, Marseille, Le Pharo, circa 1900

Shipbuilding yards, Marseille, Le Pharo, circa 1900

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#5 The fall, circa 1900

The fall, circa 1900

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#6 The sailboat, circa 1900

The sailboat, circa 1900

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#7 The three-master Amélie at anchor in Nantes, circa 1900

The three-master Amélie at anchor in Nantes, circa 1900

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#8 Beaching at Bréhat, circa 1900-1910

Beaching at Bréhat, circa 1900-1910

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#9 Ruins of the keep of the Château de Lavardin (Touraine), circa 1903

Ruins of the keep of the Château de Lavardin (Touraine), circa 1903

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#10 Bisquines regatta off Saint-Malo, 1905

Bisquines regatta off Saint-Malo, 1905

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#11 Bisquine cancalaise off Saint-Malo, 1907

Bisquine cancalaise off Saint-Malo, 1907

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#12 Hot air balloon, Rallye-Ballon de Château-Gontier, 1907.

Hot air balloon, Rallye-Ballon de Château-Gontier, 1907.

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#13 Hot air balloon, Rallye-Ballon de Château-Gontier, 1907

Hot air balloon, Rallye-Ballon de Château-Gontier, 1907

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#14 The Marie-Christine bath, Le Havre, 1909

The Marie-Christine bath, Le Havre, 1909

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#15 The train for Paris at Château-Gontier station, 1909

The train for Paris at Château-Gontier station, 1909

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#16 Bohémian, circa 1910

Bohémian, circa 1910

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#17 Breton women in traditional costume during the pilgrimage to Sainte-Anne-la-Palud for the feast of the Cinquantenaire, circa 1910

Breton women in traditional costume during the pilgrimage to Sainte-Anne-la-Palud for the feast of the Cinquantenaire, circa 1910

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#18 Brittany homeless, circa 1910

Brittany homeless, circa 1910

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#19 Hunters, pond at Préchac, Gironde, circa 1910

Hunters, pond at Préchac, Gironde, circa 1910

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#20 In front of the mountain, circa 1910

In front of the mountain, circa 1910

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#21 Just a break, circa 1910

Just a break, circa 1910

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#22 Looking the other way, circa 1910

Looking the other way, circa 1910

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#23 Man and children in rags with bare feet, circa 1910

Man and children in rags with bare feet, circa 1910

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#24 Parc du Plessis-Tison, Nantes, circa 1910

Parc du Plessis-Tison, Nantes, circa 1910

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#25 Sailboat “Marie-Pauline” returning to port, Saint-Malo, circa 1910

Sailboat "Marie-Pauline" returning to port, Saint-Malo, circa 1910

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#26 Sailboat L3333, Brittany, towards Lannion, circa 1910

Sailboat L3333, Brittany, towards Lannion, circa 1910

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#27 Sailors at Rochefort, Rue de l’Arsenal, circa 1910

Sailors at Rochefort, Rue de l'Arsenal, circa 1910

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#28 Sunday at the beach, circa 1910

Sunday at the beach, circa 1910

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#29 Swimmers, circa 1910

Swimmers, circa 1910

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#30 Tedders’s snack, around the Chanteau de Magnanne, Mayenne, circa 1910

Tedders's snack, around the Chanteau de Magnanne, Mayenne, circa 1910

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#31 The river, circa 1910

The river, circa 1910

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#32 Unloading cods, Saint-Malo, circa 1910

Unloading cods, Saint-Malo, circa 1910

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#33 Walk on the suspension bridge, Tonnay-Charente, circa 1910

Walk on the suspension bridge, Tonnay-Charente, circa 1910

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#34 A start at the Anjou circuit, Angers Aviation Grand Prix, 1912

A start at the Anjou circuit, Angers Aviation Grand Prix, 1912

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#35 Boat trip, Roscoff, 1912

Boat trip, Roscoff, 1912

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#36 At the ebb, Rochebonne beach, Saint-Malo, 1914

At the ebb, Rochebonne beach, Saint-Malo, 1914

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#37 On the beach of Rochebonne, Paramé, circa 1914

