French Third Republic


French Third Republic

Infobox Former Country
native_name = "République Française"
"France"
conventional_long_name = French Republic
France
common_name = France
ag
continent = Europe
region = <|country = France
era =
status_text=
empire =
government_type = Republic|
event_start =
year_start = 1870
date_start = September 4|event_end =
year_end = 1940
date_end = June 22

event1 =
date_event1 =
event2 =
date_event2 =
event3 =
date_event3 = |
p1 = Second French Empire
flag_p1 = Flag of France.svg
p2 = Republic of Alsace-Lorraine
flag_p2 = Flag of the Republic of Alsace-Lorraine.svg
s1 = Nazi Germany
flag_s1 = Flag of Germany 1933.svg
s2 = Military Administration in Belgium and North France
flag_s2 = Flag of Germany 1933.svg
s3 = Vichy France
flag_s3 = Flag of France.svg
s4 = Free France
flag_s4 = Flag of Free France 1940-1944.svg|


flag_type =


flag_type =



symbol =
symbol_type =





image_map_caption = The French Third Republic, pre-World War I
capital = Paris
national_motto = Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality, brotherhood)
national_anthem = La Marseillaise
common_languages = French
religion = Roman Catholicism, protestantism and judaism official religions (until 1905),None (from 1905 until 1940)(Law on the separation of Church and State of 1905)
currency = French Franc|

leader1 = Adolphe Thiers
year_leader1 = 1871 - 1873
leader2 = Albert Lebrun
year_leader2 = 1932 - 1940
title_leader = President
legislature = French Parliament
house1=Senate
house2=Chamber of Deputies|

stat_year1 =
stat_area1 =
stat_pop1 = 35565800
stat_year2 =
stat_pop2 =
political_subdiv=
footnotes =

The French Third Republic (in French, "La Troisième République", sometimes written as "La IIIe République") (1870-10 July 1940) was the political regime of France between the Second French Empire and the Vichy Regime. It was a republican parliamentary democracy that was created on 4 September 1870 following the collapse of the Empire of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War. It survived until the invasion of France by the German Third Reich in 1940. Adolphe Thiers recognized as "le Libérateur du Territoire", and who rallied himself to the Republic in the 1870s, called republicanism in the 1870s "the form of government that divides France least." France might have agreed about being a republic, but it never fully agreed with the Third Republic. France's longest lasting régime since before the 1789 French Revolution, the Third Republic was consigned to the history books, as unloved at the end as it had been when first created seventy years earlier. But its longevity showed that it was capable of weathering many a storm.

Background

In 1852, Napoleon III abolished the Second French Republic to become the second Emperor of the French, following the earlier example of his uncle Napoleon I. However, the Second French Empire lasted only eighteen years because of the emergence of the German Empire, which quickly grew to dominate continental affairs after defeating the French in the Franco-Prussian War.

Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck of Prussia, who sought to bring his state to ascendancy in Germany, realized that if a unified German state was to be created, some unifying force was needed to bring this about - a nationalist war with France seemed the perfect force to bring the other German states into line with Prussia. A resulting German defeat of France would firmly establish the new Germany on the world stage within secure borders. Through clever manipulation of the Ems Dispatch, Bismarck and French public opinion goaded France into declaring war on Prussia, beginning the Franco-Prussian War. After Napoleon's capture by the Prussians at Sedan, Parisian Deputies established the Government of National Defence, governed in Paris by the President, General Louis Jules Trochu, and in the provinces by the Minister of the Interior, Léon Gambetta. After the French surrender in January 1871, the Government of National Defence disbanded and returned power to the National Assembly based at Versailles. The new government under Adolphe Thiers was overshadowed by the settlement of peace terms with Prussia and the subsequent revolution in Paris known as the Paris Commune, which maintained a radical regime for two months until its bloody suppression by Thiers' government in May 1871. The following repression of the "communards" would have disastrous consequences on the labor movement.

