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Title: A History of the Third French Republic
Author: Wright, C. H. C. (Charles Henry Conrad), 1869-1957
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of the Third French Republic" ***




_Professor of the French Language and Literature in Harvard University_






_Published May 1916_





1871).                                                     11

1871, TO MAY, 1873).                                       31

(MAY, 1873, TO JANUARY, 1879).                             50

1879, TO DECEMBER, 1887).                                  75

1887, TO JUNE, 1894).                                      96

(JANUARY, 1895, TO FEBRUARY, 1899).                       115

1899, TO FEBRUARY, 1906).                                 134

1906, TO FEBRUARY, 1913).                                 159

1913-).                                                   176


BIBLIOGRAPHY.                                             193

INDEX.                                                    199


RAYMOND POINCARÉ           _Frontispiece_

ADOLPHE THIERS                          32


LÉON GAMBETTA                           70

JULES FERRY                             78

SADI CARNOT                             96

MARIE-GEORGES PICQUART                 124

RENÉ WALDECK-ROUSSEAU                  136

[Illustration: Raymond Poincaré]




Two men were largely responsible, each in his own way, for the third
French Republic, Napoleon III and Bismarck. The one, endeavoring partly
at his wife's instigation to renew the prestige of a weakening Empire,
and the other, furthering the ambitions of the Prussian Kingdom, set in
motion the forces which culminated in the Fourth of September.

The causes of the downfall of the Empire can be traced back several
years. Napoleon III was, at heart, a man of peace and had, in all
sincerity, soon after his accession, uttered the famous saying:
"L'empire, c'est la paix." But the military glamour of the Napoleonic
name led the nephew, like the uncle, into repeated wars. These had, in
most cases, been successful, exceptions, such as the unfortunate Mexican
expedition, seeming negligible. They had sometimes even resulted in
territorial aggrandizement. Napoleon III was, therefore, desirous of
establishing once for all the so-called "natural" frontiers of France
along the Rhine by the annexation of those Rhenish provinces which,
during the First Empire and before, had for a score of years been part
of the French nation.

On the other hand, though France was still considered the leading
continental power, and though its military superiority seemed
unassailable, the imperial régime was unquestionably growing "stale."
The Emperor himself, always a mystical fatalist rather than the hewer of
his own fortune, felt the growing inertia of his final malady. A
lavishly luxurious court had been imitated by a pleasure-loving capital.
This had brought in its train relaxed standards of governmental morals
and had seriously weakened the fibre of many military commanders.
Outwardly the Empire seemed as glorious as ever, and in 1867 France
invited the world to a gorgeous exposition in the "Ville-lumière." But
Paris was more emotional year by year, and the Tuileries and Saint-Cloud
were dominated by a narrow-minded and spoiled Empress. Court intrigues
were rife and drawing-room generals were to be found in real life, as
well as in Offenbach's "Grande Duchesse." But nobody, except perhaps
Napoleon himself, realized how the Empire had declined. The Empress
merely felt that it was time to do something stirring, and, without
necessarily waging war, to assert again the pre-eminence in Europe of
France, weakened in 1866 by the unexpected outcome of the rivalry
between Austria and Prussia for preponderance among the German States.

Beyond the eastern frontier of France a nation was growing in ambition
and power. Prussia still remembered the warlike achievements of
Frederick the Great, although since those days its military efficiency
had at times undergone a decline. But now, under the reign of King
William, guided by a vigorous minister, Bismarck, an example, whatever
his admirers may say, of the brutal and unscrupulous _Junker_, the
Prussian Government had for some time tried to impose its leadership on
the other German States. Some of these were far from anxious to accept
it. In the furtherance of Prussian schemes, Bismarck had been able to
inflict a diplomatic rebuff on Napoleon, as well as a severe military
defeat on Austria.

In 1866, Prussia won from Austria the important victory of Königgrätz or
Sadowa, and thereby asserted its leadership. The outcome was a check to
Napoleon, who had expected a different result. Moreover, by it Bismarck
was encouraged to pursue his plans for the consolidation of Germany
under a still more openly acknowledged Prussian supremacy. A crafty and
utterly unscrupulous diplomat, he was able to mislead Napoleon and his
unskilful ministers.

Soon after Sadowa the Emperor tried to obtain territorial compensation
from Prussia. He wished, in return for recognition of Prussia's new
position and of the projected union of North and South Germany minus
Austria, to obtain the cession of territories on the left bank of the
Rhine, or an alliance for the conquest and annexation of Belgium to
France. Such schemes having failed, Napoleon tried next to satisfy
French jingoism by the acquisition of the Duchy of Luxembourg. This move
resulted only in securing the evacuation by its Prussian garrison of the
Luxembourg fortress and the neutralization of the duchy. From that time
on, tension increased between France and Prussia. Bismarck was, indeed,
more anxious for war than Napoleon. He suspected the weakness of the
French Empire, he despised its leaders, he realized the advance in
military efficiency of his own country, and his aim was unswerving to
establish a Prussianized German Empire at the cost, if possible, of the
downfall of France. As a matter of fact, France, as now, was far from
being permeated with militarism and, a few months before the war in
1870, the military budget was actually reduced.

The occasion for a dispute arrived with the suggested candidacy of
Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a German prince related to the King
of Prussia, to the crown of Spain. As early as 1868, intrigues had begun
to put a Prussian on the Spanish throne, but Napoleon had not as yet
been disturbed. It was not until 1870 that he took the matter seriously.
In July, Prince Leopold accepted the crown, egged on by Bismarck, and
with the fiction of the approval of King William as head of the
Hohenzollerns, as distinguished from his position as King of Prussia.

At that time the French Emperor was in precarious health and scarcely in
full control of his powers. The French people at large were pacifically
inclined and would have asked for nothing better than to remain at home
instead of fighting about a foreigner's candidacy to an alien throne.
But, unfortunately, the Empress Eugénie was for war. The Government,
too, was in the hands of second-rate and hesitating diplomats. Emile
Ollivier, the chief of the Cabinet, was an orator more than a statesman,
and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the duc de Gramont, was a conceited
mediocrity more and more involved in his own mistakes. In consequence,
the attitude of the Government was not so much deliberate desire for war
as provocative bluster, of which Bismarck was quick to take advantage.
The Cabinet was egged on by Eugénie's adherents, the militants, who had
been looking for an insult since Sadowa, and by obstreperous journalists
and noisy boulevard mobs, whose manifestations were unfortunately taken,
even by the Corps législatif, for the voice of France.

In consequence, blunder after blunder was made. The ministers worked at
cross-purposes, without due consultation and without consideration of
the effect of their actions on an inflamed public opinion or on
prospective European alliances. Stated in terms of diplomatic procedure,
the aim of the French Cabinet was to humiliate Prussia by forcing its
Government to acknowledge a retreat. King William was not seeking war
and was probably willing to make honorable concessions. Bismarck, on the
contrary, desired war, if it could be under favorable diplomatic
auspices, and the Hohenzollern candidacy was a direct provocation. He
wanted France to seem the aggressor, in view of the effect both on
neutral Europe, and particularly on the South German States, which he
wished to draw into alliance under the menace of French attack.

The French Ambassador to the King of Prussia, Benedetti, was instructed
to demand the withdrawal of Prince Leopold's candidacy. This demand
followed a very arrogant statement to the Corps législatif, on July 6,
by the duc de Gramont. The assumption was that Prince Leopold's presence
on the Spanish throne would be dangerous to the honor and interests of
France, by exposing the country on two sides to Prussian influence.
King William was, on the whole, willing to make a concession to avoid
international complications, but he obviously wished not to appear to
act under pressure. M. Benedetti went to Ems and, on July 9, he laid the
French demands before the King. After long-drawn-out discussion the
French Government asked for a categorical reply by July 12. On that day
the father of Prince Leopold, Prince Antony of Hohenzollern, in a
telegram to Spain, formally withdrew his son's name. The King had
planned to give his consent to this apparently _spontaneous_ action on
the part of the candidate's family, when officially informed. Thus
France would obtain its ends and the King himself would not be involved.

Unfortunately the thoughtlessness of the head of the French Ministry
spoiled everything. Instead of waiting a day for the King's
ratification, Emile Ollivier, desirous also of peace, hastened to make
public the telegram from the Prince of Hohenzollern. Thereupon the
leaders of the war party in the Corps législatif at once pointed out
that the telegram was not accompanied by the signature of the Prussian
monarch, declared that the Cabinet had been outwitted, and clamored for
definite guarantees. Stung by the charge of inefficiency, the would-be
statesman Gramont immediately accentuated his stipulations and demanded
that the King of Prussia guarantee not to support in future the
candidacy of a Hohenzollern to the Spanish throne.

Matters were rapidly reaching an _impasse_, and Bismarck was
correspondingly elated, because France was appearing to Europe a
trouble-maker. The duc de Gramont and Emile Ollivier committed the error
of dictating a letter to the Prussian Ambassador for him to transmit to
the King, to be in turn sent back as his reply. King William was
offended by this high-handed procedure. He had already told comte
Benedetti at Ems that a satisfactory letter was on its way from Prince
Antony and had promised him another interview upon its arrival. After
receiving the dispatch from his ambassador at Paris communicating
Gramont's formulas, he sent word to Benedetti that Prince Leopold was no
longer a candidate and that the incident was closed. Nor was the King
willing to grant Benedetti's urgent requests for an interview (July

The King and the French Ambassador had remained perfectly courteous, and
the next day, at the railway station, they took leave of each other with
marks of respect. Things were not yet hopeless, until Bismarck, by a
trick of which he afterwards bragged, caused a dispatch to be published
implying that Benedetti had been so persistent in pushing his demands
that King William had been obliged to snub him. The French were led to
believe that their representative had been insulted, and neutrals sided
with Prussia as the aggrieved party. After deliberation the French
Ministry decided on war and the decision was blindly ratified by the
Corps législatif on July 15. At this meeting Emile Ollivier made his
famous remark that the Ministry accepted responsibility for the war with
a "clear conscience." His actual words, "le coeur léger," seemed,
however, to imply "with a light heart", and thereafter weighed heavily
against him in the minds of Frenchmen.



September, 1870, to February, 1871

On July 19 the French Embassy at Berlin declared a state of war. Paris
was wild with enthusiasm and eager for an advance on Berlin. The
provinces were for the most part cool, but accepted the war calmly
because they were assured of an easy victory. The leaders of the two
nations had for each other equal contempt. "Ce n'est pas un homme
sérieux," Napoleon had once said of Bismarck, and Bismarck thought
Napoleon "stupid and sentimental." Meanwhile each nation had eyes on the
territory of the other: France was ready to claim the Rhine frontier;
Prussia wanted all it could get, and certainly Alsace and Lorraine. The
idea, so often repeated by the Germans since the war, that these
provinces were annexed because they had once been German, was not in
Bismarck's mind,--"that is a Professor's reason," he said.[1] He wanted
Strassburg because its commanding position and the wedge of Wissembourg
could cut off northern from southern Germany. The frontier of the Vosges
was as desirable to the Germans as the Rhine to the French.

From the beginning all went wrong in France. The Government found itself
left in the lurch by the European states whose alliance it had expected.
Moreover, mobilization proceeded slowly and in utter confusion. In spite
of Marshal Le Boeuf's famous exclamation ("Il ne manquera pas un
bouton de guêtre"), never did a nation enter on a war less prepared than
the French. On the other hand, all Germany, well trained and ready,
sprang to the side of Prussia. The whole military force was grouped in
three armies--under Steinmetz, Prince Frederick Charles, and the Crown
Prince. But, meanwhile, it seemed necessary to the French to give a
semblance of military achievement. The Emperor had started from Paris on
July 28 leaving the Empress as regent. On August 2, a vain military
display with largely superior forces was made across the frontier at
Saarbrücken, a practically unprotected place was taken, and the Emperor
was able to send home word that the Prince Imperial had received his
"baptism of fire" and that the soldiers wept at seeing him calmly pick
up a bullet. The same day King William took command of the German forces
at Mainz, and on August 4 the army of the Crown Prince entered Alsace
and defeated at Wissembourg the division of about twelve thousand men of
General Abel Douay, who was killed. On the 6th Mac-Mahon, with a larger
force, met the still more numerous Germans somewhat farther back at
Wörth, Fröschwiller, and Reichsoffen, and was utterly routed with a loss
of over ten thousand in killed, wounded, and taken. Alsace was thus
completely exposed to the enemy, and the road was open to Lunéville and
Nancy. On the same day, German armies under Steinmetz and Prince
Frederick Charles crossed into Lorraine at Saarbrücken and engaged the
troops of the French general Frossard at Forbach and Spicheren,
inflicting on them a severe repulse. Meanwhile Frossard's superior,
Bazaine, though not far away, did not move a finger to help him. "If
Frossard wanted the baton of marshal of France he could win it alone."

The news of these disasters was a terrible shock to Paris. The "liberal"
Ollivier Cabinet was overthrown and replaced by a reactionary one led by
General Cousin-Montauban, comte de Palikao. The Emperor withdrew from
military leadership and Marshal Bazaine received supreme command.
Bazaine was a brave soldier, but a poor general-in-chief, and withal a
self-seeking man, incompetent to deal with the difficulties in which
France found itself. He was perhaps not a conscious traitor in the great
disaster which soon came to pass, but he thought more of himself than of
his country. At the time we are concerned with he was considered the
coming man. Meanwhile Mac-Mahon, cut off from Bazaine's main army, fell
back, between August 6 and August 17, to Châlons. Bazaine was apparently
without intelligent strategic plans. He professed to be desirous of
concentrating at Verdun, but was afraid to get out of reach of Metz. He
won first an indecisive battle at Borny (August 14), which was
unproductive of any concrete advantage. On August 16, he let himself be
turned back, by an enemy only half as numerous, at Rezonville
(Vionville, Mars-la-Tour). On the 18th, he encountered, on the
contrary, a much larger force at Saint-Privat (Gravelotte) and let
himself be cooped up in Metz. Critics of Bazaine say that he could have
turned both Rezonville and Gravelotte to the advantage of the French.

The familiar military uncertainties now began to show themselves in the
movements of Mac-Mahon and his troops. The armies of Steinmetz and of
Frederick Charles were united under command of the latter to beleaguer
Metz, and a smaller force under Prince Albert of Saxony was thrown off
to coöperate with the army of the Crown Prince in its advance on Paris.
Mac-Mahon had collected about one hundred and twenty thousand men, and
Napoleon, without real authority except as a meddler, was with him. The
plan was originally to fall back for the protection of Paris, but the
Empress-Regent was afraid to have a defeated Emperor return to the
capital lest revolution ensue, and Palikao urged a swift advance to
rescue Metz, crushing Prince Albert of Saxony on the way, taking
Frederick Charles between the two fires of rescuers and besieged, with
the Crown Prince still too far away to be dangerous. Meanwhile
Mac-Mahon moved to Reims, which was neither on the direct road to Paris
nor to Metz, and at last started to the rescue of Bazaine by the
roundabout route of Montmédy, continually hesitating and retracing his
steps. On receiving news of his progress, the armies of the Crown Prince
and of Prince Albert converged northward. Mac-Mahon's right wing, under
General de Failly, was surprised at Beaumont, and finally the French
army in disorder drew up in most unfavorable positions between the Meuse
and the Belgian frontier, to face a foe twice as numerous and already
nearly completely surrounding it. The battle of Sedan broke out on
September 1. Mac-Mahon was wounded early in the fight and gave over the
command to Ducrot, in turn superseded by Wimpffen, already designated by
the Ministry to replace Mac-Mahon in case of accident. After a fierce
battle it fell to General de Wimpffen to capitulate on September 2. By
the disaster of Sedan the Germans captured the Emperor, a marshal of
France, and the whole of one of its two armies.

The news of the overwhelming defeat of Sedan struck Paris like a
thunderbolt. Jules Favre proposed to the Corps législatif the overthrow
of Napoleon and of his dynasty; Thiers, who favored the restoration of
the Orléans family, wished the convocation of a Constituent Assembly;
the comte de Palikao asked for a provisional governing commission of
which he should be the lieutenant-general. But, before anything was
done, the Paris mob invaded the legislative chamber. Gambetta, with the
majority of the Paris Deputies, went to the Hôtel de Ville, and to
prevent a more radical set from seizing the Government, proclaimed the
Republic (September 4). A Government of National Defence was constituted
of which General Trochu became President, Jules Favre Minister of
Foreign Affairs, and Gambetta Minister of the Interior. Thiers was not a
member, but gave his support. Eugénie escaped from the Tuileries to the
home of her American dentist, Dr. Evans, and then fled to England.

Jules Favre was innocent enough to think that the Germans would be
satisfied with the overthrow of Napoleon, and he was rash enough to
declare that France would not yield "an inch of its territory or a
stone of its fortresses." But, in an interview with Bismarck at
Ferrières, on September 19, he realized the oppressiveness of the German
demands. The rhetorical and emotional, even tearful, Jules Favre was
faced by a harsh and unrelenting conqueror, and the meeting ended
without an agreement. Meanwhile Paris was invested by the German forces
of the Crown Prince and the Prince of Saxony after a defeat of some
French troops at Châtillon. William, Bismarck, and Moltke took up their
station at Versailles. Europe, made suspicious by the numerous changes
of government in France in the nineteenth century, and moved also by
selfish reasons, refused its aid and looked on with indifference. Thiers
made a fruitless quest through Europe for practical aid, bringing home
only meaningless expressions of sympathy.

Unfortunately even a number of people in the provinces, relaxed by the
factitious prosperity of the imperial régime, were too willing to yield
to the invaders. Where resistance was brave it appeared fruitless:
Strassburg capitulated on September 28, after the Germans had burned
its library and bombarded the cathedral. A scratch army on the Loire,
under La Motterouge, was beaten at Artenay (October 10) and had to
evacuate Orléans. On October 18, the Germans captured Châteaudun after
heroic resistance by National Guards and sharpshooters.

Though one of the two great French armies was in captivity and the other
besieged in Metz, the idea of submission never for a moment entered
Gambetta's head. Paris was under the command of Trochu, patriotic and
brave, but military critic rather than leader, discouraged from the
beginning, and unable to take advantage of opportunities. A delegation
of the Government of National Defence had established itself at Tours to
avoid the German besiegers, but two of its members, Crémieux and
Glais-Bizoin, were elderly and weak. Admiral Fourichon was the most
competent. Gambetta escaped from Paris by balloon on October 7, and,
reaching Tours in safety, made himself by his energy and patriotic
inspiration, practically dictator and organizer of resistance to the

Léon Gambetta, a young lawyer politician of thirty-two, of
inexhaustible energy and impassioned eloquence, was the son of an
Italian grocer settled at Cahors. With the help of his assistant Charles
de Freycinet, he levied and armed in four months six hundred thousand
men, an average of five thousand a day. Everything was done in haste and
unsatisfactorily,--the army of General Chanzy was equipped with guns of
fifteen different patterns. But Gambetta did the task of a giant, in
spite of another crushing blow to France, the surrender of Metz.

Bazaine had let himself be cooped up in Metz. Instead of being moved by
patriotism, he thought only of his own interests and ambitions. In the
midst of the cataclysm which had fallen on France he aspired to hold the
position of power. The Emperor gone and the Republic destined, Bazaine
thought, to fall, he would be left at the head of the only army. His
would be the task of treating for peace with Germany, and then he would
perhaps become in France regent instead of the Empress, or
Marshal-Lieutenant of the Empire, like the Spanish marshals. So he
neglected favorable military opportunities, and dallied over plans of
peace, while Bismarck misled him with fruitless propositions or false
emissaries like the adventurer Regnier. Finally, on October 27, Bazaine
had to surrender Metz, with three marshals (himself, Canrobert, and Le
Boeuf), sixty generals, six thousand officers, and one hundred and
seventy-three thousand men. France was deprived of her last trained
forces, and the besieging army of Frederick Charles was set free to help
in the conquest of France. After the war Bazaine was condemned to death,
by court-martial, for treason. His sentence was commuted to life
imprisonment, but he afterwards escaped from the fortress in which he
was confined and died in obscurity and disgrace at Madrid.

No sooner did the news of the capitulation of Metz reach Paris than a
regrettable affair took place. There was much dissatisfaction with the
indecision of the Provisional Government, and, on October 31, a mob
invaded the Hôtel de Ville and arrested the chief members of the
commission. Fortunately they were released later the same day and a
plebiscite of November 3 confirmed the powers of the Government of
National Defence. Fortunately, too, within a few days came news of the
first real success of the French during the war, the battle of Coulmiers
(November 9).

Gambetta had succeeded during October in organizing the Army of the
Loire which, under General d'Aurelle de Paladines, defeated the Bavarian
forces of von der Thann at Coulmiers and recaptured Orléans. The plan
was to push on to Paris and the objections of d'Aurelle were overcome by
Gambetta. But the fall of Metz had released German reinforcements. After
an unsuccessful contest by the right wing at Beaune-la-Rolande (November
28), and a partial victory at Villepion, the French were defeated in
turn on December 2 at Loigny or Patay (left wing), on December 3 at
Artenay. The Germans reoccupied Orléans and the first Army of the Loire
was dispersed. The Government moved from Tours to Bordeaux.

After Coulmiers General Trochu had planned a sortie from Paris to meet
the Army of the Loire. This advance was under command of General Ducrot,
but was delayed by trouble with pontoon bridges. The various battles of
the Marne (November 30-December 2) culminated in the terrible fight and
repulse of Villiers and Champigny. In the north, a small army hastily
brought together under temporary command of General Favre was defeated
at Villers-Bretonneux and Amiens (November 27).

The last phase of the Franco-Prussian War begins with the crushing of
the Army of the Loire and the check of the advance to Champigny. With
unwearied tenacity Gambetta tried to reorganize the Army of the Loire. A
portion became the second Army of the Loire or of the West, under
Chanzy. The rest, under Bourbaki, became the Army of the East. Faidherbe
tried to revive the Army of the North.

