You are here

Sheep herder with Flock, River Ill, Upper Alsace, France, 1929

Sheep Herder with Flock of Sheep, River Ill, Village Beyond. Upper Alsace, France

New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_15410
Document Description
Sheep herder with flock of sheep, River Ill, village beyond. Upper Alsace, France, in 1929. This region had been captured by Germany during World War I, but reverted back to French control once the war ended.
What seem to be the main occupations of the people of Alsace?
Why do you think the territory means so much to different nations such as France and Germany?
What is the large structure in the background?
Knowing French and German history, how could religion have influenced the region?
Historical Challenges
Find sources of Alsatian cultural identity and determine their traditional heritage.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Geography: Research how the geography or Alsace impacted its history.
Foreign Language: Write about how language influences the culture of a place.
Putnam, Ruth. Alsace and Lorraine from Cæsar to Kaiser, 58 B.C.-1871 A.D. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1915.



About this Activity


Lesson Topic:

Historical Context
Lost by the French to the Germans after the Franco Prussian War (1871), the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine became major focal points resulting in the start of World War I. Reeling from the humiliating defeat at the hands of Bismark’s forces, the French rallied around reclaiming their lost territories. Each became symbolic of French national pride and revenge aimed at Germany.

Fiercely independent by nature, the population of Alsace found themselves governed by various outside nationalities dating back to the Thirty Years War. Their loyalties remained local rather than national and therefore the people of Alsace found themselves at the mercy of dictated policies depending on which foreign power controlled the region. Historically, German speaking and Protestant Alsatians nonetheless regarded themselves more French or Swiss than German. Still hundreds of thousands fought for Germany during The Great War and representatives served in the Reichstag.

After World War I, Alsace and Lorraine were ceded back to France as part of the reparations against Germany in the Treaty of Versailles. The territories again fell under German control during World War II, but finally were handed back to France in 1945 where they have remained ever since.
Essential Question
How does geography impact a country's history?
Check for Understanding
Describe the geography of Upper Alsace using evidence from the photograph.