Prospects of a Parliamentary Monarchy

In the aftermath of the collapse of the regime of Napoleon III, the overwhelming majority of the French National Assembly wished to return to a constitutional monarchy. There were two competing claimants to the throne, each supported by political groups. The Legitimists supported the heirs to Charles X, recognising as king his grandson, Henri, Comte de Chambord, alias "Henry V". The Orléanists supported the heirs to Louis-Philippe I, recognising as king his grandson, Louis-Philippe, Comte de Paris. However the two groups came to a compromise, whereby the childless Comte de Chambord would be recognised as king, with the Comte de Paris recognised as his heir. Consequently in 1871, the throne was offered to the Comte de Chambord. In 1830 Charles X had abdicated in favour of Chambord, then a child (his father having died already), and Louis-Philippe had been recognised as king instead.

In 1871 Chambord had no wish to be a "constitutional" monarch, but a semi-absolutist one like his grandfather Charles X, or like the contemporary rulers of Prussia/Germany. Moreover, he refused to reign over a state that used the Tricouleur that was associated with the Revolution of 1789 and the July Monarchy of the man who seized the throne from him in 1830, the citizen-king, Louis Philippe, "King of the French". This became the ultimate reason the restoration never occurred. As much as France wanted a restored monarchy, the nation was unwilling to abandon the popular "Tricouleur". Instead a "temporary" republic was established, to await the death of the aging, childless Chambord, when the throne could be offered to his more liberal heir, the Comte de Paris. However, Chambord lived until 1883, by which time enthusiasm for a monarchy had faded.


= The "Ordre Moral" Government =

In February 1875, a series of parliamentary Acts established the organic or constitutional laws of the new republic. At its apex was a "President of the Republic". A two-chamber parliament was created, along with a ministry under the "President of the Council", who was nominally answerable to both the President of the Republic and parliament. Throughout the 1870s, the issue of monarchy versus republic dominated public debate.

On 16 May 1877, with public opinion swinging heavily in favour of a republic, the President of the Republic, Patrice de Mac-Mahon, himself a monarchist, made one last desperate attempt to salvage the monarchical cause by dismissing the republic-minded prime minister Jules Simon and appointing the monarchist leader the Duc de Broglie to office. He then dissolved parliament and called a general election (October 1877). If his hope had been to halt the move towards republicanism, it backfired spectacularly, with the President being accused of having staged a "constitutional coup d'état", known as "le seize Mai" after the date on which it happened.

Republicans returned triumphant, finally killing off the prospect of a restored French monarchy by gaining control of the Senate on 5 January 1879. Mac-Mahon himself resigned on 30 January 1879, leaving a seriously weakened presidency in the shape of Jules Grévy. Indeed it was not until Charles de Gaulle, eighty years later, that a President of France next unilaterally dissolved parliament.

The Opportunist Republicans

Following the 16 May crisis in 1877, Legitimists were pushed out of power, and the Republic was finally governed by republicans, called Opportunist Republicans as they were in favor of moderate changes in order to firmly establish the new regime. The Jules Ferry laws on free, mandatory and secular "(laїque)" public education, voted in 1881 and 1882, were one of the first sign of this republican control of the Republic, as public education was not anymore in the exclusive control of the Catholic congregations.

In 1889 the Republic was rocked by the sudden but short-timed Boulanger crisis, while the Dreyfus Affair was another important event, spawning the rise of the modern intellectual (Emile Zola). Later, the Panama scandals also were quickly criticized by the press.

In 1893, following anarchist Auguste Vaillant's bombing at the National Assembly, killing nobody but injuring one, deputies voted the "lois scélérates" which limited the 1881 freedom of the press laws. The following year, president Sadi Carnot was stabbed to death by the Italian anarchist Sante Geronimo Caserio. Also in 1894, 30 alleged anarchists were judged during the Trial of the thirty.