To Chanzy, on the whole the most capable French general of the war, was
assigned the task of trying, with a smaller force, what d'Aurelle had
already failed in accomplishing, a drive on Paris. In this task Bourbaki
and Faidherbe were expected by Gambetta to coöperate. Instead of
succeeding, Chanzy, bravely fighting, was driven back, first down the
Loire, in the long-contested battle of Josnes (Villorceau or Beaugency)
(December 7-10), then up the valley of the tributary Loir to Vendôme
and Le Mans. There the army, reduced almost to a mob, made a new stand.
In a battle between January 10 and 12, this army was again routed and
what was left thrown back to Laval.

Faidherbe, taking the offensive in the north, fought an indecisive
contest at Pont-Noyelles (December 23) and took Bapaume (January 3). But
his endeavor to proceed to the assistance of Paris was frustrated, he
was unable to relieve Péronne, which fell on January 9, and was defeated
at Saint-Quentin on January 19.

Bourbaki, in spite of his reputation, showed himself inferior to Chanzy
and Faidherbe. He let his army lose morale by his hesitation, and then
accepted with satisfaction Freycinet's plan to move east upon Germany
instead of to the rescue of Paris. On the eastern frontier Colonel
Denfert-Rochereau was tenaciously holding Belfort, which was never
captured by the Germans during the whole war.[2] Bourbaki's
dishearteningly slow progress received no effective assistance from
Garibaldi. This Italian soldier of fortune, now somewhat in his
decline, had offered his services to France and was in command of a
small body of guerillas and sharpshooters, the Army of the Vosges. With
alternate periods of inactivity, failure, and success, Garibaldi perhaps
did more harm than good to France. He monopolized the services of
several thousand men, and yet, through his prestige as a distinguished
foreign volunteer, he could not be brought under control. Bourbaki won
the battle of Villersexel on January 9. Pushing on to Belfort he was
defeated only a few miles from the town in the battle of Héricourt, or
Montbéliard, along the river Lisaine. The army, now transformed into
panic-stricken fugitives, made its way painfully through bitter cold and
snow, and Bourbaki tried to commit suicide. He was succeeded by General
Clinchant. When Paris capitulated, on January 28, and an armistice was
signed, this Army of the East was omitted. Jules Favre at Paris failed
to notify Gambetta in the provinces of this exception, and the army,
hearing of the armistice, ceased its flight, only to be relentlessly
followed by the Germans. Finally, on February 1, the remnants of the
army fled across the Swiss frontier and found safety on neutral soil.

Meanwhile, in Paris the tightening of the Prussian lines had made the
food problem more and more difficult, and the population were reduced to
small rations and unpalatable diet. After Champigny the German general
von Moltke communicated with the besieged, informing them of the defeat
of Orléans, and the means seemed opened for negotiations. But the
opportunity was rejected, and the Government even refused to be
represented at an international conference, then opening in London,
because of its unwillingness to apply to Bismarck for a safe-conduct for
its representative. A chance to bring the condition of France before the
Powers was neglected. Between December 21 and 26, a sally to Le Bourget
was driven back, and, on the next day, the bombardment of the forts
began. On January 5, the Prussian batteries opened fire on the city
itself. On January 18, the Germans took a spectacular revenge for the
conquests of Louis XIV by the coronation of King William of Prussia as
Emperor of the united German people. The ceremony took place in the
great Galerie des Glaces of Louis's magnificent palace of Versailles.
The very next day the triumph of the Germans received its consecration,
not only by the battle of Saint-Quentin (already mentioned), but by the
repulse of the last offensive movement from Paris. To placate the Paris
population an advance was made on Versailles with battalions largely
composed of National Guards. At Montretout and Buzenval they were routed
and driven back in a panic to Paris. General Trochu was forced to resign
the military governorship of Paris, though by a strange contradiction he
kept the presidency of the Government of National Defence, and was
replaced by General Vinoy. On January 22, a riot broke out in the
capital in which blood was shed in civil strife. Finally, on January 28,
Jules Favre had to submit to the conqueror's terms. Paris capitulated
and the garrison was disarmed, with the exception of a few thousand
regulars to preserve order, and the National Guard; a war tribute was
imposed on the city and an armistice of twenty-one days was signed to
permit the election and gathering of a National Assembly to pass on
terms of peace. With inexcusable carelessness Jules Favre neglected to
warn Gambetta in the provinces that this armistice began for the rest of
France only on the thirty-first and that, as already stated, the Army of
the East was excepted from its provisions.

Gambetta was furious at the surrender and at the presumption of Paris to
decide for the provinces. He preached a continuation of the war, and the
intervention of Bismarck was necessary to prevent him from excluding
from the National Assembly all who had had any connection with the
imperial régime. Jules Simon was sent from Paris to counteract
Gambetta's efforts. The latter yielded before the prospect of civil war,
withdrew from power, and, on February 8, elections were held for the
National Assembly.

The downfall of what had been considered the chief military nation of
Europe was due to many involved causes. The Empire was responsible for
the _débâcle_ and the Government of National Defence was unable to
create everything out of nothing. Many people were ready to be
discouraged after a first defeat, and few realized what Germany's
demands were going to be. The imperial army was insufficiently equipped
and the majority of its generals were inefficient and lacking in
initiative: there was no preparation, no system, little discipline.

During the period of National Defence the members of the Government
themselves were usually wanting in experience and in diplomacy, and the
badly trained armies made up of raw recruits were liable to panics or
unable to follow up an advantage. There was jealousy, mistrust, and
frequent unwillingness to subordinate politics to patriotism, or, at any
rate, to make allowances for other forms of patriotism than one's own.
Gambetta and Jules Favre were primarily orators and tribunes and
indulged in too many wordy proclamations, in which habit they were
followed by General Trochu. The patriotism and enthusiasm of Gambetta
were undeniable, but he was imbued with the principles and memories of
the French Revolution, including the efficacy of national volunteers,
the ability of France to resist all Europe, and the subordination of
military to civil authority. Consequently, in a time of stress he nagged
the generals and interfered, and gave free rein to Freycinet to do the
same. They upset plans made by experienced generals, and sent civilians
to spy over them, with power to retire them from command. They were,
moreover, trying to thrust a republic down the throats of a hostile
majority of the population, for a large proportion of those not
Bonapartists were in favor of a monarchy. The wonder is, therefore, that
France was able to do so much. M. de Freycinet was not boasting when he
wrote later, "Alone, without allies, without leaders, without an army,
deprived for the first time of communication with its capital, it
resisted for five months, with improvised resources, a formidable enemy
that the regular armies of the Empire, though made up of heroic
soldiers, had not been able to hold back five weeks."[3]


[1] Moritz Busch, _Bismarck_, vol. 1, chap. 1.

[2] He surrendered by order of the Government. The isolated incident of
the resistance of the town of Bitche through all the war is no less

[3] _La guerre en province_, quoted by Welschinger, _La guerre de 1870_,
vol. II, p. 295.



February, 1871, to May, 1873

The elections were held in hot haste. The short time allowed before the
convening of the Assembly made the usual campaign impossible. It met at
Bordeaux on February 13, 1871. The peace party was in very considerable
majority, and though Gambetta received the distinction of a multiple
election in nine separate districts, Thiers was chosen in twenty-six.
The radicals and advocates of guerilla warfare and of a "guerre à
outrance" found themselves few in numbers. Many of the representatives
had only local or rural reputation. They were new to parliamentary life,
and in the majority of cases were averse to a permanent republican form
of government. They would have preferred a monarchy, but they were ready
to accept a provisional republic which would incur the task of settling
the war with Germany and bear the onus of defeat. They were especially
suspicious of Paris, and hostile to it as the home of fickleness, of
irresponsibility, and of mob rule. They were largely provincial lawyers
and rural landed gentry, conservative and clerical, who felt that too
much importance had been usurped by the Parisian Government of National

[Illustration: ADOLPHE THIERS]

The new Assembly, therefore, gradually fell into several groups. On the
conservative side came the Extreme Right, made up of out-and-out
Legitimists, believing in absolutism and the divine right of kings; the
Right, composed of monarchists desirous of conciliating the old régime
with the demands of modern times and of making it a practical form of
government; the Right Centre, consisting of constitutional monarchists
and followers of the Orléans branch of the house of Bourbon. Among the
anti-republicans the Bonapartists were almost negligible. Next came the
Left Centre of conservative Republicans, the republican Left, and the
radical Union républicaine, partisans of Gambetta and advanced

At the first public session of the Assembly Jules Grévy was chosen
presiding officer. A former leader of the opposition to the Empire, he
had not participated in affairs since the Fourth of September, and,
therefore, had not yet identified himself with any set. Among the
Republicans he was averse to Gambetta and remained so even when the
latter became moderate. On February 17, Adolphe Thiers, the
"peace-maker," was by an almost unanimous vote elected "Chief of the
Executive Power of the French Republic." It was he who, thirty years
before, had fortified Paris that had now fallen only by famine, who had
opposed the war when it might yet have been averted, who had travelled
over Europe to defend the interests of France, who had been elected
representative by the choice of twenty-six departments.

M. Thiers formed a coalition cabinet representing different shades of
political feeling, and in one of his early speeches, on March 10, he
formulated a plan of party truce for the purpose of national
reorganization. This plan was acquiesced in by the Assembly and bears in
history the name of the Compact of Bordeaux (_pacte de Bordeaux_).
France was to continue under a republican government, without injury to
the later claims of any party. Thiers, himself, as a former Orléanist,
advocated, at least in his relations with the monarchists, a
Restoration, with the _sine qua non_ that an attempt should be made at a
fusion of the Legitimists and the Orléanists. Meanwhile he was the chief
executive official of a republic.

But, even before the formulation of the truce of parties, Thiers was in
eager haste to settle the terms of peace with Germany before the
expiration of the armistice. The preliminaries were discussed between
Thiers and Bismarck at Versailles. The Germans were almost as anxious as
the French to see the end of the war, and the objections and delays of
Bismarck were partly tactical. Brief successive prolongations of the
armistice were obtained, and finally the preliminaries were signed on
February 26. Thiers made herculean efforts to keep for France Belfort,
which Bismark claimed, and finally succeeded on condition that the
German army should occupy Paris from March 1 to the ratification of the
preliminaries by the Assembly. France was to give up Alsace and a part
of Lorraine, including Metz, and pay an indemnity of five billion
francs. German troops were to occupy the conquered districts and
evacuate them progressively as the indemnity was paid. The peace
discussions afterwards continued at Brussels, and the final treaty was
signed at Frankfort on May 10, 1871.

No sooner were the preliminaries signed than Thiers returned post-haste
to Bordeaux, and obtained an almost immediate assent (March 1), so that
the Germans were obliged to forego a large part of their plans for a
triumphal entry into Paris and a review by the Emperor. Only one body of
thirty thousand men marched in through one section and, two days later,
evacuated the city.

The same meeting which ratified the preliminaries of peace officially
proclaimed the expulsion of the imperial dynasty and declared Napoleon
III responsible for the invasion, the ruin and dismemberment of France.
The same day also beheld the pathetic withdrawal of the representatives
of Alsace and of Lorraine, turned over to the conqueror.

The misfortunes of France were far from ended. Paris was soon to break
out into rebellion under the eyes of the Germans still in possession of
many of the suburbs. The enemy looked on and saw Frenchman killing
Frenchman in civil war.

It had become obvious that the division of administration between
Bordeaux and Paris was making government difficult. The Assembly, still
suspicious of Paris, decided to transfer its place of meeting to
Versailles. But Paris itself was in a state of nervous hysteria as a
result of the long and exhausting siege (_fièvre obsidionale_). The
Paris proletariat were as jealous and suspicious of the Assembly as the
Assembly of them. The suggestion of a transfer to Versailles instead of
to Paris seemed a direct challenge. Versailles recalled too easily Louis
XIV and the Bourbons. The monarchical sympathies of the Assembly were,
moreover, well known, and the Parisians dreaded the restoration of
royalty. The people were hungry and penniless, and industry and commerce
had almost completely ceased. The city was full, besides, of soldiers
disarmed through the armistice and ready for riot. On the other hand,
the National Guards, a large body of semi-disciplined militia made up,
at least in part, of the dregs of the populace, had been allowed to
retain their weapons, and many of them gave their time to drunkenness,
loafing, and listening to agitators. Some rather injudicious
condemnations of leaders in the October riots merely aggravated the
dissatisfaction. All this led to the Commune.

The leaders of the Commune were, some of them, sincere though visionary
reformers, whose hearts rankled at the sufferings of the poor and the
inequalities of wealth and privilege. The majority were mischief-makers
and café orators, loquacious but incompetent or inexperienced, without
definite plans and unfit to be leaders, some vicious and some dishonest.
The rank and file soon became a lawless mob, ready to burn and murder,
imitating, in their ignorant cult of "liberty," the worst phases of the
French Revolution and its Reign of Terror. Still, the Communards have
their admirers to-day, and, as the world advances in radicalism, it is
not unlikely that the Jacobin Charles Delescluze, the bloodthirsty Raoul
Rigault, and the brilliant and scholarly Gustave Flourens will be
considered heroic precursors.

The idea of the Commune was decentralization. It was an experiment
aiming at a free and autonomous Paris serving as model for the other
self-governing communes of France, united merely for their common needs.
It amounted almost to the quasi-independence of each separate town. But
mixed up with the theorists of the Commune were countless anarchist
revolutionaries, followers of the teachings of Blanqui, as well as
admirers of the great Revolution which overthrew the old régime, and
socialists of various types.

The germs of the movement which was to culminate in the Commune were
visible at an early hour. The dissatisfaction of the Radicals with the
moderation of the Government of National Defence, the riots of October
31 and January 22 were all symptoms of the discontent of the
proletariat. Indeed, the proclamation of the Republic, on September 4,
was itself an object lesson in illegality to the malcontents. Organized
dissatisfaction began to centre about the obstreperous and disorderly,
but armed and now "federated" National Guards. Manifestoes signed by
self-appointed committees of plebeian patriots appeared on the walls of
Paris. These committees finally merged into the "Comité central," or
were replaced by it. This committee advocated the trial and imprisonment
of the members of the Government of National Defence, and protested
against the disarmament of the National Guards and the entrance of the
Germans into Paris.

The Government was almost helpless. The few regulars left under arms in
Paris were of doubtful reliance, and General d'Aurelle de Paladines, now
in command of the National Guards, was not obeyed. A certain number of
artillery guns in Paris had been paid for by popular subscription, and
the rumor spread at one time that these were to be turned over to the
Germans. The populace seized them and dragged them to different parts of
the city.

The Government decided at last to act boldly and, on March 18,
dispatched General Lecomte with some troops to seize the guns at
Montmartre. But the mob surrounded the soldiers, and these mutinied and
refused to obey orders to fire, and arrested their own commander. Later
in the day General Lecomte was shot with General Clément Thomas, a
former commander of the National Guard, who rather thoughtlessly and
out of curiosity had mingled with the crowd and was recognized.

Thus armed forces in Paris were in direct rebellion. Other outlying
quarters had also sprung into insurrection. M. Thiers, who had recently
arrived from Bordeaux, and the chief government officials quartered in
Paris, withdrew to Versailles. Paris had to be besieged again and
conquered by force of arms.

In Paris the first elections of the Commune were held on March 26. On
April 3 an armed sally of the Communards towards Versailles was repulsed
with the loss of some of their chief leaders, including Flourens.
Meanwhile, the Army of Versailles had been organized and put under the
command of Mac-Mahon. Discipline was restored and the advance on Paris

As time passed in the besieged city the saner men were swept into the
background and reckless counsels prevailed. Some of the military leaders
were competent men, such as Cluseret, who had been a general in the
American army during the Civil War, or Rossel, a trained officer of
engineers. But many were foreign adventurers and soldiers of fortune:
Dombrowski, Wrobleski, La Cecilia. The civil administration grew into a
reproduction of the worst phases of the Reign of Terror. Frenzied women
egged on destruction and slaughter, and when at last the national troops
fought their way into the conquered city, it was amid the flaming ruins
of many of its proudest buildings and monuments.

The siege lasted two months. On May 21, the Army of Versailles crossed
the fortifications and there followed the "Seven Days' Battle," a
street-by-street advance marked by desperate resistance by the
Communards and bloodthirsty reprisals by the Versaillais. Civil war is
often the most cruel and the Versailles troops, made up in large part of
men recently defeated by the Germans, were glad to conquer somebody.
Over seventeen thousand were shot down by the victors in this last week.
The French to-day are horrified and ashamed at the cruel massacres of
both sides and try to forget the Commune. Suffice it here to say that
the last serious resistance was made in the cemetery of Père-Lachaise,
where those _fédérés_ taken arms in hand were lined up against a wall
and shot. Countless others, men, women, and children, herded together in
bands, were tried summarily and either executed, imprisoned, or deported
thousands of miles away to New Caledonia, until, years after, in 1879
and 1880, the pacification of resentments brought amnesty to the

Fortunately, M. Thiers had more inspiring tasks to deal with than the
repression of the Commune. One was the liberation of French soil from
German occupation, another the reorganization of the army. With
wonderful speed and energy the enormous indemnity was raised and
progressively paid, the Germans simultaneously evacuating sections of
French territory. By March, 1873, France was in a position to agree to
pay the last portion of the war tribute the following September (after
the fall of Thiers, as it proved), thus ridding its soil of the last
German many months earlier than had been provided for by the Treaty of
Frankfort. The recovery of France aroused the admiration of the
civilized world, and the anger of Bismarck, sorry not to have bled the
country more. He viewed also with suspicion the organization of the army
and the law of July, 1872, establishing practically universal military
service. He affected to see in it France's desire for early revenge for
the loss of Alsace and Lorraine.

M. Thiers, the great leader, did not find his rule uncontested. Brought
into power as the indispensable man to guide the nation out of war, his
conceit was somewhat tickled and he wanted to remain necessary. Though
over seventy he had shown the energy and endurance of a man in his prime
joined to the wisdom and experience of a life spent in public service
and the study of history. Elected by an anti-Republican Assembly and
himself originally a Royalist, the formulator also of the Bordeaux
Compact, he began to feel, nevertheless, in all sincerity that a
conservative republic would be the best government, and his vanity made
him think himself its best leader. This conviction was intensified for
a while by his successful tactics in threatening to resign, when
thwarted, and thus bringing the Assembly to terms. But he tried the
scheme once too often.

The majority in the Assembly was not, in fact, anxious to give free rein
to Thiers, and it had wanted to avoid committing itself definitely to a
republic. It wanted also to insure its own continuation as long as
possible, contrary to the wishes of advanced Republicans like Gambetta,
who declared that the National Assembly no longer stood for the
expression of the popular will and should give way to a real constituent
assembly to organize a permanent republic.

The first endeavor of the Royalists was to bring about a restoration of
the monarchy. The princes of the Orléanist branch were readmitted to
France and restored to their privileges. A fusion between the two
branches of the house of Bourbon was absolutely necessary to accomplish
anything. The members of the younger or constitutionalist Orléans line,
and notably its leader, the comte de Paris, were disposed to yield to
the representative of the legitimist branch, the comte de Chambord. He
was an honorable and upright man, yet one who in statesmanship and
religion was unable to understand anything since the Revolution. He had
not been in France for over forty years, he was permeated with a
religious mystical belief not only in the divinity of royalty, but in
his own position as God-given (_Dieudonné_ was one of his names) and the
only saviour of France. Moreover, he could not forgive his cousins the
fact that their great-grandfather had voted for the execution of Louis
XVI. So he treated their advances haughtily, declined to receive the
comte de Paris, and issued a manifesto to the country proclaiming his
unwillingness to give up the white flag for the tricolor. Henry V could
not let anybody tear from his hand the white standard of Henry IV, of
Francis I, and of Jeanne d'Arc.

Such mediævalism dealt the monarchical cause a crushing blow. The
Royalists had already begun to look askance at M. Thiers and hinted that
his readiness to go on with the Republic was a tacit violation of the
Bordeaux Compact. Under the circumstances, however, his sincerity need
not be doubted in believing a republic the only outcome, and his
ambition or vanity may be excused for wishing to continue its leader. By
the Rivet-Vitet measure of August 31, 1871, M. Thiers, hitherto "chief
of executive power," was called "President of the French Republic." He
was to exercise his functions so long as the Assembly had not completed
its work and was to be responsible to the Assembly. Thus the legislative
body elected for an emergency was taking upon itself constituent
authority and was tending to perpetuate the Republic which the majority

From this time the tension grew greater between Thiers and the Assembly,
which begrudged him the credit for the negotiations still proceeding,
and already mentioned above, for the evacuation of France by the
Germans. It thwarted the wish of the Republicans to transfer the seat of
the executive and legislature to Paris. Thiers was, indeed, working away
from the Bordeaux Compact and was advocating a republic, though a
conservative one. This "treachery" the monarchists could not forgive,
though bye-elections were constantly increasing the Republican
membership. Thiers did not, on the other hand, welcome the advanced
republicanism of Gambetta declaring war on clericalism, and proclaiming
the advent of a new "social stratum" (_une couche sociale nouvelle_) for
the government of the nation.

By the middle of 1872, Thiers was the open advocate of "la République
conservatrice," and this gradual transformation of a transitional
republic into a permanent one was what the monarchists could not accept.
So they declared open war on M. Thiers. On November 29, 1872, a
committee of thirty was appointed at Thiers's instigation to regulate
the functions of public authority and the conditions of ministerial
responsibility. This was inevitably another step toward the affirmation
of a permanent republic by the clearer specification of governmental
attributes. The majority of the committee were hostile to M. Thiers and
were determined to overthrow him. The Left was also growing dissatisfied
with his opposition to a dissolution. He found it increasingly difficult
to ride two horses. The committee of thirty wished to prevent Thiers
from exercising pressure on the Assembly by intervention in debates and
threats to resign. In February and March, 1873, it proposed that the
President should notify the Assembly by message of his intention to
speak, and the ensuing discussion was not to take place in his presence.
M. Thiers protested in vain against this red tape (_chinoiseries_). The
effect was to drive him more and more from the Assembly, where his
personal influence might be felt.

