Although historians generally acknowledge the durability of the Third Republic in its pre-1914 phase, it is often viewed as a politically unstable and economically backward regime during the interwar years: the final debacle of June 1940 was an accident waiting to happen. Yet to accept these censures wholesale is to accept Vichyite propaganda. Whether the Republic was in a state of terminal decline by June 1940 remains questionable and most authors now agree that it was failings on the battlefield, not the alleged imperfections of French politics and society, that brought about collapse. That said, there is little doubt that the interwar years were an agonising period for the French. While the 1920s had been relatively successful, bourgeois self-confidence was fragile and was easily shattered by the onset of a Depression in 1931-32 which refused to go away. The irony is that confidence was returning at the moment when France went to war.