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THE CONTESTED LEGITIMACY OF THE FRENCH THIRD REPUBLIC (1870-1940)  1894-99: The Dreyfus Affair reveals civil-military tension.  1905: Foundation of the.

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Presentation on theme: "THE CONTESTED LEGITIMACY OF THE FRENCH THIRD REPUBLIC (1870-1940)  1894-99: The Dreyfus Affair reveals civil-military tension.  1905: Foundation of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE CONTESTED LEGITIMACY OF THE FRENCH THIRD REPUBLIC (1870-1940)  1894-99: The Dreyfus Affair reveals civil-military tension.  1905: Foundation of the unified French Socialist Party (SFIO), led by Jean Jaurès.  1905-08: Radical Republican Premier Georges Clemenceau passes 17 reform bills, vetoed by the Senate  August 1914: All French parties and trade unions agree to the “Sacred Union.”  November 1917: collapse of the Sacred Union  May 1919: General strike compels Clemenceau to grant the 8-hour day.  1920: Failed general strike; SFIO majority opts for Comintern

2 THE THIRD REPUBLIC WAS FOUNDED IN DEFEAT: “France Signing the Preliminary Peace Terms,” March 1871 (Marianne loses custody of her children, Alsace and Lorraine)

3 “The Two Republics” (cartoon, 1872): Adolphe Thiers proclaimed, “The Republic will be conservative, or it will not be.” This cartoon reflects the tension between Radical and “Opportunist” Republicans in the 1870s.


5 Although rejected by royalists and clericalists, the Third Republic enjoyed support from 2/3 of the voters by 1880: Monet, “La rue Montorgueil,” June 30, 1878

6 “The 14 th of July 1880” (Bastille Day was now a legal holiday, & La Marseillaise the national anthem)

7 THE THIRD REPUBLIC EMBRACED SCIENCE & PROGRESS The Eiffel Tower, 1889 “The Republic Presents the New Century to the World” (1894)

8 “THE TRAITOR: The Degradation of Alfred Dreyfus,” Le Petit Journal, 13 January 1895

9 French caricature of Baron de Rothschild (1898)

10 Emile Zola rallied support from socialists and Radicals by publishing “J’accuse!” in January 1898

11 A FAMILY DINNER: “’Above all, let’s not talk about Dreyfus!’ ---But someone did!” (1898)

12 The Separation of Church & State, 1904/05: The victorious Dreyfusards ended public funding for organized religion…. Voltaire inspires Emile Combes to sunder ties between the Pope & Marianne Emile Combes as Satan

13 “Marianne,” feeding the crackpot masons, corrupt speculators, Jewish immigrants, & politicized judges (right-wing poster, 1907)

14 Trade unions were legalized in 1884 and grew quickly thereafter: The strike at the Schneider Works in Le Creusot, June 1899

15 “A Paris Strike in 1898” (the Republican army as strikebreaker, from a socialist magazine): By 1910 the SFIO commanded 20% of the national vote…

16 Georges Clemenceau first became premier in 1905-08 with a bold program for domestic reform, but all his major bills were vetoed by the Senate

17 The “National Socialist” Maurice Barrès presides over a Joan of Arc festival in Compiègne, June 13, 1913

18 French pacifist rally by 150,000 outside Paris, May 25, 1913

19 The Oratory of Jean Jaurès, 1910: he was assassinated by a French nationalist on July 31, 1914, just before his party agreed to join the “Sacred Union.”

20 SFIO leaders commemorate the Paris Commune, May 1914

21 Citizens of Paris rejoice on August 2, 1914

22 SOCIALIST CHAMPIONS OF THE “SACRED UNION” Albert Thomas, Minister of Munitions, founder of ILO Leon Blum, dep. Minister of Public Works, PM 1936-38

23 Marianne in danger (popular French cartoon from early 1914)

24 “The Kiss of the Alsatian” (anonymous colorized postcard from 1914)

25 Georges Scott, “In Alsace! The true plebiscite,” L’Illustration, 15 August 1914

26 A German and a French corpse in a trench, published in Le Miroir, 21 May 1916

27 TYPICAL DEMANDS BY THE FRENCH MUTINEERS, MAY 1917 (from a letter by a soldier in the 36 th Infantry Regiment to his uncle) “When the time came to advance to the front line, an incident happened in the army corps in which we demanded our rights in the following things: 1. Peace and the right to leaves, which are in arrears. 2. No more butchery; we want liberty. 3. On food, which is shameful. 4. No more injustice. 5. We don’t want the blacks in Paris and in other regions mistreating our wives. 6. We need peace to feed our wives and children and to be able to give bread to the women and orphans. We demand peace, peace.”

28 Clemenceau returned to power in November 1917 as the generals’ ally and arrested Interior Minister Malvy for treason

29 The Boulevards of Paris, 11 November 1918

30 French troops enter Strasbourg, 29 November 1918

31 Parliament passed a law for the 8-hour day in April 1919, and the CGT launched a strike wave to secure its implementation (CGT poster, spring 1919)

32 “How to vote against bolshevism?” (1919)

33 FRENCH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, NOVEMBER 1919 PartyVotesPercentag e French Section of the Workers’ International (SFIO) 1,728,66321.2% Independent Socialists147,0531.8% Republican-Socialist283,0013.5% Radical Republicans1,420,38117.4% Veterans128,0041.6% National Bloc (cartel of four conservative & moderate republican parties) 4,353,02553.4% VOTER TURNOUT70.2%

34 The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) demands an “Economic Council of Labor” to organize demobilization and reconstruction (1919). After a failed general strike in May 1920, CGT membership plunged from 2.5 million to 600,000.

35 The SFIO Tours Congress of December 1920 resolved to join the Comintern

36 Gustav Stresemann & Aristide Briand, Co-Winners of the Nobel Prize for signing the Treaty of Locarno in 1925; Germany now entered the League

37 French Communists & nationalists both rejected Locarno (pro- and anti-communist posters from 1927 target Briand)

38 French Military Cemetery at Verdun, with “Ossuary” built from 1920 to 1932

39 Human remains deposited in the Ossuary of Verdun: Leonard Smith argues that a wave of revulsion against the Great War only swept through France in the 1920s, as the French people contemplated its costs….

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