The crisis became acute when Jules Grévy, President of the Assembly, a
partisan of Thiers, resigned his office after a disagreement on a
parliamentary matter. His successor, M. Buffet, at once rigorously
supported the hostile Right. In April an election in Paris brought into
opposition Charles de Rémusat, Minister of Foreign Affairs and personal
friend of Thiers, and Barodet, candidate of the advanced and disaffected
Republicans. The governmental candidate was defeated. Encouraged by this
the duc de Broglie, leader of the Right, followed up the attack,
declaring the Government unable to withstand radicalism. In May he made
an interpellation on the governmental policy. Thiers invoked his right
of reply and, on May 24, gave a brilliant defence of his past actions,
formulating his plans for the future organization of the Republic. A
resolution was introduced by M. Ernoul, censuring the Government and
calling for a rigidly conservative policy. The government was put in the
minority by a close vote and M. Thiers forthwith resigned. The victors
at once chose as his successor the candidate of the Rights, the maréchal
de Mac-Mahon, duc de Magenta, the defeated general of Sedan, a brave and
upright man, but a novice in politics and statecraft. He declared his
intention of pursuing a conservative policy and of re-establishing and
maintaining "l'ordre moral."


[4] The fierceness of hatreds engendered by the Commune may be
illustrated by the following untranslatable comment by Alexandre Dumas
fils on Gustave Courbet, a famous writer and a famous painter: "De quel
accouplement fabuleux d'une limace et d'un paon, de quelles antithèses
génésiaques, de quel suintement sébacé peut avoir été générée cette
chose qu'on appelle M. Gustave Courbet? Sous quelle cloche, à l'aide de
quel fumier, par suite de quelle mixture de vin, de bière, de mucus
corrosif et d'oedème flatulent a pu pousser cette courge sonore et
poilue, ce ventre esthétique, incarnation du moi imbécile et
impuissant?" (Quoted in Fiaux's history of the Commune, pp. 582-83.)



May, 1873, to January, 1879


"L'ordre moral," such was the political catchword of the new
administration. Just what it meant was not very clear. In general,
however, it was obviously intended to imply resistance to radicalism
(republicanism) and the maintenance of a strictly conservative policy,
strongly tinged with clericalism.[5] The victors over M. Thiers had
revived their desire of a monarchical restoration and many of them hoped
that the maréchal de Mac-Mahon would shortly make way for the comte de
Chambord. But though an anti-republican he was never willing to lend
himself to any really illegal or dishonest manoeuvres, and his sense
of honor was of great help to him in his want of political competence.
So he did not prove the pliant tool of his creators, and his term of
office saw the definite establishment of the Republic.

The first Cabinet was led by the duc de Broglie who took the portfolio
of Foreign Affairs. The new Government was viewed askance by the
conquerors at Berlin, who disliked such an orderly transmission of
powers as an indication of national recovery and stability. Bismarck
even exacted new credentials from the French Ambassador. Meanwhile, the
Minister of the Interior, Beulé, proceeded to consolidate the authority
of the new Cabinet by numerous changes in the prefects of the
departments, turning out the "rascals" of Thiers's administration to
make room for appointees more amenable to new orders.

The time now seemed ripe for another effort to establish the monarchy
under the comte de Chambord. It culminated in the "monarchical campaign"
of October, 1873. The monarchical sympathizers were hand-in-glove with
the Clericals and for the most part coincided with them. The Royalists
were inevitably clerical if for no other reason than that monarchy and
religion both seemed to involve continuity, and the legitimacy of the
monarchy had always been blessed by the Church. The revolutionary
Rights of Man were held to be inconsistent with the traditional Rights
of God and the monarchy. Moreover, the founders of the third republic
had, with noteworthy exceptions like the devout Trochu, been mildly
anti-clerical. They were for the most part religious liberals and
deists, rarely atheists, but that was enough to array the bishops, like
monseigneur Pie of Poitiers, against them. Indeed, a quick religious
revival swept over the land, as was shown by numerous pilgrimages,
including one to Paray-le-Monial, home of the cult of the Sacred Heart.
France herself should be consecrated to the Sacred Heart, and the idea
was evolved, afterwards carried out, of the erection of the great votive
basilica of the Sacré Coeur on the heights of Montmartre.

The first step toward the restoration of "Henry V" was to persuade the
comte de Paris to make new efforts for a fusion of the two branches.
Swallowing his pride, the comte de Paris generously went to the home of
the comte de Chambord at Frohsdorf, in Austria, in August, and paid his
respects to him as head of the family. As the comte de Chambord had no
children, it was expected that the comte de Paris would be his
successor. But the old difficulty about the white flag cropped up, and
the comte de Chambord stubbornly refused to rule over a country above
which waved the revolutionary tricolor.

Matters dragged on through the summer, during the parliamentary recess,
and the conservative leaders were outspoken as to their plans to
overthrow the Republic. It was hoped that some compromise might be
reached by which could be reconciled, as to the flag, the desires of the
Assembly which was expected to recall the pretender and those of the
comte de Chambord who considered his divinely inspired will superior to
that of the representatives of the people. It was suggested that the
question of the flag might be settled _after_ his accession to the
throne. The embassy to Salzburg, in October, of M. Chesnelong, an
emissary of a committee of nine of the Royalist leaders, achieved only a
half-success, but left matters sufficiently indeterminate to encourage
them in continuing their plans. Matters seemed progressing swimmingly
when, on October 27, an unexpected letter from the pretender to M.
Chesnelong categorically declared that _nothing_ would induce him to
sacrifice the white banner.

The effect of this letter was to make all hopes of a restoration
impossible. Everybody knew that the majority of Frenchmen would never
give up their flag for the white one, whether this were dignified by the
name of "standard of Arques and Ivry," or whether one called it
irreverently a "towel," as did Pope Pius IX, impatient at the obstinacy
of the comte de Chambord. In the midst of the general confusion only one
thing seemed feasible if governmental anarchy were to be avoided,
namely, the prorogation of Mac-Mahon's authority, as a rampart against
rising democracy and a permanent republic. This condition the Orléanist
Right Centre turned to their advantage. By a vote of November 20, the
executive power was conferred for a definite period of seven years on
the maréchal de Mac-Mahon. Thus a head of the nation was provided who
might perhaps outlast the Assembly. The vote might be interpreted either
as the beginning of a permanent republican régime, as it proved to be,
or as the establishment of a definite interlude in anticipation of a new
attempt to set up a monarchy, this time to the advantage of the younger
branch. Many hoped that the comte de Chambord would soon be dead, his
white flag forgotten, and the way open to the comte de Paris. The
Orléanists were pleased by this latter idea, the Republicans were glad
to have the republican régime recognized for, at any rate, seven years
to come, accompanied by the promise of a constitutional commission of
thirty members. The Legitimists alone were disappointed, and, oblivious
of the fact that the comte de Chambord had lost through his folly, they
were before long ready to vent their wrath on Mac-Mahon and his adviser,
the duc de Broglie, who was responsible for the presidential

The pretender had been completely taken aback at the impression produced
by his letter. Convinced of his divinely inspired omniscience, and
certain that he was the foreordained ruler of France, he had thought
that the Assembly would give way on the question of the flag, or that
the army would follow him, or that Mac-Mahon would yield. His state
coach had been made ready and a military uniform awaited him at a
tailor's. He hastened in secret to Versailles, where he remained for a
while in retirement to watch events, and where Mac-Mahon refused to see
him. Then, after the vote on the presidency, he sadly returned into
exile forever.

Never was a greater service done to France than when the comte de
Chambord refused to give up his flag. Completely out of touch with the
country through a life spent in exile, inspired with the feeling of his
divine rights and their superiority to the will of democracy, he would
scarcely have ascended the throne before some conflict would have broken
out and the history of France would have registered one revolution more.

The duc de Broglie had considered it good form to resign after the vote
of November 20, but Mac-Mahon immediately entrusted to him the selection
of a second Cabinet. In this Cabinet the portfolio of Foreign Affairs
was given to the duc Decazes, a skilled diplomat, but the Legitimists
were offended by some of the cabinet changes and their dislike of the
duc de Broglie gradually became more acute. Finally, after several
months of parliamentary skirmishing the second Broglie Cabinet fell
before a coalition vote of Republicans and extreme Royalists with a few
Bonapartists, on May 16, 1874. The Right Centre and Left Centre had
unsuccessfully joined in support of the Cabinet. The nation was taking
another step toward republican control and the overthrow of the

From now on, Mac-Mahon's task became increasingly difficult. After the
split in the conservative majority it was necessary to rely on
combination ministries, representing different sets and harder to
reconcile or to propitiate. The result of Mac-Mahon's first efforts was
a Cabinet led by a soldier, General de Cissey, and having no pronounced
political tendencies.

Party differences were becoming accentuated. The downfall of the Broglie
Cabinet had been largely due to the extreme Royalists and the Orléanists
could not forgive them. The situation was made worse by differences in
interpretation of the law of November 20, establishing the "septennat"
of the maréchal de Mac-Mahon. Some of the Monarchists maintained the
"septennat personnel," namely, the election of one specific person to
hold office for seven years, with the idea that he could withdraw at any
time in favor of a king. Others interpreted the law as establishing a
"septennat impersonnel," a definite truce of seven years, which should
still hold even if Mac-Mahon had to be replaced before the expiration of
the time by another President. Then, they hoped, their enemy Thiers
would be dead. The Republicans were, of course, desirous of making the
impersonal "septennat" lead to a permanent republic, and declared that
Mac-Mahon was not the President of a seven years' republic, but
President, for seven years, of the Republic.

In this state of affairs the Bonapartists now became somewhat active
again. Strangely enough, the disasters of 1870 were already growing
sufficiently remote for some of the anti-Republicans to turn again to
the prospect of empire. This menace frightened the moderate Royalists
into what they had kept hesitating to do; that is to say, into spurring
to activity the purposely inactive and dilatory constitutional

The stumbling-block was the recognition of the Republic itself and the
admission that the form of government existing in France was to be
permanent. There was much parliamentary skirmishing over various plans,
rejected one after the other, inclining in turn toward the Republic and
a monarchy. Finally, some of the Monarchists, discouraged by the rising
tide of "radicalism," and frightened lest unwillingness to accept a
conservative republic now might result still worse for them in the
future, rallied in support of the motion of M. Wallon, known as the
"amendement Wallon," which was adopted by a vote of 353 to 352 (January,
1875): "The President of the Republic is elected by absolute majority of
votes by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies united as a National
Assembly. He is chosen for seven years and is re-eligible."

In this vote the fateful statement was made concerning the election of a
President other than Mac-Mahon and the transmission of power in a
republic. The third Republic received its definite consecration by a
majority of _one vote_.

The vote on the Wallon amendment dealt with only one article of a
project not yet voted as a whole, but it was the crossing of the
Rubicon. The other articles were adopted by increased majorities.

The Ministry of General de Cissey had already resigned upon a minor
question, but had held over at the President's request. Mac-Mahon now
asked the Monarchist M. Buffet to form a conservative conciliation
Cabinet, which was made up almost entirely from the Right Centre
(Orléanists) and the Left Centre (moderate Republicans) and accepted at
first by the Republican Left. By this Cabinet still one more step was
taken toward Republican preponderance.

During the Buffet Ministry three important matters occupied public
attention. One was the completion of the new constitution. A second was
the creation of "free" universities, not under control of the State.
This step was advocated in the name of intellectual freedom, but the
whole scheme was backed by the Catholics and merely resulted in the
creation of Catholic faculties in several great cities. A third matter
was the intense anxiety over the prospect of a rupture with Germany.
Bismarck was renewing his policy of pin-pricks. The French army had been
strengthened by a battalion to every regiment, and so Bismarck
complained of the strictures of French and Belgian bishops on his
anti-papal policy. Whether he only meant to humiliate France still more,
or whether he actually desired a new rupture so as to crush the country
finally, is not clear. At any rate, with the aid of England and
especially of Russia, France showed that she was not helpless, and
Bismarck protested that he was absolutely friendly.

By the close of 1875, the measures constituting the new Government had
been voted and, on December 31, the Assembly, which had governed France
since the Franco-Prussian War, was dissolved to make way for the new
legislature. During the succeeding elections M. Buffet's Cabinet,
antagonized by the Republicans and rent by internal dissensions, went to
pieces, M. Buffet personally suffered disastrously at the polls. The
slate was clear for a totally new organization. The Assembly had done
many a good service, but its dilatoriness in establishing a permanent
government, its ingratitude to M. Thiers, its clericalism, and its
stubbornness in trying to foist a king on the people made it pass away
unregretted by a country which had far outstripped it in republicanism.

The "Constitution of 1875," under which, with some modifications, France
is still governed, is not a single document constructed _a priori_, like
the Constitution of the United States. It was partly the result of the
evolution of the National Assembly itself, partly the result of
compromises and dickerings between hostile groups. Particularly, it
expressed the jealousy of a monarchical assembly for a President of a
republic, and the desire, therefore, to keep power in the hands of its
own legislative successor. The Assembly took it for granted that the
Chamber of Deputies would have the same opinions as itself. As a matter
of fact, the political complexion of the legislature has been
consistently toward radicalism, and the result has hindered a strong
executive and promoted legislative demagogy.

The Constitution of 1875 may be considered as consisting of the
Constitutional Law of February 25, relating to the organization of the
public powers (President, Senate, Chamber of Deputies, Ministers,
etc.); the Constitutional Law of the previous day, February 24, relating
to the organization of the Senate; the Constitutional Law of July 16, on
the relations of the public powers. Subsidiary "organic laws" voted
later determined the procedure for the election of Senators and
Deputies. The vote of February 25 was the crucial one in the definite
establishment of the Republican régime. The Constitution has undergone
certain slight modifications since its adoption.

By the Constitution of 1875 the government of the French Republic was
vested in a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. The Senate consisted of
300 members, of whom 75 were chosen for life by the expiring Assembly,
their successors to be elected by co-optation in the Senate itself. The
other 225, chosen for nine years and renewable by thirds, were to be
elected by a method of indirect selection. In 1884, the choice of life
Senators ceased and the seats, as they fell vacant, have been
distributed among the Departments of the country. The Deputies were
elected by universal suffrage for a period of four years. Unless a
candidate obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast, the election
was void, and a new one was necessary. Except during the period from
1885 to 1889, the Deputies have represented districts determined, unless
for densely populated ones, by the administrative _arrondissements_.
From 1885 to 1889, the _scrutin de liste_ was in operation: the _whole_
Department voted on a ticket containing as many names as there were
_arrondissements_. The prerogatives of the two houses were identical
except that financial measures were to originate in the Chamber of
Deputies. As a matter of fact, the Senate has fallen into the
background, and the habit of considering the vote of the Chamber rather
than that of the Senate as important in a change of Ministry has made it
the true source of government in France. The two houses met at
Versailles until 1879; since then Paris has been the capital, except for
the election of a President. After separate decision by each house to do
so, or the request of the President, they could meet in joint assembly
as a Constitutional Convention to revise the constitution.

The Senate and Chamber, united in joint session as a National Assembly,
were to choose a President for a definite term of seven years, not to
fill out an incomplete term vacated by another President. The President
could be re-elected. With the consent of the Senate he could dissolve
the Chamber, but this restriction made the privilege almost inoperative
in practice. He was irresponsible, the nominal executive and figurehead
of the State, but all his acts had to be countersigned by a responsible
Minister, by which his initiative was greatly reduced. In fact the
President had really less power than a constitutional king.

The real executive authority was in the hands of the Cabinet, headed by
a Premier or _Président du conseil_.[6] The Ministry was responsible to
the Senate and Chamber (in practice, as we have seen, to the Chamber),
and was expected to resign as a whole if put by a vote in the minority.
By custom the President selects the Premier from the majority and the
latter selects his colleagues in the Cabinet, trying to make them
representatives of the wishes of the Parliament. The French Republic is
therefore managed by a parliamentary government.

The first elections under the new constitution resulted very much as
might be expected: the Senate became in personnel the true successor of
the Assembly, the Chamber of Deputies contained most of the new men. The
Senate was conservative and monarchical, the Chamber was republican.
Therefore, the President of the Republic entrusted the formation of a
Ministry to M. Jules Dufaure, of the Left Centre, the views of which
group differed hardly at all from those of the Right Centre, except in a
full acceptance of the new conditions. Unfortunately, M. Dufaure found
it impossible to ride two horses at once and to satisfy both the
conservative Senate and the majority in the Chamber of more advanced
Republicans than himself. He mistrusted the Republican leader Gambetta,
though the latter was now far more moderate, and he sympathized too much
with the Clericals to suit the new order of things. So his Cabinet
resigned (December 2, 1876), less than nine months after its
appointment, and the maréchal de Mac-Mahon felt it necessary, very much
against his will, to call to power Jules Simon. He had previously tried
unsuccessfully to form a Cabinet from the Right Centre under the duc de

The duc de Broglie remained, however, the power behind the throne. The
President was under the political advice of the conservative set, whose
firm conviction he shared, that the new Republic was advancing headlong
into irreligion. The course of political events now took on a strong
religious flavor. Jules Simon was a liberal, which was considered a
misfortune, though he announced himself now as "deeply republican and
deeply conservative." But people knew his unfriendly relations with
Gambetta, which dated from 1871, when he checkmated the dictator at
Bordeaux. It was hoped that open dissension might break out in the
Republican party which would justify measures tending to a conservative
reaction, and help tide over the time until 1880. Then the constitution
might be revised at the expiration of Mac-Mahon's term and the monarchy
perhaps restored.

Gambetta was, however, now a very different man. Discarding his former
unbending radicalism, he was now the advocate of the "political policy
of results," or _opportunism_, a method of conciliation, of compromise,
and of waiting for the favorable opportunity. This was to be,
henceforth, the policy closely connected with his name and fame. So
Jules Simon soon was sacrificed.

The efforts of the Clerical party bore chiefly in two directions:
control of education and advocacy of increased papal authority,
particularly of the temporal power of the Pope, dispossessed of his
states a few years before by the Government of Victor Emmanuel. This
latter course could only tend to embroil France with Italy. So convinced
was Gambetta of the unwise and disloyal activities of the Ultramontanes
that on May 4, in a speech to the Chamber, he uttered his famous cry:
"Le cléricalisme, voilà l'ennemi!"

Jules Simon found himself in a very difficult position. Desirous of
conciliating Mac-Mahon and his clique, he adopted a policy somewhat at
variance with his former liberal religious views. On the other hand, he
could not satisfy the President, who had always disliked him, or those
who had determined upon his overthrow. The crisis came on May 16, 1877,
when Mac-Mahon, taking advantage of some very minor measures, wrote a
haughty and indignant letter to Jules Simon, to say that the Minister no
longer had his confidence. Jules Simon, backed up by a majority in the
Chamber, could very well have engaged in a constitutional struggle with
Mac-Mahon, but he rather weakly resigned the next day.[7] Thus was
opened the famous conflict known in French history, from its date, as
the "Seize-Mai."

No sooner was Jules Simon out of the way than Mac-Mahon appointed a
reactionary coalition Ministry of Orléanists and Imperialists headed by
the duc de Broglie, and held apparently ready in waiting. The Ministers
were at variance on many political questions, but united as to
clericalism. The plan was to dissolve the Republican Chamber with the
co-operation of the anti-Republican Senate, in the hope that a new
election, under official pressure, would result in a monarchical lower
house also. The Chamber of Deputies was therefore prorogued until June
16 and then dissolved. At the meeting of May 18, the Republicans
presented a solid front of 363 in their protest against the high-handed
action of the maréchal de Mac-Mahon.

[Illustration: LÉON GAMBETTA]

The new Cabinet began by a wholesale revocation of administrative
officials throughout the country, and spent the summer in unblushing
advocacy of its candidates. Those favored by the Government were so
indicated and their campaign manifestoes were printed on official white
paper.[8] The Republicans united their forces to support the re-election
of the 363 and gave charge of their campaign to a committee of eighteen
under the inspiring leadership of Gambetta. In a great speech at Lille,
Gambetta declared that the President would have to "give in or give up"
(_se soumettre ou se démettre_), for which crime of _lèse-majesté_ he
was condemned by default to fine and imprisonment. In September, Thiers,
the great leader of the early Republic, died, and his funeral was made
the occasion of a great manifestation of Republican unity. Finally, in
spite of governmental pressure and the pulpit exhortations of the
clergy, the elections in October resulted in a new Republican Chamber.
The reactionary Cabinet was face to face with as firm an opposition as

The duc de Broglie, in view of this crushing defeat, was ready to
withdraw, and Mac-Mahon, after some hesitation, accepted his
resignation. Mac-Mahon's own fighting blood was up, however, and he
tried the experiment of an extra-parliamentary Ministry led by General
de Rochebouët, the members of which were conservatives without seats in
Parliament. But the Chamber refused to enter into relations with it, and
as the budget was pressing and the Senate was not disposed to support a
second dissolution, Mac-Mahon had to submit and the Rochebouët Cabinet

Thus ended Mac-Mahon's unsuccessful attempt to exert his personal power.
The Seize-Mai has sometimes been likened to an abortive _coup d'état_.
The parallel is hardly justifiable. Mac-Mahon would have welcomed a
return of the monarchy at the end of his term of office, but he
intended to remain faithful to the constitution, however much he might
strain it or interpret it under the advice of his Clerical managers, and
though he might have been willing to use troops to enforce his wishes.
One unfortunate result ensued: the crisis left the Presidency still more
weak. Any repetition of Mac-Mahon's experiment of dissolving the Chamber
would revive accusations against one of his successors of attempting a
_coup d'état_. There have been times when the country would have
welcomed the dissolution by a strong President of an incompetent
Chamber. Unfortunately, Mac-Mahon stood for the reactionaries against
the Republic. His course of action would be a dangerous precedent.

The new order of things was marked by the advent of another Dufaure
Ministry, very moderate in tendency, but acceptable to the majority.
Most of the high-handed doings of the Broglie Cabinet were revoked, much
to the disgust of Mac-Mahon, who frequently lost his temper when obliged
to sign documents of which he disapproved. Finally, in January, 1879, in
a controversy with his Cabinet over some military transfers, Mac-Mahon
resigned, over a year before the expiration of his term of office.
Moreover, at the recent elections to the Senate the Republicans had
obtained control of even that body. Thus he was alone, with both houses
and the Ministry against him.

