Vichy poses a series of conundrums to the historian. The regime barely stood still, its cabinets coming and going with greater speed than those of the Third Republic, making the problem of definition extremely complex. The high ministerial turnover also lent confusion to the National Revolution, a seemingly self-contradictory project, which incorporated an eclectic mix of ideological impulses. What the French people made of Vichy, its policies and the circumstances of the Occupation, especially the German presence, depended on two variables: time and place. The unfolding events of the war, both within and outside France, profoundly affected how men and women behaved. So did where one lived. This was, in part, to be expected in a country as diverse as France, yet regional differences were compounded by the creation of the separate zones. It was not what many had hoped for. In the figure of the marshal, the population had looked for safety, protection, reassurance. Ultimately, he was unable to provide any of these things.