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French Third Republic Notes on the subject by Thorsteinn Thorhallsson.

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1 French Third Republic Notes on the subject by Thorsteinn Thorhallsson

2 The third french republic The debate! Was it stagnant or dynamic –It managed to reconcile the conservative and revolutionary forces in France. –It turned peasants into Frenchmen –It made some economic and social progress even if it did not have the same economic growth as Germany. –Finally it emerged victorius out of WW1

3 The Program The Commune Establishment Crises Domestic and foreign policy

4 Consequence of war France lost Alsace and Lorraine France had to pay huge sums in war indemnity (five billion francs) Siege of Paris sept 1870 to jan 1871 France-German relations for next 80 years poisioned

5 The commune Napoleon was captured and the national assembly took over government under leadership of Adolphe Thiers The assembly made peace with Germany which Paris resented. March 26th 1871 Paris Commune separated itself from France Repressed with killed in May

6 Commune What is the myth of the commune? –Each radical movement sees itself in it. What was the commune? –protest against the conservative assembly –warweariness and poverty –Parisian republican and revolutionary tradition against the traditional authorities returning to power once again –power in hands of the working class and middle classs –introduced workshops, free compulsory education for both sexes

7 Suppression Suppression of Thiers was energetic, decisive and totally successful. Opposing view of effect on history of third republic: –The new republic had a long lasting bitterness between Paris and the Provinces –Or this clearing of Paris radicals was necessary for peaceful development of the republic.

8 The provisional republic Thiers, chief of executive power –Majority for monarchy but agreement not reached(because of the flag) –1875 Founding of the republic (accepted by one vote majority in assembly) MacMahon president –Republicans got clear majority in elections 75 –In the elections 77 the monarchist president MacMahon failed to crush the republicans. The influence of the aristocrats was finished. A social revolution said Alfred Cobban

9 Consolidation Rule of the opportunists –Jules Ferry and Léon Gambetta were republicans but not so radical even if they adhered to the principles of equal rights and primary education for all. Symbolic legislation –Bastille day - Marseillaise - amnesty to communards Liberal legislation –1881 freedom of expression - elections to majors - competitive examinations for civil service -

10 Politics in the Third republic Stability or instability –Government was nominated by the president but the they were weak and under much parliamentary check by: –interpellations –deputies could initiate legislation –permanent commissions of deputies reviewed all government legislation –Governments were frequently changed but the Chamber was the pillar of stability (professional deputies)

11 Church and the state The anti-clerical republicans couldn’t accept the church grip on education. In % of education was in church schools. The defeat at Sedan was the defeat of “Bonarpartism, caesarism, catholicism, jesuitism” all that was corrupt and and sterile within France Jules Ferry introduced the law of free primary education by lay teachers employees of the state. The Jesuits expelled from France 1880 The second assault on the church came with the association laws 1901 and separation of church and state in 1904.

12 Boulanger Republican minister of war –Response to rights success in elections 85 43,9 % –Economic crisis – phylloxera – cheap amer. grain –Attempted tough policy against Germany in the Schnaebele affair. –General “revenge” Enoromously popular – new Napoleon! –Chickened out at a crucial moment –The republic was saved – from right and left enemies -

13 Panama-scandal Another problem for the republic Panama canal project in trouble Bribes to politicians to get public money Company bankrupt Angry shareholders Jewish banker accused of handing out bribes

14 Implications of scandal Set off a wave of anti Jewish sentiment – preparation for Dreyfus affair Workers vote socialist – give up onm corrupt capitalism New generation of politicians like Raymond Poincarré

15 Dreyfus-affair Old and new values Church – army – nationalism anti-semitic against radical republican forces. Once again opened up the rift between the two forces Still an advance for republicanism The energies should have been used for solving social and economic problem

16 "Half a century after the Vichy regime, we know that dark forces, intolerance, injustice can insinuate themselves up to the highest levels of the State. But we also know that France, in moments of truth, can find again the best of herself: great, strong, united and vigilant This is without a doubt what Emile Zola and Alfred Dreyfus are telling us, after all these years. It is because they had faith in our common values, those of our Nation and our Republic, and because they so deeply loved France, that these exceptional men were able to reconcile her with herself." "Let us not ever forget this masterful lesson of love and unity." Jacques Chirac President of the French Republic

17 Economic development 1870 war cut important resources from France – heavy cost of war. France comes in fourth in the world More emphasis on luxury industries than heavy industry Did well in automobile industry Growing protectionism Steady growth in living standard

18 Socialism French workers party 1881 – marxist line Jean Jaures –Peaceful socialist – less doctrinate. –Use democratic methods to advance the workers case –Killed by nationalist on eve of war 1914 Sorel – syndicalist – general strike

19 The social question 1905 Waldeck-Rousseau appoints socialist to be a minister for the first time in European history Didnt last long – the line from Amsterdam to fight capitalism and withdraw from support with bourgeouise governments. Strike wave was forcefully suppressed with army by radical republican ministers. Little progess in social legislation

20 Colonialism Ferry justification an afterthought – Industrial countries need colonies Debated policy in France Matter of pride Supported by Germans Personal initiative Catholic mission Socialist, nationalists and industrialists not enthusiastic about the civilizing mission

21 Foreign policy Alliance with Russia after 1890 –Bismarck set aside in Germany –French investment in Russia –1894 alliance popular in France –Few asked what the consequences this could have –German arrogance puts France and Britain together. End of Isolations

22 Questions from paper 3 What were the main problems faced by the third french republic between 1870 and 1900? M98 In what ways did the crisis and political scandals in France both weaken and strengthen the Third republic between 1880 and 1905? M00


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