The Radicals' Republic

The Radical-Socialist Party, founded in 1901 (four years before the socialist SFIO which unified the various socialist currents), remained the most important party of the Third Republic starting at the end of the 19th century. The same year, followers of Léon Gambetta, such as Raymond Poincaré, who would become President of the Council in the 1920s, created the Democratic Republican Alliance (ARD), which became the main center-right party after World War I and the parliamentary disappearance of monarchists and Bonapartists.

Governments during the Third Republic collapsed with regularity, rarely lasting more than a couple of months, as radicals, socialists, liberals, conservatives, republicans and monarchists all fought for control. However others argue that the collapse of governments were a minor side effect of the Republic lacking strong political parties, resulting in coalitions of many parties that routinely lost and gained a few allies. Consequently the change of governments could be seen as little more than a series of ministerial reshuffles, with many individuals carrying forward from one government to the next, often in the same posts.

In 1905 the government introduced the law on the separation of Church and State, heavily supported by Emile Combes, who had been strictly enforcing the 1901 voluntary association law and the 1904 law on religious congregations' freedom of teaching (more than 2,500 private teaching establishments were by then closed by the state, causing bitter opposition from the Catholic and conservative population).

Political and Military Scandals of the 1890s

There were two major scandals that rocked the Third Republic during the 1890s. One scandal entailed the Panama scandals in 1892. Due to widespread corruption, the company designated to spearhead the massive project went bankrupt. Approximately 300 million dollars were lost in the financial fiasco Fact|date=February 2007. Adjusted for inflation, that loss would have amounted to around six billion dollars by today's account Fact|date=February 2007. The role of French politicians in the scandal severely undermined the ability of the French government to regulate the enormous power of the bourgeoisie.

The Dreyfus Affair was another, famous scandal, which involved the French military. In 1894, a Jewish artillery officer, Alfred Dreyfus, was arrested on charges relating to conspiracy and espionage. Allegedly, Dreyfus had handed over important military documents discussing the designs of a new French artillery piece to a German military attaché named Max von Schwartzkoppen. In 1898, writer Emile Zola published an article entitled "J'Accuse. ..!" (I accuse. ..!). The article alleged an anti-Semitic conspiracy in the highest ranks of the military to scapegoat Dreyfus, tacitly supported by the government and the Catholic Church. By 1906 however, it became apparent that the documents handed over to Schwartzkoppen were a forgery and thus Dreyfus was pardoned after serving twelve years behind bars.

France and the First World War

One of the reasons for France's entrance in World War I was, in patriotic circles and in most of the political class, to avenge its defeat during the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 ("revanchisme"). Paul Déroulède's anti-semitic "Ligue des patriotes" (Patriots League), created in 1882, advocated for example this revenge. This nationalism was also one of the cause of the low popularity of the "colonial lobby," gathering a few politicians, businessmen and geographers favorable to colonialism, until 1918. Thus, Georges Clemenceau (Radical), declared that colonialism diverted France from the "blue line of the Vosges", referring to the disputed Alsace-Lorraine region. Others opponents of the colonialist lobby included socialist leader Jean Jaurès or the nationalist writer Maurice Barrès, while supporters included Jules Ferry (moderate republican), Léon Gambetta (republican), and Eugène Etienne, the president of the parliamentary colonial group.

Another reason pertaining to France's entrance into the First World War entails its strategic military alliance with the Russian Empire in the East. This alliance was secured in 1894 after diplomatic talks between Germany and Russia had failed to produce any working agreement. French foreign minister Théophile Delcassé negotiated with Lord Lansdowne, the British Foreign Secretary, the Entente Cordiale in 1904. These entangling alliances not only tied France to various unwanted foreign crises but also made Germany feel increasingly encircled.

After SFIO and pacifist leader Jean Jaurès's assassination a few days before the German invasion of Belgium, beginning France's participation in World War I, the French socialist movement, as the whole of the Second International, abandoned its antimilitarist positions and joined the national war effort. Georges Clemenceau, nicknamed "the Tiger", would lead the government during the war, obtaining the SFIO socialist party's support in the "Union sacrée" (Sacred Union). As in other countries, state of emergency was proclaimed and censorship imposed, leading to the creation in 1915 of the "Canard enchaîné" satirical newspaper to bypass the censorship. Furthermore,a war economy began to be implemented. This war economy would have important consequences after the war, as it would be a first breach against liberal theories of non-interventionism.