In spite of the unfortunate endless internal dissensions, France made
great strides in national recovery during the Presidency of Mac-Mahon.
His rank and military title gave prestige to the Republic in presence of
the diplomats of European monarchies, the German crisis of 1875 showed
that Bismarck was not to have a free hand in crushing France, the
participation of France in the Congress of Berlin enabled the country to
take a place again among the European Powers. Finally, the International
Exhibition of 1878 was an invitation to the world to witness the
recovery of France from her disasters and to testify to her right to
lead again in art and industry.

The Presidency of Mac-Mahon shows the desperate efforts of the
Monarchists to overthrow the Republic, and then to control it in view of
an ultimate Restoration, either by obstructing the vote of a
constitution or by hindering its operation. Throughout, the Monarchists
and the Clericals work together or are identical. The end of his term of
office found the whole Government in the hands of the Republicans.


[5] Clericalism does not imply political activity on the part of the
clergy alone, but quite as much of laymen strongly in favor of the

[6] Before the Constitution of 1875, the Premier was only
_vice-président du conseil_.

[7] The Chamber, on May 12, had expressed itself in favor of the
publicity of meetings of municipal councils, during the absence of the
Minister of the Interior. On May 15, it had passed the second reading of
a law, opposed by Jules Simon, on the freedom of the press.

[8] In France only official posters may be printed on white paper.



January, 1879, to December, 1887

The resignation of the maréchal de Mac-Mahon was followed by the
immediate gathering, in accordance with the constitution, of the
National Assembly, which chose as President for seven years Jules Grévy.
The new chief magistrate, elected without a competitor, was already
seventy-two, and had in his long career won the reputation of a
dignified and sound statesman, in whose hands public affairs might be
entrusted with absolute safety. He represented a step beyond the
military and aristocratic régime which had preceded him. The embodiment
of the old _bourgeoisie_, he had, along with its qualities, some of its
defects. Eminently cautious, his statesmanship had been at times a
non-committal reserve more than constructive genius. His parsimony soon
caused people to accuse him of unduly saving his salary and state
allowances, while his personal dislikes led him to err grievously in
his choice of advisers, or rather in his elimination of Gambetta, to
whom circumstances now pointed.

Jules Grévy hated Gambetta, undeniably the leading figure in the
Republican party since the death of Thiers, and neglected to entrust to
him the formation of a Cabinet. Thiers himself had shown greater wisdom.
He, too, had disliked the raging and apparently futile volubility of the
young tribune during the Franco-Prussian War, but Thiers got over
calling Gambetta a "fou furieux." On the contrary, just after the
Seize-Mai and before his own death, when Thiers was expecting to return
to the Presidency as successor to a discredited Mac-Mahon, he had
intended to make Gambetta the head of his Cabinet. For Gambetta with
maturity had become more moderate. Instead of drastic political remedies
he was gradually evolving, as already stated, the policy of
"Opportunism" so closely linked with his name, the method of gradual
advance by concessions and compromises, by taking advantage of occasions
and making one's general policy conform with opportunity.

If Gambetta, as leader of the majority group in the Republican party,
which had evicted Mac-Mahon, had become Prime Minister, it is conceded
that the precedent would have been set by the new administration for
parliamentary government with a true party leadership, as in Great
Britain. Instead, Grévy entrusted the task of forming a Ministry to an
upright but colorless leader named Waddington, at the head of a
composite Cabinet, more moderate in policy than Gambetta, who became
presiding officer of the Chamber of Deputies. The consequence was that,
after lasting less than a year, it gave way to another Cabinet led by
the great political trimmer Freycinet,[9] until in due time it was in
turn succeeded by the Ministry of Jules Ferry in September, 1880.

It must not be inferred that nothing was accomplished by the Waddington
and Freycinet Ministries. Indeed, Jules Ferry, the chief Republican next
to Gambetta, was himself a member of these two Cabinets before leading
his own.

The lining-up of Republican groups, as opposed to the Monarchists, under
the new administration was: the Left Centre, composed as in the past of
ultra-conservative Republicans, constantly diminishing numerically; the
Republican Left, which followed Jules Ferry; the Republican Union of
Gambetta; and, finally, the radical Extreme Left, which had taken for
itself many of the advanced measures advocated by Gambetta when he had
been a radical. One of its leaders was Georges Clemenceau. Between the
two large groups of Ferry and Gambetta there was little difference in
ideals, but Gambetta was now the Opportunist and Ferry made his own
Gambetta's old battle-cry against clericalism.

[Illustration: JULES FERRY]

The Chamber elected after the Seize-Mai was by reaction markedly
anti-Clerical, and the Waddington Cabinet, to begin with, contained
three Protestants and a freethinker. Obviously steps would soon be taken
to defeat the "enemy." In this movement Jules Ferry was from the
beginning a leader, by direct action as well as by the educational
reforms which he carried out as Minister of Public Instruction. Jules
Ferry became, more than Gambetta, the great bugbear of the Clericals
and the author of the "lois scélérates."

During the Waddington Ministry Jules Ferry began his efforts for the
reorganization of superior instruction, and among his measures carried
through the Chamber of Deputies the notorious "Article 7" indirectly
aimed at Jesuit influence in _secondary_ teaching as well: "No person
can direct any public or private establishment whatsoever or teach
therein if he belongs to an unauthorized order." The Jesuits had at that
time no legal footing in France, but were openly tolerated. The Senate
rejected this article under the Freycinet Ministry and the law was
finally adopted thus apparently weakened. But Jules Ferry, nothing
daunted, immediately put into operation the no less notorious decrees of
March, 1880, reviving older laws going back even to 1762, which had long
since fallen into disuse. By these decrees the Jesuit establishments
were to be closed and the members dispersed within three months.
Moreover, every unauthorized order was, under penalty of expulsion, to
apply for authorization within a like limit of time. The expulsion of
the Jesuits was carried out with a certain spectacular display of
passive resistance on the part of those evicted. Later in the year
similar steps were taken against many other organizations.

It is evident from the above that the promotion of educational reform
under Republican control was definitely connected with measures directed
against clerical domination. The French Catholic Church, on its part,
treated every attempt toward laicization as a form of persecution. But
Jules Ferry unhesitatingly extended his policy when he became Prime
Minister. His measures were genuinely neutral, but his reputation as a
Voltairian freethinker and a freemason inevitably afforded his opponents
an excuse for their charges.

Jules Ferry's reforms in education, extending over several Cabinet
periods as late as 1882, included secondary education for girls, and
free, obligatory, lay, primary instruction. To Americans accustomed to
such methods of education it is difficult to conceive the struggles of
Jules Ferry and his assistant on the floor of the House, Paul Bert, in
carrying through these measures for the training of the democracy.

In foreign affairs Jules Ferry inaugurated a more active policy
symptomatic of the return of France to participation in international
matters. At the Congress of Berlin, France had avoided entanglements,
but, even at that early period, Lord Salisbury had hinted to M.
Waddington, present as French delegate, that no interference would be
made by England, were France to advance claims in Tunis. This suggestion
came, perhaps, originally from Bismarck, who was not averse to
embroiling France with Italy. That country longed for Tunis so
conveniently situated near Sicily. England, moreover, was probably not
desirous of seeing the Italians thus strategically ensconced in the

In 1881, financial manoeuvres and the plundering expeditions into
Algeria of border tribes called Kroumirs afforded a pretext for
intervention, to the indignation of Italy, which was thus more than ever
inclined to seek alliances against France, even with Germany. Here,
indeed, was the germ of the Triple Alliance. An easy advance to Tunis
forced the Bey to accept a French protectorate by the Treaty of the
Bardo on May 12, 1881. Later in the year the situation became rather
serious, and new and rather costly military operations became necessary,
including the occupation of Sfax, Gabès, and Kairouan.

Thus France came into possession of valuable territories, but at the
cost of Italian indignation. Moreover, Jules Ferry, who was always one
of the most hated of party leaders in his own country, reaped no
advantage to himself. His enemies affected to believe that the whole
Tunisian war was a game of capitalists, or was planned for effect upon
elections to the new Chamber. The boulevards refused to take the
Kroumirs seriously and joked about "Cherchez le Kroumir." Finally, on
November 9, 1881, the personal intervention of Gambetta before the newly
elected Chamber of Deputies saved the Cabinet on a vote of confidence.
Jules Ferry none the less determined to resign, and Gambetta, in spite
of Grévy's aversion, was the inevitable man for the formation of a new

Gambetta's great opportunity had come too late to be effective. The
undoubted leader of the Republic, he had grown in statesmanship since
his early days, but was still hated by men like Grévy who could not get
over their old prejudices. Then the advanced radicals, or
_intransigeants_, thought him a traitor to his old platforms or
_programmes_.[10] They blamed his Opportunism and said that he wanted
power without responsibility. Gambetta's enemies, whether the duc de
Broglie or Clemenceau, talked of his secret influence (_pouvoir
occulte_), and accused him of aspiring to a dictatorship, in fact if not
in name. Their suspicions were somewhat deepened by Gambetta's ardent
advocacy of the _scrutin de liste_ instead of the existing _scrutin

It was asserted that Gambetta wanted to diminish the independence of
local representation and marshal behind himself a subservient majority.
To Gambetta the _scrutin de liste_ was the truly republican form of
representation, the one existing under the National Assembly and
abolished by the reactionaries under the new constitution.

Thus, Gambetta had against him, during the campaign for renewal of the
Chamber of Deputies in the summer of 1881, not only the anti-Republicans
but also timid liberals like Jules Simon, the influence of President
Grévy, and the _intransigeants_. The Senate was averse to the _scrutin
de liste_ and rejected, in the spring of 1881, the measure which
Gambetta carried through the Chamber. Gambetta, formerly the idol of the
working classes of Paris, met with opposition, was hooted in one of his
own political rallies, and was re-elected on the first ballot in one
only of the two districts in which he was a candidate.

The elections of the Chamber of 1881 resulted in a strongly Republican
body, in which, however, the majority subdivided into groups. Gambetta's
"Union républicaine" was the most numerous, followed by Ferry's "Gauche
républicaine," and the extremists. A certain fraction of Gambetta's
group, including Henri Brisson and Charles Floquet, also tended to stick
together. They were the germ of what became in time the great Radical

It had been hoped that Gambetta would bring into his Cabinet all the
other leaders of his party, and at last form a great governing ministry.
But men like Léon Say and Freycinet refused their collaboration because
of divergence of views or personal pride. Gambetta then decided to pick
his collaborators from his immediate friends and partisans, some of whom
had yet a reputation to make. The anticipated "Great Ministry" turned
out to be, its opponents said, a "ministère de commis," a cabinet of
clerks. The fact that it contained men like Waldeck-Rousseau, Raynal,
and Rouvier showed, however, that Gambetta could discover ability in
others. But it was declared that the "dictator" was marshalling his
henchmen. The extremists, especially, were furious because Gambetta also
magnanimously gave important posts to non-Republicans like General de
Miribel and the journalist J.-J. Weiss.

The "Great Ministry" remained in office two months and a half and came
to grief on the proposed revision of the constitution, in which Gambetta
wished to incorporate the _scrutin de liste_. In January, 1882, it had
to resign and Gambetta died on the last day of the same year. Thus, the
third Republic lost its leading statesman since the death of Thiers.

The year 1882 was filled by the two ineffective Cabinets of Freycinet
(second time) and of Duclerc. Under the former, France made the mistake,
injurious to her interests and prestige, of withdrawing from the
Egyptian condominium with Great Britain and allowing the latter country
free play for the conquest and occupation of Egypt. Thus the fruits of
De Lesseps' piercing of the Isthmus of Suez went definitely to England.
The death of Gambetta under the Duclerc-Fallières Ministry[12] seemed to
reawaken the hopes of the anti-Republicans, and Jerome Napoleon, chief
Bonapartist pretender since the decease of the Prince Imperial, issued a
manifesto against the Republic. Parliament fell into a ludicrous panic,
various contradictory measures were proposed, and in the general
confusion the Cabinet fell after an adverse vote.

In this contingency President Grévy did what he should have done before,
and called to office the leading statesman. This was now Jules Ferry.
At last France had an administration which lasted a little over two
years. But Ferry was still intensely unpopular. He had become the
successor of Gambetta and the exponent of the policy of Opportunism,
which he tried to carry out with even more constructive statesmanship.
But he was totally wanting in Gambetta's magnetism, and his domineering
ways made him hated the more. The Clericals opposed him as the
"persecutor" of the Catholic religion, and the Radicals thought he did
not go far enough in his hostility to the Church. For Jules Ferry saw
that the times were not ripe for disestablishment, and that the system
of the _Concordat_, in vogue since Napoleon I, really gave the State
more control over the Clergy than it would have in case of separation.
The State would lose its power in appointments and salaries. Jules Ferry
knew that the Church could be useful to him, and the politic Leo XIII,
very different from Pius IX, was ready to meet him part way, though the
Pope himself had to humor to a certain extent the hostility to the
Republic of the French Monarchists and Clericals. Jules Ferry, like
Gambetta, also had to put up with the veiled hostility of President
Grévy, working in Parliament through the intrigues of his son-in-law
Wilson. Moreover, Ferry was made to bear the odium for a long period of
financial depression, which had lasted since 1882, starting with the
sensational failure (_krach_) of a large bank, the Union générale. So
his career was made a torture and he was vilified perhaps more than any
man of the third Republic.

The extremists had in time another grievance against Jules Ferry in his
opposition to a radical revision of the constitution. The enemies of the
Republic still feigned to believe, especially when the death of the
comte de Chambord in 1883 had fused the Legitimists and Orléanists, that
an integral revision would pave the way for a monarchical restoration.
The Radicals demanded the suppression of the power of the Senate, whose
consent was necessary to summon a constitutional convention. A Congress
was summoned in 1884 at which the very limited programme of the Ministry
was put through. The changes merely eliminated from the constitution the
prescriptions for senatorial elections. After this, by an ordinary
statute, life-senatorships were abolished for the future, and some
changes were made in the choice of senatorial electors.

Jules Ferry was what would to-day be called an imperialist. In this he
may have been unwise, for the French, though intrepid explorers, do not
care to settle permanently far from the motherland. The north coast of
Africa might have been a sufficient field for enterprise. But Jules
Ferry thought that the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria, and Italy,
formed in 1882, was going to isolate France permanently in Europe. So
she was to regain her prestige by territorial annexations in the Sudan,
the Congo, Madagascar, Annam, and Tonkin.

The French had some nominal rights on Tonkin since 1874, and
disturbances there had caused a revival of activities. When the French
officer Rivière was killed in an ambuscade in May, 1883, Jules Ferry
sent heavy reinforcements and forced the King of Annam to acknowledge a
French protectorate. This stirred up the Chinese, who also claimed
Annam, and who caused the invasion of Tonkin by guerillas supported by
their own troops. After various operations in Tonkin the Treaty of
Tien-tsin was signed with China in May, 1884, by which China made the
concessions called for by the French. Within a month Chinese troops
ambuscaded a French column at Bac-Le and the Government decided on a
punitive expedition. Thus France was engaged in troublesome warfare with
China, without direct parliamentary authorization. The bombardment of
Foo-chow, the attack on the island of Formosa, and the blockade of the
coast dragged along unsatisfactorily through 1884 and 1885.

While Jules Ferry in the spring of 1885 was actually negotiating a final
peace with China on terms satisfactory to the French, the cession of
Annam and Tonkin with a commercial treaty, and while he was
categorically affirming in the Chamber of Deputies the success of
military operations in Tonkin, a sudden dispatch from the East threw
everything into a turmoil. General Brière de l'Isle telegraphed from
Tonkin that the French had been disastrously defeated at Lang-son and
General de Négrier severely wounded. The news proved to be a grievous
exaggeration which was contradicted by a later dispatch some hours
after, but the damage was done. On March 30, in the Chamber of Deputies,
Jules Ferry was insulted and abused by the leaders of a coalition of
anti-Republicans and Radicals. The "Tonkinois," as his vilifiers called
him, disgusted and discouraged, made little attempt to defend himself,
and his Cabinet fell by a vote of 306 to 149. On April 4, the
preliminaries of a victorious treaty of peace were signed with China.

The fall of Jules Ferry was a severe blow to efficient government. It
marked the end, for a long time, of any effort to construct satisfactory
united Cabinets led by a strong man. It set a precedent for innumerable
short-lived Ministries built on the treacherous sands of shifting
groups. It paved the way for a deterioration in parliamentary
management. It accentuated the bitter hatred now existing between the
Union des gauches, as the united Gambetta and Ferry Opportunist groups
called themselves, on the one hand, and the Radicals and the Extreme
Left on the other. The Radicals, in particular, were influential, and
one of their more moderate members, Henri Brisson, became the head of
the next Cabinet. Brisson's name testified to an advance toward
radicalism, but the Cabinet contained all sorts of moderate and
nondescript elements, dubbed a "concentration" Cabinet. Its chief
function was to tide over the elections of 1885, for a new Chamber of
Deputies. In anticipation of this election Gambetta's long-desired
_scrutin de liste_ had been rather unexpectedly voted.

The workings of the new method of voting were less satisfactory than had
been anticipated. Republican dissensions and a greater union of the
opposition caused a tremendous reactionary landslide on the first
ballot. This was greatly reduced on the second ballot, so that the
Republicans emerged with a large though diminished majority. But the old
Left Centre had practically disappeared and the Radicals were vastly
more numerous. The great divisions were now the Right, the moderate
Union des gauches, the Radicals, and the revolutionary Extreme Left. The
Brisson Cabinet was blamed for not "working" the elections more
successfully and it resigned at the time of President Grévy's
re-election. He had reached the end of his seven years' term and was
chosen again on December 28, 1885. He was to have troublesome
experiences during the short time he remained in the Presidency.

The Freycinet, Goblet, and Rouvier Cabinets, which fill the rest of
Grévy's Presidency, were largely engrossed with a new danger in the
person of General Boulanger. He first appeared in a prominent position
as Minister of War in the Freycinet Cabinet. A young, brilliant, and
popular though unprincipled officer, he soon devoted himself to demagogy
and put himself at the head of the jingoes who called Ferry the slave of
Bismarck. The expeditions of Tunis and Tonkin had, moreover, thrown a
glamour over the flag and the army.

Boulanger began at once to play politics and catered to the advanced
parties, who adopted him as their own. He backed up the spectacular
expulsion of the princes, which, as an answer to the monarchical
progress, drove from France the heads of formerly reigning families and
their direct heirs in line of primogeniture, and carried out their
radiation from the army. The populace cheered the gallant general on his
black horse, and when Bismarck complained that he was a menace to the
peace of Europe Boulanger's fortune seemed made. At a certain moment
France and Germany were on the brink of war in the so-called Schnaebele
affair.[13] So, when Boulanger was left out of the Rouvier Cabinet
combination in May, 1887, as dangerous, he played more than ever to the
gallery as the persecuted saviour of France and, on being sent to take
command of an army corps in the provinces at Clermont-Ferrand, he was
escorted to the train by thousands of enthusiastic manifestants.

Meanwhile, President Grévy was nearing a disaster. In October, 1887,
General Caffarel, an important member of the General Staff, was arrested
for participating in the sale of decorations. When Boulanger declared
that the arrest of Caffarel was an indirect assault on himself,
originally responsible for Caffarel's appointment to the General Staff,
the affair got greater notoriety. The scandal assumed national
proportions when it was found to involve the President's own son-in-law
Daniel Wilson, well known to be a shady and tricky politician, who had
the octogenarian President under his thumb. The matter reached the scale
of a Cabinet crisis, since it was by an overthrow of the Ministry that
the President could best be reached. Unfortunately, Grévy could not see
that the most dignified thing for him to do was to resign, even though
he was in no way involved in Wilson's misdemeanors. For days he tried to
persuade prominent men to form a Cabinet; he tried to argue his right
and duty to remain. But finally the Chamber and Senate brought actual
pressure upon him by voting to adjourn to specific hours in the
expectation of a presidential communication. He bowed to the inevitable
and retired from the Presidency with the reputation of a discredited old
miser, instead of the great statesman he had appeared on beginning his
term of office.


[9] Gambetta's former assistant during the national defence after the
first disasters; a brilliant organizer, but in general policy a
_nolonté_, to use the term Gambetta coined about him on the basis of the
word _volonté_. As Minister of Public Works he initiated at this period
great improvements in the internal development of France, especially in
the railways.

[10] Especially as to the unlimited revision of the constitution and the
_immediate_ separation of Church and State.

[11] Gambetta's contempt for the parochialism of the elections by
district was great. He felt that departmental tickets would favor the
choice of better men. One must remember how large a proportion of the
French Deputies are physicians to appreciate the scorn of Gambetta's
saying that the _scrutin d'arrondissement_ produced a lot of
_sous-vétérinaires_, that is, men who were not even decent

[12] M. Fallières took the place of Duclerc as President of the Council
during the last days.

[13] The French claimed that a government official had been lured over
the frontier and illegally arrested.



December, 1887, to June, 1894

The successor of Jules Grévy was Sadi Carnot, in many ways the best
choice. As has been seen, the transition was less easy than the two
ballots of the National Assembly seemed to indicate (December 3, 1887).
The intrigues of the so-called "nuits historiques" (November 28-30) had
been an endeavor of the Radicals to keep Grévy, in order to ward off
Jules Ferry as his successor. Finally, Carnot was a compromise
candidate, or "dark horse," a Moderate acceptable to the Radicals still
unwilling to endure the leading candidate Ferry.

[Illustration: SADI CARNOT]

President Carnot, hitherto known chiefly as a capable civil engineer and
a successful Cabinet officer, was the heir to the name and traditions of
a great republican family. His integrity was a guarantee of honesty in
office, and his personal dignity was bound to heighten the prestige of
the chief magistracy, somewhat weakened by his predecessor Grévy. On
the other hand, Carnot's conception of the constitutional
irresponsibility or neutrality of his office was an insufficient bulwark
to the State against the intrigues of petty politicians and the
inefficiencies of the parliamentary régime. Consequently his term of
office saw the Republic exposed to two of the worst crises in its
history, the Boulanger campaign and the Panama scandals, while the
legislative history records the overthrow of successive cabinets. These
followed each other without definite constructive policy, and aimed
chiefly at keeping power by constant dickerings and playing off group
against group.

