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Republicanism at Home and Abroad Dr Chris Pearson.

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1 Republicanism at Home and Abroad Dr Chris Pearson


3 Antoine-Jean Gros, Figure allégorique de la République (1794)

4 Delacroix, Liberty leading the people (1830)


6 The rise of the Republic 1 st Republic (1792-1804), 2 nd Rep (1848-51) 3 rd Rep est. 1870 but dominated by conservatives and monarchists for much of 1870s (but 1875 – universal male suffrage granted) 1879- Jules Ferry becomes PM, Gambetta head of Chamber, seat of government moves back to Paris 1880 Bastille Day, return of Communards

7 Jules Ferry (1832-93)

8 Lecture outline Anti-clericalism Republicanism and education Overseas expansion

9 A brief history of anti-clericalism Catholic/secular divide a major faultline in nineteenth century France Revolutionary attacks on the church (seen as a bastion of tradition and hierarchy) by sans-culottes and revolutionary governments, including the Terror (1790s) Catholic armed resistance – especially in the Vendée

10 1801 Napoleon signs the Concordant with the Pope – normalizes state-church relations after decade of revolutionary upheaval

11 Republican beef with Catholicism Tradition and superstition v. reason and science (Charles X and the royal touch) Catholics reactionary and monarchist - undemocratic Pope Puis IX’s Syllabus of Errors (1863) Ultramontanism and Jesuits- unpatriotic and malignant influence over French society

12 The seductive Jesuit: ‘How many convents have opened the door to them. Deceived by their sweet voice; and now they speak firmly there, and everyone is afraid, everyone smiles while trembling, and everyone does what that say.’ Jules Michelet and Edgar Quinet, quoted in Verhoeven, ‘Neither Male nor Female,’ 45

13 The (alleged) power of Jesuit education: ‘Under the Second Empire… they have made enormous progress in our country, and have particularly sought to take control of the education of our youth, in order to destroy the principles which our society is built on and to mould the new generations in the ideas of clericalism.’ Larousse encyclopaedia (1877)

14 The Sacré-Coeur, Paris

15 ‘For eighty years two world views have been present, dividing hearts and minds and fomenting conflict, a desperate war in the heart of society. The lack of unity in education means that we have been continually thrown from revolt to repression, from anarchy to dictatorship, without any chance of stability’ Léon Gambetta

16 Republicans promote secularization ‘Clericalism is the enemy’ Gambetta in 1877 Petitions, celebrations of Voltaire, hero of the enlightenment Anticlerical decrees: e.g 29 March 1880 Jesuits dissolved Lay education in state-run schools

17 The secular education laws Jules Ferry Law of 16 June 1881: education free in public primary schools and teachers must possess brevet Jules Ferry Law of 28 March 1882: education compulsory and secular State training colleges for female teachers (Camille Sée Law of 1881)

18 Impact of Ferry’s Laws Schoolhouse became a secular, republican space within the village Literacy rates increased to 90% by 1900 and school attendance rose to 95% (although some child labour continued)


20 Anon. ; PELLERIN & Cie(imprimeur, éditeur), NOTRE-DAME DE LOURDES, third quarter of nineteenth century [print]

21 Loudres grotto in 1858

22 Loudres grotto in 1914



25 Bruno’s ‘The tour of France by two children’ (1877): ‘quasi-religious patriotism.’

26 The end of the Concordat Emile Combes and Republican campaign against Catholic Church 1901-1905 Law of Associations (1901) Law of December 1905 separates the church and the state Creation of the république laïque [secular Republic]

27 The French Empire before 1870 Napoleon: Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, Guyana in South America, the city of St Louis in Senegal July Monarchy (1830-1848) and the Second Empire (1851-1870) – Senegal, SE Asia Charles X orders conquest of Algeria in 1830 Louis-Philippe (1839): Algeria is ‘a land forever French.’

28 Nationalist opposition to colonialism ‘I have said it before and I repeat that before going to plant the French flag where it has never flown, we should replant it where it has flown before, where we have all seen it with our own eyes.’ Paul Déroulède (1884)

29 Colonial expansion into Africa under the Third Republic Expedition into Tunisia (1881), making the country a virtual protectorate Senegal becomes French West Africa in 1895 Madagascar becomes colony in 1895 Establishment of the French Congo after expedition by Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza



32 Colonial Expansion: why? Economic reasons – new markets to make good the disadvantages of protectionism Maintaining France’s status as a ‘great nation’ (Ferry) Ernest Renan in 1871: ‘colonization was a political necessity… a nation that doesn’t colonize is irrevocably destined for socialism.’ Colonial lobbies

33 Colonialism as a way of rejuvenating the French nation? ‘Not only because of a taste for adventure and travel am I a committed colonialist… I have found in our colonies… the finest practical school where, as in a crucible, our race can be tempered and recast.’ Marshal Lyautey (1907)

34 Ferry on the “civilizing mission”: ‘We must say openly that indeed the higher races have a right over the lower races... I repeat, that the superior races have a right because they have a duty. They have the duty to civilize the inferior races.... In the history of earlier centuries these duties, gentlemen, have often been misunderstood; and certainly when the Spanish soldiers and explorers introduced slavery into Central America, they did not fulfill their duty as men of a higher race.... But, in our time, I maintain that European nations acquit themselves with generosity, with grandeur, and with sincerity of this superior civilizing duty.’

35 The paradox of “democratic empire” Take the “civilizing mission” seriously Revolution’s legacy of universal rights and France’s role in spreading them inspired Third Republic France would bring “light” to “unenlightened” Africa But on the ground – racism and oppression co-existed with universalism/rights See Conklin, ‘Colonialism and Human Rights,’ American Historical Review (1998)

36 A racist republic? The Third Republic simultaneously invested in ‘political universality and particularity.’ Belief in republican ideas co-existed alongside racism and a fear of difference Assumption that the colonized were inferior to Europeans prevented the former from becoming citizens See G Wilder, The French Imperial Nation-State (2005)

37 The “civilizing mission” at home and abroad Educating supposedly “backward” peoples in Algeria and the Massif Central (see Colonna) Fighting filth in France and Vietnam (see Barnes and Vann) Catholic involvement in the “civilizing mission” complicates Rep/Cath divide narrative

38 Conclusion Importance of viewing metropole and empire in tandem and as interlinked Similar processes afoot in France and its colonies (a legacy from Revolutionary republicanism) – ‘state centralization, bureaucratic administration, specialized governmental knowledge.’ France an ‘imperial nation-state,’ (Wilder, 2005)

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