After the outbreak of the war in August 1914, France enjoyed relatively little success. In order to uplift the French national spirit, many intellectuals began to fashion numerous pieces of wartime propaganda. The "Union sacrée", or "Sacred Union", sought to draw the French people closer to the actual front and thus garner social, political, and economic support for the French Armed Forces. Unfortunately, the Sacred Union had all but disappeared by 1917 as the French Army was dealt a series of catastrophic blows when its offensives were cut down by German machine gun barrages. These successive defeats gave rise after the Second Battle of the Aisne to mutinies along the Front. According to French historian Leonard V. Smith, as many as thirty-thousand French soldiers engaged in mutinous activities during 1917 alone. [Leonard V. Smith et al., "France and the Great War 1914-1918" (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 122.] Still, the French government, led by Clemenceau, insisted on victory at all costs and therefore the French persisted in their efforts to defeat the Germans.

The Downfall of the Third Republic

Throughout its seventy-year history, the Third Republic stumbled from crisis to crisis, from dissolved parliaments to the appointment of a mentally ill president. It struggled through World War I against the German Empire and the inter-war years saw much political strife with a growing rift between the right and the left. The Third Republic officially ended on July 10, 1940 when the parliament gave full powers to Philippe Pétain, who proclaimed the following days the regime of Vichy ("the French state"), which replaced the Republic.

The second idea regarding the collapse of the Third Republic involves the poor military planning on behalf of the French High Command. According to French historian Julian Jackson, the Dyle Plan conceived by French General Maurice Gamelin was destined for failure since it drastically miscalculated the ensuing attack by German Army Group B into central Belgium. [Julian Jackson, "The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 38.] The Dyle Plan embodied the primary war plan of the French Army to stave off German Army Groups A, B, and C with their much revered Panzer divisions in Belgium. However, given the over-stretched positions of the French 1st, 7th, and 9th armies in Belgium at the time of the invasion, the Germans simply outflanked the French by coming through the Ardennes. [Julian Jackson, "The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 40.] As a result of this poor military strategy, France was forced to come to terms with Nazi Germany in an armistice signed on June 22, 1940 in the same railway carriage where the Germans had signed the armistice ending the First World War back in November 1918. [Julian Jackson, "The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 181.]

When France was finally liberated after the D-Day invasion of June 1944, few called for a restoration of the Third Republic, and a Constituent Assembly was established in 1946 to draft a constitution for a successor, established as the Fourth Republic that December. The Fourth Republic would last only twelve years as 1958 saw the drafting of a Fifth French Constitution and thus the beginning of the French Fifth Republic, which has subsequently survived to this day.

Synthesizing the Meaning of the Third Republic

Adolphe Thiers, first president of the Third Republic, called republicanism in the 1870s "the form of government that divides France least." [James McMillan, "Modern France: 1880-2002" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 11.] France might have agreed about being a republic, but it never fully agreed with the Third Republic. France's longest lasting régime since before the 1789 Revolution, the Third Republic was consigned to the history books as being unloved and unwanted in the end. And yet its longevity showed that it was capable of weathering many a storm.

One of the most surprising aspects of the Third Republic was that it constituted the first stable republican government in French history, and the first to win the support of the majority of the population, yet it was intended as an interim, temporary government. Following Thiers' example, most of the Orleanist monarchists progressively rallied themselves to the Republican institutions, thus giving support of a large part of the elites to the Republican form of government. On the other hand, the Legitimists continued to be harshly anti-Republicans, while Charles Maurras founded the Action française in 1898, a monarchist far-right movement which would be very influential in the Quartier Latin in the 1930s. It would also be one of the model of the various far right leagues, which participated to the February 6, 1934 riots which succeeded in toppling the Second Cartel des gauches government.