The demoralization of parliamentary life had reached a climax. The
Republicans were divided into the Moderates, former followers of
Gambetta, the Radicals with Floquet and Brisson, the Extreme Left with
Clemenceau and Pelletan, the Socialists with Millerand, Basly, and
Clovis Hugues. The Royalists and Bonapartists worked against the
Government and the Boulangists took advantage of the chaos to push their
cause. The Socialists, in particular, were a new group in the Chamber,
destined in later years to hold the centre of the stage. In their
manifesto of December, 1887, signed by seventeen Deputies, they
advocated, in addition to innumerable specific reforms or practical
innovations, schemes for the reorganization of society: state
monopolies, nationalization of property, progressive taxation, and the

The year 1888, characterized by intense political and social unrest, was
critical. The trial and conviction of Grévy's son-in-law Wilson involved
washing dirty linen in public. The steady growth of Boulangism testified
to dissatisfaction, even though, as it proved, the enemies of the
established order had united on a worthless adventurer as their leader.

General Boulanger had been first "invented" as a leader by the extreme
Radicals, and especially by Clemenceau, the _démolisseur_ or destroyer
of ministries. Then, being gradually abandoned by them, he went over to
the anti-Republicans and took heavy subsidies from the Monarchists,
while continuing to advocate, at least openly, an anti-parliamentary,
plebiscitary Republic.

Early in 1888, in February, the candidacy of Boulanger to the Chamber
was started in several departments. The electioneering activities of a
general in regular service and sundry deeds of insubordination on his
part finally caused the Government, as a disciplinary measure, to retire
him. The result was that his partisans raised a cry of persecution, and
his actual retirement gave him the liberty to engage in politics which
his service on the active list had prevented. In April Boulanger was
elected Deputy in the southern department of la Dordogne and the
northern le Nord. His plan of campaign was to be candidate for Deputy in
each department successively in which a vacancy occurred, thus
indirectly and gradually obtaining a plebiscite of approval from the
country. At the same time he raised the cry in favor of militarism, not
for the sake of war, he said, but for defence. He attacked the impotence
of Parliament and, as a remedy, called for the dissolution of the
Chamber and the convocation of a Constituent Assembly to revise the
constitution. His opponents raised the answering cry of dictatorship and
Cæsarism. The election in the Nord was particularly alarming because of
Boulanger's majority.

Boulanger now had both Moderates and many Radicals against him,
including the Prime Minister Floquet, and was, on the other hand,
supported openly or secretly by the Imperialists and Monarchists,
advocates for varying purposes of the plebiscite. The Royalists, who
thought their chances of success the most hopeful, wanted to use
Boulanger as a tool to further their designs for the overthrow of the
Republic. Not only did he receive funds from the pretender, the comte de
Paris, but an ardent Royalist lady of rank, the duchesse d'Uzès,
squandered millions of francs in furthering Boulanger's political
schemes as leader of the Boulangists: the "National Party" or

In June, 1888, Boulanger brought forward in the Chamber a project for a
revision of the constitution. He advocated a single Chamber, or, if a
Senate were conceded, demanded that it be chosen by popular vote. The
power of the Chamber was to be diminished, that of the President
increased, and laws were to be subject to ratification by plebiscite or
referendum. The measure was naturally rejected, but Boulanger renewed
the attack in July by demanding the dissolution of the Chamber. In the
excitement of the debate the lie was passed between Boulanger and the
President of the Council of Ministers, Floquet. Boulanger resigned his
seat and in a duel, a few days later, between Floquet and Boulanger, the
dashing general, the warrior of the black horse, and the hero of the
popular song "En rev'nant d'la revue," was ignominiously wounded by the
civilian politician.

But Boulanger's star was not yet on the wane. He continued to be elected
Deputy in different departments, and the efforts of the Ministry to cut
the ground from under his feet by bringing in a separate revisionary
project did not undermine his popularity with the rabble, the jingo
Ligue des Patriotes of Paul Déroulède, and the anti-Republican
malcontents. In January, 1889, after a fiercely contested and
spectacular campaign, he was elected Deputy for the department of the
Seine, containing the city of Paris, nerve-centre of France. It is
generally conceded that if Boulanger had gone to the Elysée, the
presidential mansion, on the evening of his election, and turned out
Carnot, he would have had the Parisian populace and the police with him
in carrying out a _coup d'état_. Luckily for the country his judgment
or his nerve failed him at the crucial moment, and from that time his
influence diminished. The panic-stricken Government was able to thwart
his plebiscitary appeals by re-establishing the _scrutin
d'arrondissement_, or election by small districts instead of by whole
departments. Moreover, when the Floquet Cabinet fell soon after on its
own revisionary project, the succeeding Tirard Ministry was able to pass
a law preventing simultaneous multiple candidacies, and impeached
Boulanger, with some of his followers, before the Senate as High Court
of Justice. Instead of facing trial, Boulanger and his satellites Dillon
and Henri Rochefort fled from France. In August they were condemned in
absence to imprisonment. Boulanger never returned to France, and with
diminishing subsidies his following waned. The elections of 1889
resulted in the return of only thirty-eight Boulangists and, when in
September, 1891, Boulanger committed suicide in Brussels at the grave of
his mistress, most Frenchmen merely gave a sigh of relief at the memory
of the dangers they had experienced not so long before.

The International Exposition of 1889 afforded a breathing spell in the
midst of political anxieties, and helped, by its evidence of the
Republic's prosperity, to weaken Boulanger's cause. But unsettled social
and religious problems remained troublesome. The successive cabinets
after the Floquet Ministry, and following the general election of 1889,
pursued a policy of "Republican concentration," combining Moderate and
Radical elements, disappearing often without important motives, and
replaced by cabinets of approximately the same coloring. The Clerical
Party was hand-in-glove with the Royalists and the Boulangists. It took
advantage of governmental instability to try to undermine the Republic,
but its own harmony of purpose was in due time diminished by the new
policy of Leo XIII. That astute Italian diplomat was himself
temperamentally an Opportunist. He conceived the idea of controlling
France by advances to the Republic and by feigning to accept it in order
to get hold of its policies, especially the educational and military
laws. He realized, too, the harm done to the Vatican by the stubbornness
of many French Catholics. He felt the necessity of making amends for the
behavior of the Catholic Royalists in the Boulanger affair. Certain
prelates, including the Archbishop of Aix, Monseigneur Gouthe-Soulard,
attacked the Government violently at the end of 1891 in connection with
disturbances by French pilgrims to Rome who had manifested in favor of
the Pope and written "Vive le Pape-Roi!" at the tomb of Victor Emmanuel.
The French Catholics tended to resent the interference of the Pope, but
the latter, who had for some months received the support of Cardinal
Lavigerie, Archbishop of Algiers and Primate of Africa, tried to bring
pressure on the leaders of the French clergy. In February, 1892, as a
rejoinder to a manifesto by five French cardinals, came his famous
encyclical letter advocating the established order of things. "The civil
power considered as such is from God and always from God....
Consequently, when new governments representing this new power are
constituted, to accept them is not only permitted but demanded, or even
imposed, by the needs of the social good." This encyclical was followed
by a letter to the French cardinals in May and by other manifestations
of his wishes. Thus a certain number of Catholics, among whom the comte
de Mun and Jacques Piou were leaders, cut adrift from the Right and
adhered to the Republic, forming the small group of "Ralliés." They were
never very numerous or powerful, and the Dreyfus affair, a few years
later, showed how the Pope's desire to rally the Catholics to the
Republic was thwarted by the French clergy and the reactionaries.

The procedure of Leo XIII was thus a proof that the Vatican wanted to be
on good terms with the Republic. The _rapprochement_ with Russia was
another proof that France, in spite of its troubles, was to be reckoned
with in Europe. France and Russia felt it necessary to draw together in
answer to the noisy renewal of the Triple Alliance. There had been
tension in the spring of 1891, in which the French were not wholly
blameless, as a result of the private visit to Paris of the dowager
empress of Germany, the Empress Frederick. In the summer of 1891 a
French fleet under Admiral Gervais was invited to Russian waters. It
visited Cronstadt, and the Czar and the President exchanged telegrams of
sympathy. On the return to France the same fleet visited Portsmouth by
invitation, and was welcomed by the Queen and the authorities. The visit
to England did not, however, have the same meaning as the Russian one.
"Portsmouth" meant an expression of England's freedom of action
face-to-face with the Triple Alliance, and an endeavor to smooth French
susceptibilities recently ruffled by Lord Salisbury. After an
Anglo-French compact, in August, 1890, for the partition of
protectorates and zones of influence in Africa, the British Prime
Minister alluded rather scoffingly in the House of Lords to the lack of
value of the Sahara assigned to the French. "Cronstadt," as opposed to
"Portsmouth," meant an active understanding, to be followed in 1892 by a
military defensive compact negotiated in St. Petersburg by General de
Boisdeffre, head of the French General Staff.

The return visit of the Russians took place at Toulon in 1893, and
Admiral Avellan with his staff visited Paris, which went wild with
enthusiasm. At that moment French relations with Italy were strained,
partly because the Italian Government was jealous of the cordiality
between the Pope and the Republic. The Franco-Russian manifestation was
a new veiled warning.

In 1892, under the leadership of Jules Méline, the Chamber adopted a
protective tariff policy. This resulted in several tariff disputes and
engendered bad feeling with various countries, including Italy.

The desperate attack of the Royalists, engineered mainly against the
Republic in the Panama scandals, helped to bring the Pope and the State
still closer together, so that at certain times the Ralliés or
Republican Catholics and the Royalists fought each other violently. The
Panama scandal was planned in view of the elections of 1893. During the
decade following 1880 Ferdinand de Lesseps, the successful builder of
the Suez Canal, had organized and tried to finance a company to
construct a canal at Panama. The prestige of Lesseps's name and the
memory of his previous achievement made countless Frenchmen invest huge
sums in the company. But the expenses were enormous and the financial
maladministration apparently extraordinary, for the directors of the
company were led into illegal steps in order to influence legislation,
or pay hush money to the press to hide the condition of affairs, and
then were blackmailed into further outlays. The company failed in 1888,
and efforts to put it on its feet proved abortive. Hints of the scandals
leaked out, and the Government played into the hands of its opponents by
trying to conceal matters.

In November, 1892, some Royalist members of the Chamber brought matters
to a head and the Government was obliged to do something. It was decided
to proceed against Ferdinand de Lesseps, his son Charles de Lesseps,
Henri Cottu, Marius Fontane, members of the board of directors, and G.
Eiffel, an engineer and contractor and the builder of the famous Eiffel
Tower. At this juncture a well-known Jewish banker of Paris, Baron
Jacques de Reinach, died suddenly and most mysteriously on November 20.
He was openly charged with being the bribery agent of the company, and
his sudden death was by some called suicide, while others hinted that he
had been put out of the way because of his dangerous knowledge.

Under these exciting conditions a Boulangist Deputy named Delahaye made
an interpellation in the Chamber hinting at the campaign of corruption
carried on by the company through the agency of Reinach and two other
Jews of German origin, Arton and Cornelius Herz, the latter a
naturalized American citizen. By this campaign it was charged that three
million francs had been used to corrupt more than a hundred and fifty
Deputies, and much more had been spent in other ways.

A commission of thirty-three was appointed under the chairmanship of
Henri Brisson. The Royalists and Radicals were having their innings
against the Government, and their newspapers continued to publish rumors
and "revelations." The commission called for the autopsy of Reinach. The
Loubet Cabinet, refusing to grant it, was voted down and resigned. The
Ribot Ministry was then constituted, but at intervals lost successively
two of its most prominent members, Rouvier and Freycinet, accused of
complicity in the scandals. Even the leaders of the Radicals, Clemenceau
and Floquet, in time found themselves involved. The former was charged
with tricky dealings with Cornelius Herz, the latter was shown to have
demanded money from the company, when Minister, in order to use it for
political subsidies.

In December the Cabinet decided to arrest Charles de Lesseps, Marius
Fontane, Henri Cottu, and a former Deputy, Sans-Leroy, accused of having
accepted a bribe of two hundred thousand francs. At the same time, on
the basis of the seizure of twenty-six cheque stubs at the bank used by
the baron de Reinach, the Minister of Justice proceeded against ten
prominent Deputies and Senators, among whom was Albert Grévy, former
Governor-General of Algeria, and brother of Jules Grévy. The Government
seemed panic-stricken in its readiness to sacrifice, on mere suspicion,
prominent members of its party. All the parliamentaries accused were, in
due time, exonerated.

The directors of the company came up for trial twice. The first time,
with M. Eiffel, in January-February, 1893, and the second time, with
other defendants, in March, before different jurisdictions on varying
charges, they were condemned to fine and imprisonment. On appeal, in
April, these condemnations were revised or annulled. One person became
the scapegoat, a former Minister of Public Works named Baïhaut,
condemned to civil degradation, five years' imprisonment, and a heavy

Scandal was, however, not satisfied with these names. There was also
talk of a mysterious list of one hundred and four Deputies charged with
accepting bribes from Arton. Moreover, it was felt that quashing the
indictments against prominent men like Rouvier and Albert Grévy was poor
policy. If they were innocent they could prove their innocence. Under
the circumstances suspicion would still be rife. The state of general
anarchy was also revealed by the evidence of the wife of Henri Cottu,
who testified that agents of the Government had offered her husband
immunity if he would implicate a member of the Opposition.[14]

The Panama scandal was largely the work of the Monarchists angry at the
failure of the Boulanger campaign. It did them no good, as the elections
to the new Chamber proved. On the other hand, it worked havoc among the
leaders of the Moderates, who, innocent or blameworthy, fell under
popular suspicion, and were in many cases relegated to the background in
favor of new leaders. Moreover, it helped the Socialists, and even, by
throwing discredit on parliamentarism, it encouraged lawless outbreaks
of anarchists.

New men in party leaderships came in the composite Cabinet of Moderate
leanings led by Charles Dupuy in April, 1893. He seemed at first to
incline toward the Conservatives and treated with considerable severity
some street disturbances. A prank of art students at their annual ball
(_Bal des quat'-z-arts_) was magnified into a street riot and was not
quelled until after the loss of a life. The _Bourse du travail_
(Workmen's Exchange) was closed by the Government after other

The elections in August and September resulted in a large Republican
majority and a corresponding decline in the anti-Republican Right. On
the other hand, the Radicals rose to about a hundred and fifty, and the
Socialists were about fifty, forming for the first time a large party
able to make its influence felt. The "Socialistic-Radicals" represented
an effort toward a compromise between the advanced groups.

The desire of the Moderate leaders of the Republic to meet the Pope
halfway in his policy of conciliation was expressed in a noteworthy
speech made in the Chamber in March, 1894, by the then Minister of
Public Worship, Eugène Spuller. Answering the query of a Royalist
Deputy, the Minister declared that the time had come to put an end to
fanaticism and sectarianism, and that the country could count on the
vigilance of the Government to maintain its rights, and on the new frame
of mind (_esprit nouveau_) which inspired it, which tended to reconcile
all French citizens and bring about a revival of common sense, justice,
and charity.

But the anarchists were not moved by any spirit of conciliation.
Borrowing methods of violence from the Russian nihilists, they used
bomb-throwing to draw attention to the vices of social organization and
to themselves. During 1892, 1893, and 1894 they tried to terrorize
Paris. The deeds of various criminals, including Ravachol, Vaillant (who
threw a bomb in the Chamber of Deputies),[15] Emile Henry, among others,
culminated at last in the cruel murder of President Carnot. On June 24,
1894, while at Lyons, whither he had gone to pay a state visit to an
international exhibition, President Carnot was fatally stabbed by an
underwitted Italian anarchist named Caserio Santo, and died within a few
hours. Never were more futile and abominable crimes committed than those
which sacrificed Carnot and McKinley.


[14] The Panama affair was a violent shock to the Republic. People were
amazed at the charges of widespread corruption and the tendency on the
part of the Government to smooth things over. Suspicions aroused were
not fully satisfied because Reinach was dead and Herz and Arton in
flight. Cornelius Herz successfully fought extradition from England on
the plea of illness. Arton was arrested in 1895 and extradited. His
arrest caused a renewal of talk about Panama and the newspaper _la
France_ undertook to print the famous list of one hundred and four
Deputies. This publication was recognized to be a case of blackmail and
its promoters were punished. Arton was also condemned to a term of hard
labor, but his trial did not bring out the longed-for revelations.

[15] M. Dupuy, then President of the Chamber, got much credit for his
calmness and his remark, as the smoke of the bomb cleared away, "La
séance continue."



June, 1894, to January, 1895


January, 1895, to February, 1899

The customary promptness in the choice of a President, so unfamiliar to
American campaigns, was observed in the election of Carnot's successor.
The historic name and the social and financial position of the new chief
magistrate, Jean Casimir-Perier, seemed to the monarchical
sister-nations a guarantee of national stability and dignity. In reality
the election brought about a more definite cleavage between rival
political tendencies. Casimir-Perier, grandson of Louis-Philippe's great
minister, obviously represented the Moderates, most of whom tried in all
sincerity to carry out the _esprit nouveau_ and a policy of good-will
toward the Catholic Church. The Radicals said that this was playing into
the hands of the Clericals, and to the Socialists Casimir-Perier was
merely a hated capitalist. He was, moreover, unfortunately unfit for
the acrimonies of political life. High-strung and emotional, he writhed
under misinterpretation and abuse, and rebelled against the
constitutional powerlessness of his office. He had never really wanted
the Presidency and had accepted it chiefly through the personal
persuasion of his friend the statesman Burdeau, who unfortunately died
soon after his election. The brief Presidency of Casimir-Perier, lasting
less than a year, was destined to see the beginning of the worst trial
the French Republic had yet experienced, the famous Dreyfus case.

The Administration, in which Dupuy remained Prime Minister, began by
repressive measures, laws directed against the anarchists and the trial
_en masse_ of thirty defendants ranging from utopian theorists to actual
criminals. Most of them were acquitted, but the procedure did not
ingratiate the Government with the advanced parties. Toward the end of
1894 the Dreyfus case began to be talked of, an affair which was
destined to develop into a tremendous struggle of the leaders of the
army and the Church to obtain control of the nation.

In September, 1894, an officer named Henry, of the spy service of the
French army, came into possession of a document pieced together from
fragments stolen from a waste-paper basket in the German Embassy. This
document, containing a _bordereau_ or memorandum of information largely
about the French artillery offered to the German military attaché,
Schwartzkoppen, was anonymous, but Henry undoubtedly recognized, sooner
or later, the handwriting of a friend, Major Esterhazy, a soldier of
fortune in the French army, of bad reputation and shady character.
Unable to destroy the document, which had been seen by others, Henry
tried to fasten it on somebody else. Indeed, many people believe that
Henry was an accomplice of Esterhazy in German pay. By a strange
coincidence it happened that the handwriting of the _bordereau_ somewhat
resembled that of a brilliant young Jewish officer of the General Staff
named Alfred Dreyfus. He belonged to a wealthy Alsatian family, and from
antecedent probability would not seem to need to play a traitor's part,
but he was intensely unpopular among his fellows because of many
disagreeable traits of character. Moreover, anti-Semitism, formerly
non-existent in France, was now rife. It had been largely fomented by
the anti-Jewish agitator Edouard Drumont, with his book _la France
juive_ (1886) and his newspaper the _Libre Parole_ (1892). Prejudice
against the Jews as tricky financiers had been prepared and encouraged
by the sensational failure of the great bank, the Union générale, a
Catholic rival of the Rothschilds, in 1882, and by the Panama scandals
with the doings of Jacques de Reinach, Cornelius Herz, and Arton. The
_Libre Parole_ had worked against Jewish officers in the army, an
activity which culminated in some sensational duels, particularly one
between Captain Mayer and the marquis de Morès (1892), in which the Jew
was killed.

So, in the present instance, the Minister of War, General Mercier, who
had recently committed some much-criticized administrative blunders, and
who now wished to show his efficiency, caused the arrest of Dreyfus.
Then, egged on by anti-Semitic newspapers which had got hold of
Dreyfus's name, Mercier brought him before a court-martial. The trial
was held in secret, and the War Department sent to the officers
constituting the tribunal, without the knowledge of the prisoner or his
counsel Maître Demange, a secret _dossier_, a collection of trumped-up
incriminating documents. Demange devoted himself to proving that Dreyfus
was not the author of the _bordereau_, but the members of the
court-martial, believing in the genuineness of the additional documents,
unhesitatingly convicted him of treason. Consequently, in spite of his
protestations of innocence, Dreyfus was publicly degraded on January 5,
1895, and hustled off to solitary confinement on the unhealthy Devil's
Isle, off the coast of French Guiana. Meanwhile the whole French people
sincerely believed that a vile traitor had been justly condemned and
that the secrecy of the case was due to the advisability of avoiding
diplomatic complications with Germany. With dramatic unexpectedness,
only ten days later (January 15), Casimir-Perier resigned the

During the whole Dreyfus affair Casimir-Perier had chafed because his
ministers had constantly acted without keeping him informed,
particularly when he was called upon by the German Government to
acknowledge that it had had nothing to do with Dreyfus. He had lost by
death the support of his friend Burdeau; he was discouraged by the
campaign of abuse against him, especially the election as Deputy in
Paris of Gérault-Richard, one of his most active vilifiers. In
particular he felt that his own Cabinet, and above all its leader Dupuy,
were false to him. A discussion in the Chamber concerning the duration
of the state guarantees to certain of the great railway companies ended
in a vote unfavorable to the Cabinet, which resigned, whereupon
Casimir-Perier seized the opportunity to go too. The Socialists declared
that Dupuy had provoked his own defeat in order to embarrass the
President by the difficulty of forming a new Cabinet, and make him
resign as well.

Two days later the electoral Congress met at Versailles. The Radicals
supported Henri Brisson. The Moderates and the Conservatives were
divided between Waldeck-Rousseau and Félix Faure, but Waldeck-Rousseau
having thrown his strength on the second ballot to Faure, the latter was

The new President, recently Minister of the Navy, was a well-meaning
man, but full of vanity and naïvely delighted with his own rise in the
world from a humble position to that of chief magistrate. The extent to
which his judgment was warped by his temperament is shown by the later
developments of the Dreyfus case.

