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HIS388H1 (6)
Lecture 4

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Nathalie Fournier

Third Republic was founded under terrible conditions - Franco-Prussian War, Frankfurt Treaty, Paris Commune - In many ways it was like the Weimer Republic - Lasted 70 years, longest constitutional regime in French history o Why did it last so long - Demise of French Monarchy, 16 of May Crisis, Boulanger Affair, Panama Scandal, Dreyfus Affair - It lasted long due to prosperity, after Paris commune left was badly weakened and assimilated into new republic by general wave of prosperity - After 1871, Paris became dominated by the bourgeois, though it used to be home of left and revolution, became conservative city - 2002 is the first time after that, that they didn’t elect right wing mayor - There was monarchist majority in republic o This was due to chaotic nature of Republic  Voters voted for prominent local notables, which were generally aristocrats  The monarchists were seen as the party of peace - Levee en masse, mass conscription - Monarchists fail because of weakness and incompetence, and diplomatic factors, (influence of Bismarck) - Adolph Thiers negotiated treaty of Frankfurt with Bismarck and became dominant figure until 1873 - 1871-73 he enjoyed almost dictatorial power o Veteran figure, popular for suppressing the commune, only French statesman of international status to deal with Bismarck  Seen to be indispensible person o He rebuilt army, restored credit - Weimer did everything it could to weasel out of reparations - French paid the reparations ahead of schedule o Helped revive confidence in French economy - Thiers became a Republican, average minister of interior for Thiers lasted 4 months, - The more successful he was the less necessary he was - In 1873, monarchists in national assembly voted him out of power and replaced him with Marshall MacMahon - MacMahon was supposed to pave way for the restoration of the monarchy o Leading contender was Bourbon, the Count of Chambord  Chambord was old and childless, when he died he would be succeeded by Count de Paris – Orleanist - Chambord was a rightwing reactionary o He wanted to fight war in Italy on behalf of pope, who lost Rome, the last Papal state o He would only accept French Throne if old Bourbon flag would be restored - Chambord alienated army by his flag issue but wanted them to fight for Pope o He however didn’t want to compromise - Chambord was a miracle baby with ultra-rightwing education, believed in divine right of kings, hated republic and Orleanist who were too liberal - Because of flag issue, he ruined chances to restore the throne o Only other alternative was the Republic, this was end of monarchy and any controversy of the monarchy being restored was gone  With this French Monarchy finally died - Young Napoleon died fighting Zulu - Monarchists were declining ship, discredited by Chambord, international situation didn’t favour restoration of French Monarchy o Moderate Monarchists, Orleanists, got together with Moderate republicans and made stop-gap constitution of 1875  This was barebones constitution, avoided ideology, human nature  2 houses, chamber of deputies, lower house, senate  7 year term for office of president • President was not elected by the people but by the national assembly, o Afraid that direct presidential elections could lead to dictators - The French ministers were responsible to president or national assembly? th - 16 May 1877 – MacMahon decided he could not work with parliament since it was dominated by Republicans, so he dismissed it and ordered new elections o De Broglie was MacMahon’s president, - 1877 was most bitter French Elections o Monarchists wanted war in Italy, so Republicans were seen as party of peace o Bismarck was in favour of Republicans due to his own kulturekampf  Also wanted to isolate France from other European monarchies - Bismarck was so influential because he hinted threat of war - Gambetta is better campaigner than MacMahon - Republicans won 1877 election still in majority though little less - 1877 could be regarded as true founding of Republic, became Republic ran by republicans - National Assembly emerged as dominant over president, president had to defer to national assembly - Chamber of Deputies can overthrow government and government lacked power to call new elections o Average government of third republic would generally last only 9 months  Political parties were not strong, lacked power to discipline power of chamber of deputies - Since governments were short lived, reforms were slow - Laissez-Faire economics had held the day o National Assembly was reluctant to pass laws helping the poor of France - Radical Republicans – dominant figure was Georges Clemenceau o Wanted to introduce more progressive party system, wanted two party system  However, radicals never had power to fulfill this agenda and France was left with small minority parties - France appeared to be unstable but the country was more stable than the governments - There weren’t many extremists so government was centrist - Aristides Briand was always involved in cabinet shuffle - Government only had cabinet shuffle - Over time Republican values became more and more accepted through the people - Only minority of army members were sincerely Republicans o They preferred more authoritarian government - Bismarck encouraged France to expand overseas and solve their damaged French Pride o Also he wanted them to encounter problems with Great Britain as an imperial power - Relationship between Church and State, Napoleon Louis XVIII, Napoleon III had all favored the Catholic Church - Republicans inherited distrust of Bonapartism and with that inherited distrust of Church o Republicans were heirs of enlightenment - Serious divisions on the left - Moderate and radical republicans and socialists couldn’t agree on property rights, but they agreed that they hated the church, and thus the left found unity in hating the church - 1875-1885 int
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