The Third Republic failed, but it did not fail as a result of its liberal democratic institutions. It failed precisely because it was not ready to fight the Nazi war machine &mdash; historian Marc Bloch wrote a famous book about this, titled "The Strange Defeat". [ Marc Bloch, "Strange Defeat; a Statement of Evidence Written in 1940" (London: Oxford University Press, 1949) ]

Historiography

A major historiographical debate about the latter years of the Third Republic concerns the concept of "La décadence" (the decadence). Proponents of the concept have argued that the French defeat of 1940 was caused by what they regard as the innate decadence and moral rot of France. [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 pages 871-872] The notion of "la décadence" as an explanation for the defeat began almost as soon as the armistice was signed in June 1940. Marshal Philippe Pétain stated in a radio broadcast that "The regime led the country to ruin" and in another that "Our defeat is punishment for our moral failures", and claimed that France had "rotted" under the Third Republic. [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from History Compass, Volume 4/5, 2006 page 874] In 1942, several of the former leaders of the Third Republic were brought to trial for declaring war on Germany in 1939 and not doing enough to prepare France for war. [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from History Compass, Volume 4/5, 2006 page 874] Marc Bloch in his book "Strange Defeat" that the French upper classes had ceased to believe in the greatness of France following the Popular Front victory of 1936, and so had allowed themselves to fall under the spell of fascism and defeatism. [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 page 873] The French journalist André Geraud, who wrote under the pen name Pertinax in his 1943 book, "The Gravediggeres of France" indicted the pre-war leadership for what he regarded as total incompetence. [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from History Compass, Volume 4/5, 2006 page 873]

After 1945, the "la décadence" concept was widely embraced by different French political fractions as a way of discrediting their rivals. The French Communist Party blamed the defeat on the "corrupt" and "decadent" capitalist Third Republic, while from a different perspective, Gaullists damned the Third Republic as a "weak" regime. [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 page 875] A group of French historians centered Pierre Renouvin and his proteges Jean-Baptiste Duroselle and Maurice Baumont started a new type of international history that included taking into what Renouvin called "forces profondes" (profound forces) such as the influence of domestic politics on foreign policy. [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 page 877] However, Renouvin and his followers still followed the "la décadence" concept with Renouvin arguing that French society under the Third Republic was “sorely lacking in initiative and dynamism” and Baumont arguing that French politicians had allowed "personal interests" to override "any sense of the general interest". [Jackson, Peter "Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War" pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 page 878] In 1979, Duroselle published a well-known book entitled "La décadence" that offered a total condemnation of the entire Third Republic as weak, cowardly and degenerate. [Jackson, Peter “Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War’ pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 page 884] Even more so then in France, the "la décadence" concept was accepted in the English-speaking world, where British historians such A. J. P. Taylor often described the Third Republic as a tottering regime on the verge of collapse. [, Peter “Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War’ pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 page 876] A notable example of the "la décadence" thesis was William L. Shirer's 1969 book "The Collapse of the Third Republic", where the French defeat is explained as the result of the moral weakness and cowardice of the French leaders. [Jackson, Peter “Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War’ pages 870-905 from History Compass, Volume 4/5, 2006 page 876] Modern historians who subscribe to the "la décadence" argument include Talbot Imlay, Anthony Adamthwaite, Serge Berstein, Micahel Carely, Nicole Jordan, Igor Lukes, and Richard Crane. [Jackson, Peter “Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War’ pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 pages 885-886]

The first historian to explicitly denounce the "la décadence" concept was the Canadian historian Robert J. Young, who in his 1978 book "In Command of France" argued that French society was not decadent, that the defeat of 1940 was due to military factors, not moral failures, and that the Third Republic’s leaders had done their best. [Jackson, Peter “Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War’ pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 pages 874-880] Young has been followed by other historians such as Robert Frankenstein, Jean-Pierre Azema, Jean-Louis Cremieux-Brihac, Martin Alexander, Eugenia Kiesling, and Martin Thomas who have argued that French weakness on the international stage was due to structural factors as the impact of the Great Depression had on French rearmament and had nothing to do with French leaders being too “decadent” to stand up to Nazi Germany. [Jackson, Peter “Post-War Politics and the Historiography of French Strategy and Diplomacy Before the Second World War’ pages 870-905 from "History Compass", Volume 4/5, 2006 pages 880-883]

Timeline to 1914

September 1870: following the collapse of the Empire of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War the Third Republic was created.