Félix Faure's first Cabinet was led by the Republican Moderate Alexandre
Ribot. It lasted less than a year and its history was chiefly
noteworthy, at least in foreign affairs, by the increasing openness of
the Franco-Russian _rapprochement_ at the ceremonies of the inauguration
of the Kiel Canal. In internal affairs there were some violent
industrial disturbances and strikes.

In October, 1895, the Moderates gave way to the Radical Cabinet of Léon
Bourgeois. It was viewed with suspicion by the moneyed interests, who
accused it of gravitating toward the Socialists. The cleavage between
the two tendencies of the Republican Party became more marked. The
Moderates joined forces with the Conservatives to oppose the schemes for
social and financial reforms of the Radicals and of the representatives
of the working classes. Prominent among these was the proposal for a
progressive income tax. The Senate, naturally a more conservative body,
was opposed to the Bourgeois Cabinet, which had a majority, though not a
very steadfast one, in the Chamber of Deputies. The Senate, usually a
nonentity in determining the fall of a cabinet, for once successfully
asserted its power and, by refusing to vote the credits asked for by the
Ministry for the Madagascar campaign, caused it to resign in April,
1896. The enemies of the Senate maintained that the Chamber of Deputies,
elected by direct suffrage, was the only judge of the fate of a cabinet.
But Bourgeois's hold was at best precarious and he seized the
opportunity to withdraw.

The Méline Cabinet which followed was a return to the Moderates
supported by the Conservatives. Its opponents accused it of following
what in American political parlance is called a "stand-pat" policy, but
it remained in office longer than any ministry up to its time, a little
over two years. It afforded, at any rate, an opportunity for the
adversaries of the Republic to strengthen their positions and encouraged
the transformation of the Dreyfus case into a political instead of a
purely judicial matter.

In foreign affairs the most spectacular events were the visit of the
Czar and Czarina to France in 1896 and the return visit of the French
President to Russia in 1897. At the banquet of leave-taking on the
French warship _Pothuau_, in their prepared speeches, the Czar and the
President made use of the same expression "friendly and _allied_
nations," thus publicly proclaiming to Europe the alliance suspected
since 1891.

In spite of the unanimous feeling of Dreyfus's guilt, his family did not
lose faith in him, and his brother Mathieu set about the apparently
impossible task of rehabilitation. But it chanced that one other person
began to have doubts of the justice of Dreyfus's condemnation. This was
Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart, who had been present at the court-martial
as representative of the War Department, and who had since become chief
of the espionage service, and Henry's superior. Another document stolen
from a waste-paper basket at the German Embassy, an unforwarded
pneumatic despatch (_petit bleu_), was brought to him, and directed his
suspicions to Esterhazy, to whom it was addressed. At first he did not
connect Esterhazy and Dreyfus, but on obtaining specimens of
Esterhazy's handwriting he was struck by the likeness with that of the
_bordereau_. Then, examining the secret _dossier_, to which he now had
access, he was stupefied to see its insignificance.


From this time on, Picquart worked, with extraordinary tenacity of
purpose and against all obstacles, for the rehabilitation of a stranger.
Everybody was against him. His chief subordinate Henry dreaded
revelations above all things, and set his colleagues against him. His
superiors disliked any suggestion that an army court could have made a
mistake, the remedying of which would help a Jew.

Gradually, however, the agitation started by Mathieu Dreyfus was
becoming stronger. He had won the help of a skilled writer Bernard
Lazare; a daily paper succeeded in obtaining and publishing a facsimile
of the _bordereau_. But Picquart was sent away from Paris on a tour of
inspection, and when the matter came up in the Chamber, through an
interpellation, the Minister of War, General Billot, declared that the
judgment of 1894 was absolutely legal and just. Matters thus seemed
settled again.

But a prominent Alsatian member of Parliament, Scheurer-Kestner, one of
the Vice-Presidents of the Senate, was half-persuaded by Mathieu and
Bernard Lazare. When Picquart's friend and legal adviser, Leblois,
rather injudiciously, from a professional point of view, confided to him
his client's suspicions, he was thoroughly convinced and the two
separate currents of activity now coalesced. Yet the greater the
agitation in favor of Dreyfus, the greater grew the opposition. The
anti-Semites shrieked with rage against Judas, the "traitor." The upper
ranks of the army were honeycombed by Clerical influences. An enormous
proportion of the officers belonged to reactionary families and the
Chief of Staff himself, General de Boisdeffre, was under the thumb of
the Père Du Lac, one of the most prominent Jesuits in France. The
Clericals and anti-Semites, therefore, joined forces, and, by calling
the Dreyfus agitation an attack on the honor of the army and a play into
the hands of Germany, they won over all the jingoes and former
Boulangists, who formed the new party of Nationalists. This was the
so-called alliance of "the sword and the holy-water sprinkler" (_le
sabre et le goupillon_). Above all, certain religious associations,
particularly the Assumptionists, under the name of religion, organized a
campaign of slander and abuse against all who ventured to speak for
Dreyfus. By a ludicrous counter-play the scoundrel Esterhazy had
defenders as an injured innocent, the more so that Henry and the clique
at the War Office found it to their interest to support him.

Matters reached a crisis when, on November 15, 1897, Mathieu Dreyfus
denounced Esterhazy to the Minister of War as author of the _bordereau_
and as guilty of the treason for which his brother had been condemned.
This was partly a tactical mistake, because, even if Esterhazy were
proved to have written the _bordereau_, it would still be necessary to
show him guilty of actual treason. It made it possible to swerve the
discussion from the conviction of Dreyfus as a _res adjudicata_ (_chose
jugée_) to vague charges against Esterhazy. The later called for a
vindication, he was triumphantly acquitted by a court-martial early in
January, 1898, and Picquart was put under arrest on various charges of
indiscipline in connection with the whole affair.

Few and far between as they now seemed, the lovers of justice were still
to be counted with. They consisted at first of a small number of
much-derided _intellectuels_, scholars and trained thinkers, who used
their judgment and not their prejudices. One of these was the famous
novelist Emile Zola, who, to keep the case under discussion, published
in the _Aurore_ on January 13, a few days after Esterhazy's acquittal,
his famous letter, _J'accuse_. In this article Zola denounced the guilty
machinations of Dreyfus's adversaries _seriatim_, blamed the Dreyfus
court-martial for convicting on secret evidence and the Esterhazy court
for acquitting a guilty man in obedience to orders. Zola was not in
possession of all the facts, since his precise aim was to have them
brought out, and in his charges against the Esterhazy court he was
technically and legally at fault. But he courted prosecution and got it.

On February 7 Zola was brought to trial. The crafty authorities
eliminated all references to the trial of 1894 as a _chose jugée_ and
prosecuted Zola for having declared that Esterhazy was acquitted by
order. Their tool, the presiding magistrate Delegorgue, seconded their
efforts by ruling out every question which might throw light on the
Dreyfus case, in spite of the attempts of Zola's chief lawyer Labori.
Party passion was at its height, hired gangs of men were posted about
the court-house to hoot and attack the Dreyfusites, members of the
General Staff appeared in full uniform to interrupt the trial and
bulldoze the jury by mysterious hints of war with Germany. Finally Zola
was condemned to fine and imprisonment. At this trial for the first time
mention was mysteriously but openly made of a new document, understood
to be a communication alluding to Dreyfus between the Italian and the
German military _attachés_ at Paris. Zola appealed, the higher court
broke the verdict on the ground that the prosecution should have been
instigated by the offended court-martial and not by the Government, he
was brought to trial again on a change of venue at Versailles, was
unsuccessful in interposing obstacles to an inevitable condemnation, and
so fled to England (July).

Meanwhile, public opinion was becoming yet more violently excited.
France was divided into two great camps, the line of cleavage often
estranging the closest friends and relatives. On the one side was a vast
majority consisting of the Clericals, the jingoes or Nationalists, the
anti-Semites, and the unreflecting mass of the population. On the other
were ranged the "intellectuals," the Socialists who were now rallying to
the cause of tolerance, the Jews, and the few French Protestants. The
League of the Rights of Man stood opposed to the association of the
_Patrie Française_. In the midst of this turmoil were held the elections
of May, 1898, for the renewal of the Chamber of Deputies. The political
coloring of the new body was not sensibly changed, but the open
Dreyfusites were all excluded. The Moderates now generally dubbed
themselves "Progressists." None the less at the first session the now
long-lived Méline Cabinet resigned after a vote requesting it to govern
with fewer concessions to the Right.

The next Cabinet was Radical, headed by Henri Brisson. His mind was not
yet definitely made up on the matter of revision, and he gave
concessions to the Nationalists by appointing as Minister of War
Godefroy Cavaignac. This headstrong personage, proud of an historic
name, undertook to manage the Cabinet and to prove once for all to the
Chamber the guilt of Dreyfus. In his speech he relied mainly on the
letter mentioned at the Zola trial as written by the Italian to the
German _attaché_.

Once more the Dreyfus affair seemed permanently settled, and once more
the contrary proved to be the case. In August Cavaignac discovered, to
his dismay, that the document he had sent to the Chamber, with such
emphasis on its importance, was an out-and-out forgery of Henry. The
latter was put under arrest and committed suicide. Discussion followed
between Brisson, now converted to revision, and Cavaignac, still too
stubborn to change his mind with regard to Dreyfus, in spite of his
recent discovery. Cavaignac resigned as Minister of War, was replaced by
General Zurlinden, who withdrew in a few days and was in turn succeeded
by another general, Chanoine, thought to be in sympathy with the
Cabinet. He in turn played his colleagues false and resigned
unexpectedly during a meeting of the Chamber. Weakened by these
successive blows the Brisson Cabinet itself had to resign, but its
leader had now forwarded to the supreme court of the land, the Cour de
Cassation, the petition of Dreyfus's wife for a revision of his
sentence. The first step had at last been taken. The Criminal Chamber
accepted the request and proceeded to a further detailed investigation.

The Brisson Ministry was followed by a third Cabinet of the unabashed
Dupuy. It became evident that the Criminal Chamber of the Court of
Cassation was inclining to decide on revision. Wishing to play to both
sides and, yielding in this case to the anti-revisionists, early in 1899
Dupuy brought in a bill to take the Dreyfus affair away from the
Criminal Chamber in the very midst of its deliberations and submit it to
the Court as a whole, where it was hoped a majority of judges would
reject revision. Between the dates of the passage of this bill by the
Chamber and by the Senate, President Faure died suddenly and under
mysterious circumstances on February 16, 1899. He had opposed revision
and his death, attributed to apoplexy, was a gain to the revisionists
who were accused by his friends of having caused his murder. On the
other hand, stories, which it is unnecessary to repeat here, found an
echo some years later in the scandals repeated at the sensational trial
of Madame Steinheil.

During the turmoil over the Dreyfus affair, France underwent a
humiliating experience with England. The colonial rivalry of the two
countries had of late gone on unchecked, embittered as it had been by
the ousting of France from the Suez Canal and Egypt. To many Frenchmen
"Perfidious Albion" was, far more than Germany, the secular foe. In 1896
a French expedition under Captain Marchand was sent from the Congo in
the direction of the Nile. The English afterwards argued that its
purpose was to cut their sphere of influence and hinder the
Cape-to-Cairo project; the French declared they merely wished to occupy
a post which should afford a basis for general diplomatic negotiations
for the partition of Africa. The mission was numerically insufficient;
it struggled painfully for two years through the heart of the continent,
and at last the small handful of intrepid Frenchmen established
themselves at Fashoda on the upper waters of the Nile in July, 1898. At
once General Kitchener arriving from the victory of Omdurman appeared
on the scene to occupy Fashoda for the Egyptian Government. England
assumed a viciously aggressive attitude and, under veiled threats of
war, France was obliged to recall Marchand (November 4). The outburst of
fury in France against England at this humiliation was tremendous. No
sane man would have then ventured to predict that in a few years the
hands of the two countries would be joined in the clasp of the _Entente



February, 1899, to February, 1906

The successor of Félix Faure, Emile Loubet, was elected on February 18,
1899, by a good majority over Jules Méline, the candidate of the larger
number of the Moderates or "Progressists" and of the Conservatives.
Loubet was himself a man of Moderate views, but he was thought to favor
a revision of the Dreyfus case. Among the charges of his enemies was
that, as Minister of the Interior in 1892, he had held, but had kept
secret, the famous list of the "Hundred and Four" and had prevented the
seizure of the papers of Baron de Reinach and the arrest of Arton. So
Loubet's return to Paris from Versailles was amid hostile cries of
"Loubet-Panama" and "Vive l'armée!"

On February 23, after the state funeral of President Faure, a detachment
of troops led by General Roget was returning to its barracks in an
outlying quarter of Paris. Suddenly the Nationalist and quondam
Boulangist Paul Déroulède, now chief of the Ligue des Patriotes and
vigorous opponent of parliamentary government, though a Deputy himself,
rushed to General Roget, and, grasping the bridle of his horse, tried to
persuade him to lead his troops to the Elysée, the presidential
residence, and overthrow the Government. Déroulède had expected to
encounter General de Pellieux, a more amenable leader, and one of the
noisy generals at the Zola trial. General Roget, who had been
substituted at the last moment, refused to accede and caused the arrest
of Déroulède, with his fellow Deputy and conspirator Marcel Habert.

Meanwhile the Dreyfus case had been taken out of the hands of the
Criminal Chamber and given to the whole Court. To the dismay of the
anti-Dreyfusites the Court, as a body, annulled, on June 3, the verdict
of the court-martial of 1894, and decided that Dreyfus should appear
before a second military court at Rennes for another trial.

Thus party antagonisms were becoming more and more acute. In addition
Dupuy, the head of the Cabinet, seemed to be spiting the new President.
On the day after the verdict of the Cour de Cassation, at the Auteuil
races, President Loubet was roughly jostled by a band of fashionable
young Royalists and struck with a cane by Baron de Christiani. A week
later, at the Grand Prize races at Longchamps, on June 11, Dupuy, as
though to atone for his previous carelessness, brought out a large array
of troops, so obviously over-numerous as to cause new disturbances among
the crowd desirous of manifesting its sympathy with the chief
magistrate. More arrests were made and, at the meeting of the Chamber of
Deputies the next day, the Cabinet was overthrown by an adverse vote.


The ministerial crisis brought about by the fall of Dupuy was as
important as any under the Third Republic because of its consequences in
the redistribution of parties. For about ten days President Loubet was
unable to find a leader who could in turn form a cabinet. At last public
opinion was astounded by the masterly combination made by
Waldeck-Rousseau, Gambetta's former lieutenant, who of recent years had
kept somewhat aloof from active participation in politics. He brought
together a ministry of "défense républicaine," which its opponents,
however, called a cabinet for the "liquidation" of the Dreyfus case. The
old policy of "Republican concentration" of Opportunists and Radicals
was given up in favor of a mass formation of the various advanced groups
of the Left, including the Socialists.

Waldeck-Rousseau was a Moderate Republican, whose legal practice of
recent years had been mainly that of a corporation lawyer, but he was a
cool-headed Opportunist. He realized the ill-success of the policy of
the "esprit nouveau," and saw the necessity of making advances to the
Socialists, who more and more held the balance of power. He succeeded in
uniting in his Cabinet Moderates like himself, Radicals, and, for the
first time in French parliamentary history, an out-and-out Socialist,
Alexandre Millerand, author of the famous "Programme of Saint-Mandé" of
1896, or declaration of faith of Socialism. Still more astounding was
the presence as Minister of War, in the same Cabinet with Millerand, of
General de Galliffet, a bluff, outspoken, and dashing aristocratic
officer, a favorite with the whole army, but fiercely hated by the
proletariat because of his part in the repression of the Commune.

The first days of the new Cabinet were stormy and its outlook was
dubious. The task of reconciling such divergent elements, even against a
common foe, seemed an impossibility, until at last the Radicals under
Brisson swung into line. Such was the beginning of a Republican grouping
which later, during the anti-Clerical campaign, was known as _le Bloc_,
the united band of Republicans.

The Waldeck-Rousseau Ministry took up the Dreyfus case with a queer
combination of courage and weakness. Insubordinate army officers were
summarily punished for injudicious remarks, but in order to appear
neutral and to avoid criticism, the Cabinet held so much aloof that the
anti-Dreyfusites were able to bring their full forces to bear on the
court-martial. For a month at Rennes, beginning August 7, an
extraordinary trial was carried on before the eyes of an impassioned
France and angry onlooking nations. Witnesses had full latitude to
indulge in rhetorical addresses and air their prejudices; military
officers like Roget, who had had nothing to do with the original trial,
were allowed to take up the time of the court. Galliffet, though
convinced of the innocence of Dreyfus, was unwilling to exert as much
pressure as his colleagues in the Cabinet desired. It soon became
evident that, regardless of the question involved, the issue was one
between an insignificant Jewish officer on the one hand and General
Mercier, ex-Minister of War, on the other. The judges were army officers
full of caste-feeling and timorous of offending their superiors. Thus,
on September 9, Dreyfus was a second time convicted, though with
extenuating circumstances, by a vote of 5 to 2, and condemned to ten
years' detention. This verdict was a travesty of justice, and a
punishment fitting no crime of Dreyfus, since he was either innocent or
guilty of treason beyond extenuation. The Ministry, perhaps regretting
too late its excessive inertia, immediately caused the President to
pardon Dreyfus, partly on the ostensible grounds that Dreyfus by his
previous harsher condemnation had already purged his new one. This act
of clemency was, however, not a legal clearing of the victim's honor,
which was achieved only some years later.

During the turmoil of the Dreyfus affair the Cabinet was, it seemed to
many, unduly anxious over certain conspirators against the Republic. The
symptoms of insubordination in high ranks in the army, linked with the
Clerical manoeuvres, had encouraged the other foes of the Republic
(spurred on by the Royalists), whether sincere opponents of the
parliamentary régime like Paul Déroulède, or venal agitators such as the
anti-Semitic Jules Guérin. But, certainly, above all objectionable were
the proceedings of the Assumptionists, a religious order which had
amassed enormous wealth, and which, by the various local editions of its
paper _la Croix_, had organized a campaign of venomous slander and abuse
of the Republic and its leaders.

The Government, having got wind of a project of the conspirators to
seize the reins of power during the Rennes court-martial, anticipated
the act by wholesale arrests on August 12. Jules Guérin barricaded
himself with some friends in a house in the rue de Chabrol in Paris, and
defied the Government to arrest him without perpetrating murder. The
grotesque incident of the "Fort Chabrol" came to an end after
thirty-seven days when the authorities had surrounded the house with
troops to starve Guérin out and stopped the drains.

In November a motley array of conspirators, ranging from André Buffet,
representative of the pretender the Duke of Orléans, to butchers from
the slaughter-houses of La Villette, were brought to trial before the
Senate acting as a High Court of Justice, on the charge of conspiracy
against the State. After a long trial lasting nearly two months, during
which the prisoners outdid each other in declamatory insults to their
enemies, the majority were acquitted. Paul Déroulède and André Buffet
were condemned to banishment for ten years and Jules Guérin to
imprisonment for the same term. Two others, Marcel Habert and the comte
de Lur-Saluces, who had taken flight, gave themselves up later and were
condemned in 1900 and 1901, respectively, amid a public indifference
which was far from their liking.

Thus the year 1899 had proved itself one of the most dramatically
eventful in the history of the Republic. It was also to be one of the
most significant in its consequences. For the new grouping of mutually
jealous factions against a common danger had, in spite of the fiasco of
the second Dreyfus case, shown a way to victory. And exasperation
against the intrigues of the Clericals and the army officers was going
to turn the former toleration of the "esprit nouveau" into active
persecution, especially as the Socialists and Radicals formed the
majority of the new combination.

In November, 1899, Waldeck-Rousseau laid before Parliament an
Associations bill to regulate the organization of societies, which was
intended indirectly to control religious bodies. The leniency of the
Government hitherto and the commercial energy of many religious orders,
manufacturers of articles varying from chartreuse to hair-restorers and
dentifrice, had enabled them to amass enormous sums held in mortmain.
The power of this money was great in politics and the anti-Clericals
cast envious eyes on these vague and mysterious fortunes. There were in
France at the time almost seven hundred unauthorized "congregations."
Against the Assumptionists in particular the Government took direct
measures early in 1900, such as legal perquisitions, arrests, and
prosecution as an illegal association.

The campaign went on through the year 1900, the Exposition of that year
helping to act as a partial truce. The expedition of the Allies to China
to put down the Boxer rebellion also diverted attention.
Waldeck-Rousseau was sincerely desirous of bringing about a pacification
of feeling in the country, and he felt bitter practically only against
the Jesuits and the Assumptionists. He even succeeded in carrying
through Parliament an amnesty bill dealing with the Dreyfus case and
destined to quash all criminal actions in process, whether of
Dreyfusites or anti-Dreyfusites. The former fought the project
vigorously on the ground that it opposed a new obstacle to ultimate
discovery of the truth, but they were unsuccessful. Waldeck-Rousseau
remained at heart, none the less, a believer in Dreyfus's innocence and
in spite of his amnesty project, he could not always hide his true
feelings. In consequence he offended his Minister of War, General de
Galliffet, Dreyfusite as well, but tired of the struggle now that the
Rennes trial had made the task of rehabilitation apparently hopeless.
Galliffet resigned his office and was succeeded by General André, a
politician soldier, who started out at once to purge the army
drastically of its Clericalism.

Waldeck-Rousseau's Associations project was fairly mild. He had no
desire for a violent break with the Vatican, and the wily and diplomatic
Leo XIII probably so understood well enough in spite of his protests.
But, as debate and discussion went on, the measure became more severe.
Waldeck-Rousseau had originally planned a bill dealing with
authorization and incorporation of associations in general, in which he
refrained from any specific allusion to religious bodies of monks and
nuns, thereby assimilating them with other groups. As finally voted and
promulgated in July, 1901, the law made provisions for the privilege of
association in general, but made the important additional stipulations
that no religious order or "congregation" could be formed without
specific authorization by law, that a religious order could be dissolved
by ministerial decree, and that no one belonging to an unauthorized
order could direct personally, or by proxy, an educational
establishment, or even teach in one. Thus the enemies of the lay
Republic who, under cover of the "esprit nouveau," and by years of
manipulation of the feeding sources of army and navy officers, had hoped
to grasp power, and had made a supreme effort at the time of the Dreyfus
agitation, now saw themselves thwarted, and faced the prospect of
severer treatment.