On the beach of Rochebonne, Paramé, circa 1914

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#38 Young soldier in front of the barracks, circa 1914

Young soldier in front of the barracks, circa 1914

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#39 Soldiers at Soissons, April 14, 1917

Soldiers at Soissons, April 14, 1917

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#40 Edith Pierron with Pierre Pineau, taken near La Féolle, December 15, 1918

Edith Pierron with Pierre Pineau, taken near La Féolle, December 15, 1918

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#41 Marie Pierron and her daughters, taken near Nère, early 1918

Marie Pierron and her daughters, taken near Nère, early 1918

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#42 Roger Pierron with fork and wheelbarrow, taken near La Féolle, December 15, 1918

Roger Pierron with fork and wheelbarrow, taken near La Féolle, December 15, 1918

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#43 Under the bridge, Marseille, May 4, 1918

Under the bridge, Marseille, May 4, 1918

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#44 Kitchen break, January 6, 1919

Kitchen break, January 6, 1919

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#45 Walk in the gorges of Ballandaz, 1919

Walk in the gorges of Ballandaz, 1919

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#46 Avenue du Bois-de-Boulogne, Paris, 1900

Avenue du Bois-de-Boulogne, Paris, 1900

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#47 Beach huts, Deauville, 1900

Beach huts, Deauville, 1900

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#48 Homage to H.B. de Saussure, Chamonix, 1900

Homage to H.B. de Saussure, Chamonix, 1900

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#49 Hotel omnibus, 1900

Hotel omnibus, 1900

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#50 Le Mont-Saint-Michel, 1900

Le Mont-Saint-Michel, 1900

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#51 Monumental gate, Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris

Monumental gate, Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris

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#52 Notre-Dame-du-Murier, Batz-sur-Mer, 1900

Notre-Dame-du-Murier, Batz-sur-Mer, 1900

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#53 Place du Châtelet, Paris, 1900

Place du Châtelet, Paris, 1900

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#54 Portraits of Gustave and Jeanne, 1900

Portraits of Gustave and Jeanne, 1900

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#55 Sèvres pier, 1900

Sèvres pier, 1900

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#56 The beach, Trouville, around 1900

The beach, Trouville, around 1900

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#57 The Château de Coucy, Picardy, 1900

The Château de Coucy, Picardy, 1900

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#58 The Grand Palais, Paris, the Universal Exhibition of 1900

The Grand Palais, Paris, the Universal Exhibition of 1900

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#59 The Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Paris, 1900

The Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Paris, 1900

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#60 The port, Cannes, 1900

The port, Cannes, 1900

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#61 Tour St Jacques, Paris, 1900

Tour St Jacques, Paris, 1900

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#62 Trouville, 1900

Trouville, 1900

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#63 Villemoisson, 1900

Villemoisson, 1900

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#64 Washerwomen, circa 1900

Washerwomen, circa 1900

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#65 Entrance to the port of Trouville, 1901

Entrance to the port of Trouville, 1901

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#66 Place des Vosges, Paris, 1902

Place des Vosges, Paris, 1902

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#67 Statue Victor Hugo, Paris, 1902

Statue Victor Hugo, Paris, 1902

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#68 The Chartreuse desert, France, 1902

The Chartreuse desert, France, 1902

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#69 La Grande Plage, Biarritz, 1904

La Grande Plage, Biarritz, 1904

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#70 Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz, 1904

Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz, 1904

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#71 Villa Belza, Biarritz, 1904

Villa Belza, Biarritz, 1904

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#72 International Music Competition, Geneva, August 1905

International Music Competition, Geneva, August 1905

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#73 The Auteuil viaduct, Paris, 1905

The Auteuil viaduct, Paris, 1905

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#74 Portraits of Madeleine and Emilien, circa 1906

Portraits of Madeleine and Emilien, circa 1906

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#75 Suzanne sews, circa 1907

Suzanne sews, circa 1907

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#76 Portrait of Yvonne, circa 1908

Portrait of Yvonne, circa 1908

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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