1871: The Paris Commune. In a formal sense the Paris Commune of 1871 was simply the local authority which exercised power in Paris for two months in the spring of 1871. It was separate from that of the new government under Adolphe Thiers. The radical regime came to an end after a bloody suppression by Thiers' government in May 1871.

1872-1873: After the immediate political problems had been faced, a permanent form of government needed to be established. Thiers wanted to base it on the constitutional monarchy of Britain however he realised France would have to remain republican. Due to expressing this belief, he violated the Pact of Bordeaux and thereby angered the Monarchists in the Assembly. As a result he was forced to resign in 1873.

1873: Marshal MacMahon, a conservative Roman Catholic, was made President of the Republic. The Duc de Broglie, an Orleanist, as the prime minister. Unintentionally, the Monarchists had replaced an absolute monarchy by a parliamentary one.

Feb 1875: Series of parliamentary Acts established the organic or constitutional laws of the new republic. At its apex was a President of the Republic. A two-chamber parliament was created, along with a ministry under the "President of the Council", who was nominally answerable to both the President of the Republic and Parliament.

May 1877: with public opinion swinging heavily in favour of a republic, the President of the Republic, Patrice MacMahon, himself a monarchist, made one last desperate attempt to salvage the monarchical cause by dismissing the republic-minded Prime Minister Jules Simon and reappointing the monarchist leader the Duc de Broglie to office. He then dissolved parliament and called a general election. If his hope had been to halt the move towards republicanism, it backfired spectacularly, with the President being accused of having staged a constitutional coup d'état, known as "le seize Mai" after the date on which it happened.

1879: Republicans returned triumphant, finally killing off the prospect of a restored French monarchy by gaining control of the Senate on 5 January 1879. MacMahon himself resigned on 30th January 1879, leaving a seriously weakened presidency in the shape of Jules Grévy.

1880: The Jesuits and several other religious orders were dissolved, and their members were forbidden to teach in state schools.

1881: Following the 16 May crisis in 1877, Legitimists were pushed out of power, and the Republic was finally governed by republicans, called Opportunist Republicans as they were in favor of moderate changes in order to firmly establish the new regime. The Jules Ferry laws on free, mandatory and secular public education, voted in 1881 and 1882, were one of the first sign of this republican control of the Republic, as public education was not anymore in the exclusive control of the Catholic congregations.

1882: Religious instruction was removed from all state schools. The measures were accompanied by the abolition of chaplains in the armed forces and the removal of nuns from hospitals. Due to the fact that France was mainly Roman Catholic, this was greatly opposed.

1889: The Republic was rocked by the sudden but short-timed Boulanger crisis spawning the rise of the modern intellectual Emile Zola. Later, the Panama scandals also were quickly criticized by the press.

1893: Following anarchist Auguste Vaillant's bombing at the National Assembly, killing nobody but injuring one, deputies voted the "lois scélérates" which limited the 1881 freedom of the press laws. The following year, President Sadi Carnot was stabbed to death by Italian anarchist Caserio.

1894: The Dreyfus Affair. A Jewish artillery officer, Alfred Dreyfus, was arrested on charges relating to conspiracy and espionage. Allegedly, Dreyfus had handed over important military documents discussing the designs of a new French artillery piece to a German military attaché named Max von Schwartzkoppen.A strategic military alliance with the Russian Empire. It was secured because Russia and Germany failed to come to a working agreement.