Matters had progressed even further than Waldeck-Rousseau himself
perhaps desired. In the spring of 1902, new legislative elections took
place for the renewal of the Chamber of Deputies. The policy of the
Waldeck-Rousseau Ministry was endorsed by a sound majority, and yet at
this moment of triumph, after the longest rule as Prime Minister of any
hitherto in the history of the Republic, Waldeck-Rousseau resigned his
post without an adverse vote. Undoubtedly the state of his personal
health was partly responsible for his departure from office and he was
destined not to live beyond 1904. The last important events of his
administration were a visit of the Czar to France and a return visit of
President Loubet to Russia.

Waldeck-Rousseau's successor as Prime Minister was Emile Combes, a
strong foe of the Church. Combes had himself been a former theological
student and had, in his youth, written a thesis on the philosophy of St.
Thomas Aquinas. He now had all the vindictiveness of one who burns what
he formerly worshipped. Encouraged by the recent elections, he turned
more and more against the Vatican and impelled by the more violent
members of the _Bloc_, he drifted toward the rupture which his
predecessor had tried to avoid. A committee of the different groups
supporting the Cabinet, called the "délégation des gauches," had in time
been instituted to formulate policies with the Prime Minister, who often
had to obey it instead of guiding. Waldeck-Rousseau had intended not to
apply his law retroactively. He had planned to spare educational
establishments already in existence before July, 1901, when his measure
went into operation, and had winked at lack of compliance on the part of
many others. Combes applied the letter of the law ruthlessly. Amid
public protestations and disturbances he closed a large number of these
unauthorized schools; firstly, those which had actually been opened
without permission since the promulgation of the law, then the many
schools which were older than the law. In so doing he was called a
persecutor, because the directors of the schools declared that they had
allowed the time limit of application for authorization to go by, only
through the understanding with the previous Administration that they
were not to be interfered with. Now they could not help themselves.

Emboldened by success Combes next took up the applications of the
congregations which had duly followed the law and were seeking
authorization. By decree, as was his right, he first promptly closed
unlicensed schools of recognized orders. Then came the applications of
orders seeking authorization. Legal procedure demanded laws to reject as
well as laws to accept applications. A recommendation _favored_ by the
Government but _rejected_ by the Chamber of Deputies would not go before
the Senate. On the other hand, an _unfavorable_ opinion of the
Government _ratified_ by the House would still have to go before the
Senate. A way would thus be open for prolonged chicanery.

Combes cut matters short. He lumped fifty-four individual applications
into three batches, teaching orders, preaching orders, and the
commercial order of the Chartreux, manufacturers of the liqueur called
"chartreuse." Then, presenting these batches of applications
collectively instead of individually to the Chamber, he caused their
rejection and proceeded to dissolve the orders and close their fifteen
hundred establishments. Through the spring of 1903 there were turbulent
scenes in consequence in various parts of France, the monks trying
sometimes passive resistance, sometimes actual violence. In the
reactionary districts the population attempted to stir up riots.
Occasionally, even, a military officer whose duty it was to evict the
monks refused to obey orders. But, nothing daunted, Combes went on, with
the support of the Chambers, to reject a large mass of applications from
teaching orders of women. Even Waldeck-Rousseau was led in time publicly
to declare that he had never contemplated the transformation of his
Associations law of 1901 from a measure of regulation to one of
exclusion, nor the assumption by the State of expensive educational
charges hitherto carried on by religious orders. At last the law of
July, 1904, put a complete end to all kinds of instruction by religious
bodies, thereby insuring, after a lapse of time for liquidation, the
disappearance of all teaching orders.

These measures against the religious groups were, in spite of outcries
of persecution, after all matters of internal administration. But,
meanwhile, causes for direct dissension with the Vatican had arisen over
questions involving the _Concordat_ regulating the relations of Church
and State.

The first dispute was about the method of appointing bishops. The
Concordat gave to the Government the right of appointing bishops,
subject to the papal ratification of the appointee's moral and
theological qualifications. During the Third Republic the habit had
grown up of mutual consultation before appointments were made, a
practice which led the Vatican to assume that its initial influence was
as great as that of the Government, and finally to make use of the
formula _nobis nominavit_, or _nominaverit_, as though the Government
merely proposed a candidate subject to the Vatican's free right to
accept or to reject. The keen-scented Combes took an early opportunity
to raise this issue by making certain appointments to bishoprics
without previously consulting the Vatican. In the midst of the
discussions Leo XIII died in July, 1903, and was succeeded by Pius X,
whose character was utterly different from that of his predecessor. His
primitive faith saw in France the home of heretics like the Modernist,
the Abbé Loisy; and his Secretary of State, the ultramontane Cardinal
Merry del Val, was as hostile to France, as his predecessor Cardinal
Rampolla had, on the whole, been well disposed to the "eldest daughter
of the Church." Between Merry del Val and Combes no agreement was
possible. So matters went from bad to worse.

In the autumn of 1903 the King of Italy made a visit to France, and in
1904 it was deemed advisable to have President Loubet return this visit
to emphasize the new cordiality between France and Italy, the settlement
of long-standing difficulties, and to cultivate as much as possible one
member of the Triple Alliance. The Pope protested violently against this
visit to his enemy in Rome and made it clear that he would refuse to see
Loubet. The diplomatic crisis became acute and the French Ambassador to
the Vatican was recalled.

Soon came a complete rupture over the treatment by the pontifical
authorities of two French bishops, Geay of Laval and Le Nordez of Dijon.
They had shown themselves loyal Republicans and had become the object of
attack in their own dioceses until personal scandals were imagined or
raked up against them. Combes took the part of the bishops and, to
punish the Vatican for interfering with the French prelates, definitely
broke off diplomatic relations in July, 1904, withdrawing even the
chargé d'affaires who had been left after the departure of the

For some time, plans for the separation of Church and State had been
under discussion in a somewhat academic way by a committee or
_Commission_ of the Chamber, under the general guidance of Ferdinand
Buisson and Aristide Briand. The latter had even drawn up a preliminary
project. But Combes, in spite of his vehemence in words against the
Church, hesitated to involve the Ministry. He knew that the country at
large was fully satisfied with the maintenance of the Concordat and that
some of his own colleagues in the Cabinet, as well as Loubet, preferred
not to disturb it.

Suddenly a great scandal broke out. The enemies of the Ministry got hold
of the fact that General André, through some of his subordinates in the
War Office, was carrying on a regular system of espionage upon army
officers suspected of luke-warm republicanism or of Clerical sympathies,
and was using as spies members of Masonic lodges or even subordinate
Masonic army officers throughout France.[16] These spies had filed
innumerable notes or memoranda known as _fiches_, containing
information, rumor, or scandal concerning the persons involved, their
families and intimacies. The discovery that leading members of the
Cabinet had been countenancing methods as reprehensible as those of the
worst of their opponents, caused an uproar. The Cabinet seemed on the
point of being overthrown when one of its enemies did it a great
service. A wild and blatant anti-Ministerialist named Syveton rushed up
to the Minister of War and struck him two blows in the face during a
meeting of the Chamber. The effect of this deed was to cause a temporary
reaction in favor of the Ministry, but also to draw Combes more to the
Radicals, and he promptly brought forward his own governmental
separation plan, which was considerably at variance with the Briand
project. The respite was, however, only momentary, and, after
sacrificing General André, Combes gave up the struggle and resigned in
January, 1905, without being actually put in the minority.

It cannot be denied that there was a considerable deterioration in
government during the régime of Combes. In attempting to thwart the
Clerical Party he let himself lapse into methods as objectionable as
theirs. His anti-clericalism breathed the spirit of persecution, as much
as did the intrigues of the clergy during the early days of the
Republic. He transformed Waldeck-Rousseau's plans for the regulation of
religious orders into a measure of proscription. He countenanced
underhanded intrigues, and allowed his Minister of War to undermine army
discipline by his methods of political espionage almost as much as it
had been undermined in the days of the supremacy of the Clericals. The
concessions of the Ministers of War and of Marine to the Socialists and
pacifists considerably weakened the efficiency of both army and navy.
Combes's administration was pre-eminently one of self-seeking

Yet, on the other hand, certain very praiseworthy achievements may be
registered to its credit. One of these was the act of General André, in
1903, instituting a new private investigation of the Dreyfus case. It
resulted in the discovery of material sufficient to justify a new demand
for revision, which the Cour de Cassation admitted in March, 1904.
Another achievement was the _rapprochement_ with England known as the
_Entente cordiale_ or friendly understanding, which following the new
amity with Italy greatly strengthened France face-to-face with Germany.
The Russian alliance had given France one definite European ally, and
the cordiality with Italy, a member of the Triple Alliance, cleared the
situation in the Mediterranean and on the frontier of the Alps. The
_Entente cordiale_ was engineered by Edward VII as a result of his visit
to Paris in 1903. The accord of April, 1904, was really due to English
as well as French fear of German aggression. It liquidated all the old
contentions between England and France, one of which, the French Shore
Dispute over Newfoundland fishing rights, dated back to the Treaty of
Utrecht in the early eighteenth century. But, above all, France
definitely gave up her Egyptian claims in return for freedom of action
in Morocco guaranteed by England. For France was anxious to add Morocco
to her African sphere of influence. A secret arrangement with Spain gave
that country reversionary claims to certain parts of Morocco. By the
agreement with England the bad blood caused by the Fashoda incident was
wiped away, a new intimacy sprang up between "Perfidious Albion" and
"Froggy," and through the natural drawing together of England and
France's ally Russia, the Triple Entente came into being some years
later, which was destined to face Germany and Austria in the Great
European War.

Combes's successor as Prime Minister was a member of his own Cabinet,
Maurice Rouvier. More moderate in views than Combes, he would have been
content to let the Separation bill rest, but the Radicals were in the
saddle and he let things take their course. The discussions over the
project went on through most of the year 1905, under the guidance of the
Minister of Worship, Bienvenu-Martin, and particularly of Aristide
Briand, the _rapporteur_ or spokesman for the _Commission_ in the
Chamber. The bill, again and again modified in a spirit of conciliation
and leniency under the guidance of Briand, finally resulted, as
promulgated on December 9, in a sincere effort for a compromise between
different views on religion. It showed a desire, since Church and State
were to be divorced, to treat the former fairly. Provision was made,
when the budget for religious purposes should be suppressed, for the
legal inventory of ecclesiastical property, the pension of superannuated
clergy, and the formation of legal corporations to insure public worship
(_associations cultuelles_). It must be remembered that the new measure
applied quite as much to the Protestants and to the Jews as to the
Catholics. Before the separation the Protestant pastors and the Jewish
rabbis were maintained by the State no less than the Catholic clergy.
Their numerical insignificance made them of little importance in the
general combat over the Clerical question. Nor could they fairly be
accused of intrigue against the Republic.

The year 1905 is noteworthy for two other important events. One was the
reduction of the term of compulsory military service from three to two
years. This measure was carried through largely under the auspices of
General André and proved an over-dangerous concession to the
anti-militarists and pacifists, since it was destined so soon to be
repealed. The other was the sensational diplomatic dispute with Germany
over Morocco, which resulted at first for France in a worse humiliation
than Fashoda.

Germany under Bismarck had encouraged the numerous French colonial
schemes, as a way of keeping her busy abroad and of diverting her
thoughts from Alsace-Lorraine. But as the Empire began to develop its
Pan-Germanism and its aspirations to world-power under William II, it
grew jealous of England and France and of their arrangement of 1904 to
settle the interests of Morocco. Forthwith Germany began to intrigue
with the Sultan of Morocco against the French, and declared that, as it
had not been officially informed of the agreements between England,
France, and Spain, it intended to disregard them. The defeat of Russia
by Japan, in particular, encouraged Germany to feel that France,
deprived of its ally, could be bullied with impunity. On March 31,
Emperor William landed at Tangier and proclaimed that his visit was to
the Sultan as an "independent sovereign." Germany also called for the
convocation of an international meeting to regulate the Moroccan
question. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Delcassé, objected to
the thwarting of his plans, but because of the deterioration of the army
and navy and the lack of hoped-for Russian support, Rouvier was obliged
under German threats to drop him from his Cabinet and to agree to the
convocation of the Conference of Algeciras.[17]


[16] It should be remembered that, in France, the Freemasons are an
anti-religious political quite as much as a benevolent order.

[17] The pro-German position, expressed in such works as E. D. Morel's
_Morocco in Diplomacy_ (1912), is that Sir Edward Grey and M. Delcassé
were engaged in tricky schemes to dispose of Morocco without regard for
German interests; that Germany was not officially notified by France of
the public agreements with England (April, 1904) and with Spain
(October, 1904); that these two agreements were both accompanied by
secret ones which nullified their effect; that M. Delcassé resigned, not
under German pressure, but at M. Rouvier's wish, for having unduly
involved and compromised France.



February, 1906, to February, 1918

The international conference for the regulation of the Moroccan question
met at Algeciras in southern Spain, in January, 1906. Twelve powers
participated, including the United States. The negotiations were
prolonged until the end of March owing to the unconciliatory German
attitude, and resulted in an arrangement which the Germans looked upon
as totally unsatisfactory to themselves. In the shaping of the general
results the United States had considerable influence. The agreement put
out of discussion the sovereignty of the Sultan, the integrity of the
empire, and the principle of commercial freedom, and was largely devoted
to the question of the establishment of a state bank and the
organization of the police in international ports of entry. In the bank
France was to have special privileges, and the police was to be under
the supervision of France and Spain. Germany was eliminated.

In the midst of the uncertainty over the outcome of the Conference two
important events took place in France, the second of which came near
seriously weakening the French position. These were the election of a
successor to President Loubet and the downfall of the Rouvier Ministry.

M. Loubet's term expired in February and he did not desire re-election.
The two chief candidates were Armand Fallières and Paul Doumer. M.
Fallières was an easy-going, good-natured, and well-meaning but
second-rate statesman. Doumer was far more brilliant and vigorous, but
was accused of self-seeking and was thought a less safe person to elect.
Unfortunately, M. Fallières, when chosen, had his master, and was
largely under the control of Clemenceau.

Meanwhile the almost unprincipled vacillation of M. Rouvier and his
spineless policy caused increased dissatisfaction to the Chamber. During
the discussion of a riotous episode connected with the enforcement of
the Separation law, which had resulted in the death of a man, Rouvier
was overthrown. He was succeeded by a colorless person, Sarrien, who
included Clemenceau in his Cabinet as Minister of the Interior. The
latter gradually pushed his chief aside and finally replaced him before
the end of the year as Prime Minister.

Clemenceau showed himself during his lengthy control of power an astute
politician. In the public eye ever since the days of the Commune, he had
had success during the eighties as a destroyer of cabinets. Driven into
the background by the Panama scandals, he now came forward again to try
his fortune in holding the power from which he had often driven others.
With a Cabinet thoroughly under his dictatorial control, he announced a
programme which was to depend for success on the Radicals, rather than
on the Moderates or the Socialists. It was a departure from the policy
of the _Bloc_, though to conciliate the advanced parties he created the
new Ministry of Labor and put M. Viviani, a Socialist, in charge of it.
In practice, Clemenceau's policy was that of one determined to stay in
office, showing alternately conciliation and severity, explaining his
actions to the Chamber often with a flippancy which seemed out of place
and did not help the prestige of parliamentary government.

Apart from the diplomatic tension with Germany, which was not settled by
the Act of Algeciras, the history of the Fallières Administration is
largely taken up with the final disposition of the religious controversy
and with labor questions. The constant advance toward radicalism and
socialism, the lack of great statesmen in Parliament and the presence of
professional politicians, the progress of anti-militarism and the
relegation of the question of Alsace-Lorraine to the background, left a
free field for the growth of social unrest. The tendency was encouraged
by the elections for the renewal of the Chamber of Deputies in May,
1906. To the religious disturbances and the efforts of the Conservatives
to prove themselves persecuted, the country answered at the polls by an
increased anti-Clerical majority.

In 1906 the Dreyfus case was at last settled. The Cour de Cassation
finally annulled the verdict of the Rennes court-martial. In consequence
Dreyfus was restored to the army with the rank of Major which he would
normally have reached had it not been for his great ordeal. Colonel
Picquart, to whom more than to any one he owed his rehabilitation, who
had been driven from the army in 1898, was now made Brigadier-General.
Promoted a few weeks later to Major-General, he became Minister of War
in Clemenceau's Cabinet. The remains of Emile Zola were also transferred
to the Pantheon. Such were the dramatic changes wrought in half a dozen

The troubles over the application of the law for the disestablishment of
the Church lasted more than two years. The Vatican was determined to
make itself a martyr. It would undoubtedly have been glad to see a
forcible closing of the churches in order to cause a reaction in its
favor. Moreover, it objected to the diminution of priestly power and the
participation of the laity as prescribed in the formation of the new
_associations cultuelles_. The Ministry, and particularly Briand, were
just as determined not to give it an opportunity to raise the cry of

The first opportunity for a conflict came when the Government tried to
make inventories of religious property, including valuables. This
measure was for the protection of the Church, but the Clericals chose to
call it inquisitorial and a first step to confiscation. In some parts
of France armed resistance, often systematically prepared, was made to
the authorities, army officers again occasionally refused to carry out
orders, and on March 6, at Boeschepe, a man was killed. It was this
incident which caused the downfall of the Rouvier Cabinet.

It was the policy of M. Briand, entrusted with the application of the
new law, to employ the most conciliatory means face to face with the
Vatican, determined to be persecuted. As a matter of fact the French
bishops, after plenary consultation, had decided by a considerable
majority, to accept the law in a good spirit, with reservations as to
its justice, and to organize the _associations cultuelles_. Suddenly the
Pope intervened by an encyclical directed against any such acceptance,
and prescribed a continuation of the contest. These orders the bishops
felt constrained to obey.

Therefore, at the advent of the Clemenceau Cabinet in October, 1906, M.
Briand had achieved nothing but compulsory inventories. He got
Parliament to allow the legality of the proposed religious organizations
under the Associations Law of 1901 or under the general law of 1881 on
public meetings, as well as under the special legislation of 1905. Again
the Holy See refused to obey, and ordered the clergy to continue their
occupancy of the churches, but to refrain from any legal declaration or
registration whatsoever. Then M. Briand did away with the declaration.
So the contest went on without agreement until it finally lapsed. The
clergy continued to occupy the churches, but without legal claim to
them, under the law of 1881 on public meetings, amended by the law of
March 28, 1907, suppressing the formality of a declaration. The Catholic
Church was stripped, by its own unwillingness to help organize holding
bodies, of all its possessions. By the good-will of the Government it
continued to occupy the religious edifices, but the maintenance and
repair of these was dependent on the good-will of the _commune_ or
administrative division in which the churches were situated. On the
other hand, nothing has materialized of the prophesied religious
persecutions, civil war, and martyrdoms.

Apart from the annoyances caused by the separation of Church and State,
the history of the Clemenceau Ministry deals largely with labor
disturbances and social unrest. This was partly due to parliamentary
demagogy. A succession of weak and ineffective ministries had been
followed by Clemenceau's incoherencies and alterations of policy, though
it remained consistently _Radical_ and not socialistic. The Ministers
were often at loggerheads (even Clemenceau and Briand over the
Separation bill), and the Deputies were often mediocre politicians,
quick to vote themselves an increase of salary, but dilatory in other
achievements. The growth of socialism, with its theories of pacifism and
international brotherhood, encouraged the anti-militarists. The
brilliant leader Jaurès openly advocated the abolition of the army and
the creation of a national militia. Some anti-militarists, like Hervé,
carried their theories beyond all bounds and rhetorically talked of
dragging the national flag in the mire. Meanwhile the political methods
in the past of men like André in the War Department and Camille Pelletan
in the Navy had weakened those services, as Delcassé had found to his
cost in the controversy with Germany. The battleship _Iéna_ blew up in
March, 1907, there was a suspicious fire at the Toulon Arsenal, and
many other things disquieted people.

The Government tried to cater to the labor parties, brought forward
plans for an income tax and for old-age pensions, and carried through a
law making compulsory one day of rest out of seven for workingmen.
Especially active were the efforts of the syndicalists and the
organizers of the anarchistic _Confédération générale du travail_, or
"C.G.T.," to promote every contest between capital and labor and to
bring about, if possible, a general strike of all labor. There were
strikes of miners, longshoremen, sailors, electricians among others.
Even more alarming was the formation of unions, affiliated with the
C.G.T., among state employees such as school teachers and postmen, and
efforts to disorganize the public service. These different movements
Clemenceau met with his customary seesaw of friendliness and harshness,
and the Government was usually victorious. Not less troublesome but
somewhat more picturesque was the quasi-revolutionary movement, in 1907,
of the wine-makers of the South, driven to desperation by overproduction
and low prices, attributed to the competition of adulterated wines. The
municipalities where these disturbances occurred were often in sympathy
with the creators of disturbance, not only in small towns, but in large
places like Béziers, Perpignan, Narbonne, and Carcassonne. Municipal
officials resigned or refused to carry out their duties, and some
regiments, made up of men recruited from one of the districts, mutinied.
The troubles at last quieted down.

In the beginning of 1909 an important agreement was signed with Germany
which seemed to promise an end to the long disputes over Morocco. The
Moroccan question had continued to dominate French foreign policy even
after Algeciras and that conference had not ended the commercial
rivalries of the two countries. In March, 1907, a Frenchman, Dr.
Mauchamp, was murdered by natives at Marrakesh and the French in reply
occupied Ujda near the Algerian frontier. In July, after the murder of
some European workmen at Casablanca, the French sent a landing corps. In
1908 the Sultan Abd-el-Aziz, a friend of the French, was overthrown by a
rival, Muley-Hafid, egged on by the Germans. These also raised a
dispute over some deserters from the French Foreign Legion at
Casablanca, who had taken refuge at the German Consulate and whom the
Germans claimed as their subjects. For a moment war clouds seemed to
appear on the horizon until dissipated by mutual expressions of regret
and after a reference to the Hague Tribunal, which, on the whole,
justified the French. It was, therefore, good news for Europe to hear of
the agreement of February, 1909, which acknowledged the predominance of
French political claims, and tried to facilitate economic co-operation
instead of rivalry between France and Germany. Unfortunately, this
agreement was destined to prove ineffective.