1898: Writer Émile Zola published an article entitled "J'Accuse. .." The article alleged an anti-Semitic conspiracy in the highest ranks of the military to scapegoat Dreyfus, tacitly supported by the government and the Catholic Church.

1901: The Radical-Socialist Party is founded and remained the most important party of the Third Republic starting at the end of the 19th century. The same year, followers of Léon Gambetta, such as Raymond Poincaré, who would become President of the Council in the 1920s, created the Democratic Republican Alliance (ARD), which became the main center-right party after World War I and the parliamentary disappearance of monarchists and Bonapartists.

1904: French foreign minister Théophile Delcassé negotiated with Lord Lansdowne, the British Foreign Secretary, the Entente Cordiale in 1904.

1905: The government introduced the law on the separation of Church and State, heavily supported by Emile Combes, who had been strictly enforcing the 1901 voluntary association law and the 1904 law on religious congregations' freedom of teaching (more than 2,500 private teaching establishments were by then closed by the state, causing bitter opposition from the Catholic and conservative population). 1906: It became apparent that the documents handed over to Schwartzkoppen by Dreyfus in 1894 were a forgery and thus Dreyfus was pardoned after serving twelve years behind bars.

1914: After SFIO (French Section of the Workers' International) leader Jean Jaurès's assassination a few days before the German invasion of Belgium, the French socialist movement, as the whole of the Second International, abandoned its antimilitarist positions and joined the national war effort. First World War begins

Notes

See also

* French Presidential elections under the Third Republic
* French First Republic (1792 - 1804)
* French Second Republic (1848 - 1852)
* French Fourth Republic (1946 - 1958)
* French Fifth Republic (1958 - )
* 6 February 1934 crisis
* 16 May 1877 crisis
* Dreyfus Affair
* France in Modern Times I (1792-1920)
* France in Modern Times II (1920-today)
* The Collapse of the Third Republic by William L. Shirer


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • French Fifth Republic — French Republic République française …   Wikipedia

  • Third Republic — There were several Third Republics in the course of history. See e.g. * French Third Republic (1870 1940) *Third Republic of Nigeria (planned; never in effect) * Third Republic of the Philippines (1946 1972) * Third Republic of South Korea (1963… …   Wikipedia

  • French Presidential elections under the Third Republic — involved the election of the President of France by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The President was thus elected by indirect universal suffrage.Since the Third Republic was a parliamentary system, the President had much fewer powers… …   Wikipedia

  • Third Republic — the republic established in France in 1870 and terminating with the Nazi occupation in 1940. * * * French government (1870–1940). After the fall of the Second Empire and the suppression of the Paris Commune, the new Constitutional Laws of 1875… …   Universalium

  • The Collapse of the Third Republic — The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940 by William L. Shirer (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1969) deals with the collapse of the French Third Republic as a result of Hitler s invasion during World War II.The …   Wikipedia

  • French Communist Party — Parti communiste français Leader Pierre Laurent (National Secretary) Founded 1920 (SFIC) 1921 (PCF) …   Wikipedia

  • French Republics — refer to a succession of republics after the proclamation of the French Revolution and the abolition of the monarchy in France in 1792.There has been five republics in the history of France:* French First Republic (1792 1804) * French Second… …   Wikipedia

  • French legislative election, 1936 — French legislative elections to elect the 16th legislature of the French Third Republic were held on April 26 and May 3,1936. This was the last legislature of the Third Republic and the last election before the Second World War.The Popular Front …   Wikipedia

  • French legislative election, February 1871 — French legislative elections to elect the first legislature of the French Third Republic were held on February 8, 1871. This election was held during an explosive situation in the country: following the Franco Prussian War, 43 departments were… …   Wikipedia

  • French Mandate of Lebanon — Infobox Former Country native name = Etat du Grand Liban conventional long name = State of Greater Lebanon common name = Lebanon| continent = moved from Category:Asia to the Middle East region = the Middle East country = Lebanon era = Interwar… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.