The Clemenceau Cabinet lasted until July, 1909. During a discussion on
the Navy, Clemenceau and Delcassé had an altercation as to their
relative responsibilities for the French surrender to Germany in 1905
when Delcassé was driven from the Rouvier Ministry. The Chamber sided
with Delcassé and Clemenceau discovered that his sarcasm had overreached
itself. The new Premier was Briand, the Socialist and former bugbear of
the moneyed classes, who had shown by his management of the Separation
bill the abilities of a true statesman and who became more and more
moderate in his views under the increasing responsibilities of power.

The history of the Briand Ministry was largely taken up by internal
questions and the elections of May, 1910, for the renewal of the Chamber
of Deputies. To propitiate the electorate the expiring Parliament passed
a law providing old-age pensions for workingmen. The elections left the
Radicals and the Socialistic Radicals (as opposed to the Socialists) on
the whole masters of the situation, but the general parliamentary
instability continued to prevail. The country felt the reaction. In the
autumn of 1910 far-reaching railway strikes broke out, resulting in
violence and injury to railway property or _sabotage_. Briand met the
difficulty energetically by mobilizing the employees still subject to
military duty, and making them perform their work under military orders.
The act of "dictatorship" was approved by the Chamber, but Briand went
through the ceremony of resigning and accepting the mission to form a
new Cabinet. It proved not very homogeneous and withdrew in February,
1911. The Monis Cabinet, of more advanced Socialistic-Radical
principles, lasted only a few months and faced new disturbances with
wine-producers. This time the trouble was in the East, where many were
dissatisfied with the artificial limitation of districts entitled to
produce wines labelled "champagne." The Socialistic-Radical Ministry of
Joseph Caillaux (June, 1911) encountered a new and dangerous crisis in
the relations with Germany.

The mutual agreement between the two countries for the economic
development of Morocco had, through financial rivalries, not worked
well. There was also friction over similar attempts for the development
of the French Congo. In this state of affairs, the French sent a
military expedition to Fez in the early summer of 1911 for the
ostensible purpose of protecting the Sultan from attack by rebels and of
relieving the French military mission. The Germans, backed up, indeed,
by the French anti-militarist press, declared that this was a mere
pretext for encroachment. Spain also took the opportunity of asserting
its rights to parts of the North in accordance with its reversionary
claims by the Treaty of 1904. Thereupon Germany declared that the
agreements of Algeciras and of 1909 had been nullified by France and
demanded compensations. The gunboat _Panther_ suddenly appeared in the
port of Agadir (July 1) and the Germans began to call for their share in
the partition of Morocco.

Difficult negotiations were carried on between France and Germany
through the summer of 1911, and at moments the two countries were on the
very brink of war. The English Government backed up France. Lloyd George
and Premier Asquith made public declarations to that effect. French
capitalists also began calling in their funds invested in Germany and a
financial crisis threatened that country.

Thus brought to terms the Germans became more moderate in their demands,
and it was finally possible to reach a compromise, unsatisfactory to
both parties. Germany definitely gave up all political claim to Morocco
and acknowledged France as paramount there. On the other hand, a
territorial readjustment was made in the Congo by which Germany added
to the Cameroons about two hundred and thirty thousand square kilometres
of land with a million people, and the new frontiers made annoying
salients into the French Congo. The treaty was signed in November, 1911,
but the Pan-Germanists were angry at any concessions to France, the
Colonial Minister resigned, and the Emperor, who had thrown his
influence on the side of peace, lost much prestige for a while. On the
other hand, the French were correspondingly dissatisfied at the losses
in the Congo. The opponents of the Prime Minister, Caillaux, had often
taunted him with too close a relation between his official acts and his
private financial interests. They now accused him of tricky concessions
to Germany in connection with the Congo adjustments. M. Caillaux denied
in the Chamber that he had ever entered into any private dealings apart
from the negotiations of the ministry of Foreign Affairs. However,
Clemenceau asked the Foreign Minister, M. de Selves, point-blank if the
French Ambassador at Berlin had not complained of interference in the
diplomatic negotiations. M. de Selves refused to answer, thus
implicitly giving the lie to M. Caillaux. The consequence was a cabinet
crisis and the resignation of the Ministry (January, 1912).

The upshot of the Agadir crisis was increased irritation between France
and Germany and the feeling in each country that the other was seeking
trouble. The French were now convinced that, some day or other, war
would inevitably result and the nation dropped its strong pacifist
tendencies and rallied to the army. The Germans were, above all, furious
against the English, whom they considered responsible for their

So far as Morocco was immediately concerned, the French took steps to
develop their new privileges. In March, 1912, they imposed a definite
protectorate on the Sultan Muley-Hafid and soon replaced him by his
brother Muley-Yussef. They came to an agreement with Spain as to the
latter's claims in the North and entrusted to General Lyautey the
administrative and military reorganization of the country. The
pacification of the hostile tribes was not an easy task and went on
laboriously through 1912 and 1913.

After the downfall of M. Caillaux, Raymond Poincaré became head of a
Cabinet more moderate than its predecessor, the Socialistic Radicals
seeming somewhat discredited in public opinion. M. Poincaré was a strong
partisan of proportional representation, and a measure for the
modification of the method of voting was, under his auspices, passed by
the Chamber, though it failed the following year in the Senate.

In foreign affairs, Morocco having dropped into the background, the
Eastern question became acute. Fear lest the conflict in the Orient
should involve the rest of Europe led France to draw again closer to
Russia and England.



February, 1913

M. Fallières' term expired on February 18, 1913. The two leading
candidates were Raymond Poincaré, head of the Ministry, and Jules Pams,
who was supported by the advanced Radicals. M. Poincaré's election was
looked upon, because of his personal vigor, as a triumph of sound
conservative republicanism, and it was predicted that he would prove a
strong leader, able to give prestige to the Presidency and to bring
order out of chaos. The early months of his Administration were less
productive of results than had been hoped, but the European War came too
soon to make definitive judgment safe.

After M. Poincaré's election, M. Fallières made M. Briand President of
the Council during the last weeks of his term, and M. Poincaré kept the
same Cabinet. M. Briand, like M. Poincaré, advocated proportional
representation. As the Chamber failed to take a vigorous position in
support of the measure, and defeated the Ministry on a vote of
confidence, the latter withdrew (March, 1913).

Louis Barthou next became Prime Minister, and the important legislative
measure of the year was the new military law. The Germans having largely
increased their army, it was deemed necessary, in spite of the violent
opposition of the Socialistic Radicals and the Socialists and the
attempts of the syndicalists of the _Confédération générale du travail_
to work up a general strike, to abrogate the Law of 1905 and to return
to three years of military service without exemption. M. Barthou pushed
the three-years bill already supported by the Briand Cabinet. France
took upon herself an enormous financial burden, coupled with a
corresponding loss of productive labor, yet events soon proved the
wisdom of the step.

The opposition to the Cabinet was virulent. There were now two great
groupings of the chief political parties.[18] The Radicals and
Socialistic Radicals, under the name of "Unified Radicals" waged war
against the President and the Ministry. They were under the inspiration
of men like Clemenceau and the active leadership of Joseph Caillaux and
tried to revive the methods of the old _Bloc_ of Combes. They
declared their intention of repealing the three-years law and
proclaimed the tenets of their faith at the Congress of Pau. The
Briand-Barthou-Millerand group, supporters of Poincaré, soon formed a
Moderate Party with a programme of conciliation and reform known as the
"Federation of the Lefts."

The Barthou Cabinet had been overthrown early in December, 1913, after a
vote on a government loan. President Poincaré had to call in a Radical
Cabinet led by Gaston Doumergue, the programme of which Ministry was,
after all, less "advanced" than the Pau programme, especially as to the
three-years bill. M. Caillaux, the master-spirit of the Radicals, was
the Minister of Finance and the object of the hostility of the
Moderates. They claimed that he used his position to cause speculation
at the Stock Exchange, and accused him of "selling out" to Germany in
the settlement after Agadir. The _Figaro_, edited by Gaston Calmette,
began a violent campaign. Among the charges was that during the
prosecution in 1911 of Rochette, a swindling promoter, the then Prime
Minister Monis, now Minister of Marine, had, at Caillaux's instigation,
held up the prosecution for fraud, during which delay Rochette had been
able to put through other swindles.

In the midst of the public turmoil over these charges Caillaux's wife
went to Calmette's editorial offices and killed him with a revolver.
Caillaux resigned and, the Rochette case having come up for discussion
in the Chamber, when Monis denied that he had ever influenced the law,
Barthou produced a most damaging letter. A parliamentary commission
later decided that the Monis Cabinet _had_ interfered to save Rochette
from prosecution.

It was under such circumstances that the Deputies separated for the
general elections. Three chief questions came before the voters, the
three-years law, the income tax, and proportional representation. The
results of the elections were inconclusive and the new Chamber promised
to be as ineffective as its predecessor. On the second ballots the
Socialists made a good many gains.

The Doumergue Ministry resigned soon after the elections which it had
carried through. President Poincaré offered the leadership to the
veteran statesman Ribot, who with the co-operation of Léon Bourgeois,
formed a Moderate Cabinet with an inclination toward the Left. This
Ministry was above the average, but its leaders were insulted and
brow-beaten and overthrown on the very first day they met the Chamber of
Deputies. So then a Cabinet was formed, led by the Socialist René
Viviani, who was willing, however, to accept the three-years law, though
he had previously opposed it. But this victory for national defence was
weakened by parliamentary revelations of military unpreparedness.

In mid-July President Poincaré and M. Viviani left France for a round of
state visits to Russia and Scandinavia. Paris was engrossed by the
sensational trial of Madame Caillaux, which resulted in her acquittal,
but this excitement was suddenly replaced by the European crisis, and
President Poincaré cut short his foreign trip and hastened home. France
loyally supported her ally Russia, and, on August 3, Baron von Schoen,
the German Ambassador, notified M. Viviani of a state of war between
Germany and France.

Indeed, no sooner had the Moroccan question been settled than danger had
loomed in the Orient, in which France was likely to be involved through
her alliance with Russia. Moreover, Germany had not got over the Agadir
fiasco and was furious with England as well as France. Thus the European
balance of power had long been in danger through the hostility of the
Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. It is beyond the scope of the
present volume to analyze in detail the Balkan question. The rôle of
France was consistent in the interest of peace by helping to maintain
the balance of power, but obviously she was loyal toward her partners of
the Triple Entente and acted in solidarity with them.

So far as the outbreak of the war in 1914 is concerned, France stands
with a clear conscience. She had nothing to do with the disputes between
Austria and Serbia, or between Austria, Germany, and Russia. Once war
proved inevitable France faithfully accepted the responsibilities of the
Russian alliance. Against France, Germany was an open aggressor.
Germany's strategic plans for the quick annihilation of France, before
attacking Russia, are well known to the world. Everybody is aware how
scrupulously France avoided every hostile measure, and, during the
critical days preceding the war, withdrew all troops ten kilometres from
the frontier to prevent a clash. The Germans were obliged, in order to
justify their advance, to invent preposterous tales of bombs dropped by
aeroplanes near Nuremberg or of the violation of Belgium neutrality by
French officers in automobiles. France had no idea of invading Belgium.
All the French strategic plans aimed at the protection of the direct
frontier, and they were dislocated by the dishonest move of Germany
through Belgium.

In 1914 France was not even prepared for war. The pacification of
Morocco immobilized thousands of her troops. Revelations in Parliament
as late as July 13 showed, as mentioned above, great deficiencies in
equipment. Public attention was taken up by the Caillaux trial and by
political strife apparently reaching the proportions of national

Since Agadir it is true that France, conscious of the constantly
provocative attitude of Germany, had seen the folly of plans for
disarmament. Love for the army had grown again, through realization of
its necessity. But no nation ever looked forward with more horror and
dread to military conflict than the French. They had been the last
victims of a great European war, of which the memories were still alive.
However much the loss of Alsace-Lorraine rankled in their hearts, they
knew too well the madness of war to seek it again. A new generation had
grown up reconciled to fate and willing to let bygones be bygones.

But Germany would not. The new Empire, a _Bourgeois gentilhomme_ among
nations, but without even the breeding of the _parvenu_, dreamed of
world-supremacy. As the boor in society makes himself conspicuous, so it
was one of the tenets of Pan-Germanism to let no international agreement
take place without German interference.

Some people, reading the annals of forty-four years since the
Franco-Prussian War, have been disposed to sneer at France. Some have
called the country degenerate because of its small birth-rate, its
fiction sometimes brutal, sometimes neurotic, its inefficient
Parliament, its vindictive political and religious contests. Such
critics should remember that the French Government is the result of
tactical compromise in presence of the Monarchical Party. Nobody denies
that it might be improved. As to religious persecution, Americans might
remember their own righteous feelings toward fellow citizens with
"hyphenated" allegiance, when they rebuke the French for fighting vast
organizations working against their Government under foreign orders.

In 1914 France, bearing on her shoulders proportionably the greatest
burden of all the Allies, presented to the world a spirit of firmness,
unity, and national resolve that won the admiration of neutral nations.
Religious persecution and clerical manoeuvre were alike put aside.
France forgot all lassitude and discouragement. Atheist, Protestant, and
Catholic felt a great wave of spiritual as well as of patriotic fervor,
and took as symbol of love of country the heroic peasant girl of
Lorraine, Jeanne d'Arc, who, coming from the people and leading the
nation's army, sought to drive from the soil its foes and invaders.


[18] It must be obvious to the reader, after following all the changes
in nomenclature recorded in this volume, that in France party-names give
little hint of party-views: "In French political parlance 'Progressivs'
ar retrograde, 'Liberals' ar conservativ, 'Conservativs' ar
revolutionary in aim and methods, 'Radicals' ar trimmers and
time-servers, whilst one of the most reactionary administrations of
recent years was heded by three 'Socialists.'" A.-L. Guérard in _Pub.
Mod. Lang. Assoc. of America_, vol. xxx, p. 624. Compare also the
following: "Suivant les régions de la France, c'est-à-dire selon la
moyenne de l'opinion locale et les termes de comparaison ou les
traditions propres à chaque province, les mots changent de
signification. Dans le Var un radical passe pour un modéré, dans l'ouest
un républicain est considéré par certains comme un révolutionnaire,
ailleurs les candidats qui ne sont pas au moins radicaux-socialistes ne
sont pas tenus pour de bons républicains." L. Jacques, _Les partis
politiques sous la troisième république_, p. 429.





    _Administration of Thiers_

    Feb. 19, 1871, Jules Dufaure.
    May 18, 1873, Jules Dufaure.

    _Administration of Mac-Mahon_

    May 25, 1873, Duc de Broglie.
    Nov. 26, 1873, Duc de Broglie.
    May 22, 1874, Général de Cissey.
                   {Louis Buffet.
    March 10, 1875,{
                   {Jules Dufaure.


    _Administration of Mac-Mahon (continued)_

    March 9, 1876, Jules Dufaure.
    Dec. 12, 1876, Jules Simon.
    May 17, 1877, Duc de Broglie.
    Nov. 23, 1877, Général de Rochebouët.
    Dec. 13, 1877, Jules Dufaure.

    _Administration of Jules Grévy_

    Feb. 4, 1879, William-Henry Waddington.
    Dec. 28, 1879, Charles de Freycinet.
    Sept. 23, 1880, Jules Ferry.
    Nov. 14, 1881, Léon Gambetta.
    Jan. 30, 1882, Charles de Freycinet.
    Aug. 7, 1882, Eugène Duclerc.
    Jan. 29, 1883, Armand Fallières.
    Feb. 21, 1883, Jules Ferry.
    April 6, 1885, Henri Brisson.
    Jan. 7, 1886, Charles de Freycinet.
    Dec. 11, 1886, René Goblet.
    May 30, 1887. Maurice Rouvier.

    _Administration of Carnot_

    Dec. 12, 1887, Pierre-Emmanuel Tirard.
    April 3, 1888, Charles Floquet.
    Feb. 22, 1889, Pierre-Emmanuel Tirard.
    March 17, 1890, Charles de Freycinet.
    Feb. 27, 1892, Emile Loubet.
    Dec. 6, 1892, Alexandre Ribot.
    Jan. 11, 1893, Alexandre Ribot.
    April 4, 1893, Charles Dupuy.
    Dec. 3, 1893, Jean Casimir-Perier.
    May 30, 1894. Charles Dupuy.

    _Administration of Casimir-Perier_

    July 1, 1894, Charles Dupuy.

    _Administration of Félix Faure_

    Jan. 26, 1895, Alexandre Ribot.
    Nov. 1, 1895, Léon Bourgeois.
    April 29, 1896, Jules Méline.
    June 28, 1898, Henri Brisson.
    Nov. 1, 1898, Charles Dupuy.

    _Administration of Emile Loubet_

    Feb. 18, 1899, Charles Dupuy.
    June 22, 1899, René Waldeck-Rousseau.
    June 7, 1902, Emile Combes.
    Jan. 24, 1905, Maurice Rouvier.

    _Administration of Armand Fallières_

    Feb. 18, 1906, Maurice Rouvier.
    March 14, 1906, Ferdinand Sarrien.
    Oct. 25, 1906, Georges Clemenceau.
    July 23, 1909, Aristide Briand.
    March 2, 1911, Ernest Monis.
    July 27, 1911, Joseph Caillaux.
    Jan. 13, 1912, Raymond Poincaré.
    Jan. 21, 1913, Aristide Briand.

    _Administration of Raymond Poincaré_

    Feb. 18, 1913, Aristide Briand.
    March 21, 1913, Louis Barthou.
    Dec. 2, 1913, Gaston Doumergue.
    June 9, 1914, Alexandre Ribot.
    June 13, 1914, René Viviani.
    Aug. 26, 1914, René Viviani.
    Oct. 29, 1915, Aristide Briand.


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BEYENS, BARON. _L'Allemagne avant la guerre. Les causes et les
responsabilités._ 1915.

BODLEY, J. E. C. _The Church in France._ 1906.

BODLEY, J. E. C. _France._ 2 vols. 1898.

BRISSON, H. _Souvenirs._ 1908.

_Cambridge Modern History._ (Vol. XII, _The Latest Age._ 1910.)

CHUQUET, A. _La Guerre, 1870-1871._ 1895.

COUBERTIN, P. DE. _L'Evolution française sous la troisième république._

DANIEL, ANDRÉ (ANDRÉ LEBON). _L'Année politique._ Yearly volumes,

DAUDET, E. _Souvenirs de la Présidence du maréchal de Mac-Mahon._ 1879.

DEBIDOUR, A. _L'Eglise catholique et l'Etat sous la troisième
République._ 2 vols. 1909.

DENIS, SAMUEL. _Histoire contemporaine._ 4 vols. 1897-1903.

DESPAGNET, FRANTZ. _La République et le Vatican (1870-1906)._ 1906.

DIMNET, E. _France Herself Again._ 1914.

DUTRAIT-CROZON, H. _Précis de l'Affaire Dreyfus._ 1909.

FIAUX, LOUIS. _Histoire de la guerre civile de 1871._ 1879.

GEORGE, W. L. _France in the Twentieth Century._ 1908.

GUÉRARD, A.-L. _French Civilization in the Nineteenth Century._ 1914.

HANOTAUX, G. _Fachoda._ 1909.

HANOTAUX, G. _Histoire de la France contemporaine._ 4 vols. 1903-1908.

HIPPEAU, E. _Histoire diplomatique de la troisième république_
(1870-1889). 1889.

JACQUES, LÉON. _Les partis politiques sous la troisième république._

LAVISSE _et_ RAMBAUD, _editors_. _Histoire Générale Du IVe siècle à
nos jours._ (Vol. XII, _Le Monde contemporain_, 1870-1900. 1901.)

LEPELLETIER, E. _Histoire de la Commune de 1871._ 1911.

LISSAGARAY, P.-O. _Histoire de la Commune de 1871._ 1896.

LOWELL, A. L. _Governments and Parties in Continental Europe._ 2 vols.

LUCAS, A. _Précis historique de l'Affaire du Panama._ 1893.

MARÉCHAL, E. _Histoire contemporaine de 1789 à nos jours._ 3 vols. 1900.

MARGUERITTE, PAUL _et_ VICTOR. _Histoire de la guerre de 1870-1871._

MAURRAS, CHARLES. _Kiel et Tanger_ (1895-1905). 1913.

MEAUX, VICOMTE DE. _Souvenirs politiques._ 1904.

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PINON, RENÉ. _France et Allemagne_ (1870-1913). 1913.

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Abd-el-Aziz, 168.

Africa, 89, 104, 106,132.

Agadir, 172, 174, 179, 181, 183.

Aix, 104.

Albert of Saxony, 15, 16, 18.

Alexander III, Czar, 105.

Algeciras, 158, 159, 162, 168, 172.

Algeria, 81, 110, 168.

Algiers, 104.

Alsace, 11, 13, 34, 35, 43, 157, 162, 183.

Amiens, 23.

André, General, 143, 152, 153, 154, 157, 166.

Annam, 89, 90.

Antony of Hohenzollern, 8, 9.

Arques, 54.

Arton, 109, 111, 118, 134.

Artenay, 19, 22.

Asquith, 172.

Aurelle de Paladines, General d', 22, 23, 39.

Austria, 3, 4, 52, 89, 155, 182.

Auteuil, 136.

Avellan, Admiral, 106.

Bac-Le, 90.

Baïhaut, 111.

Bapaume, 24.

Barthou, Louis, 177, 178, 179.

Basly, 97.

Bazaine, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21.

Beaugency, 23.

Beaumont, 16.

Beaune-la-Rolande, 22.

Belfort, 24, 25, 34.

Belgium, 4, 16, 182, 183.

Benedetti, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Berlin, 11, 51, 73, 81.

Bert, Paul, 80.

Beulé, 51.

Béziers, 168.

Bienvenu-Martin, 156.

Billot, General, 124, 126.

Bismarck, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 26, 28, 34, 51, 61,
73, 81, 93, 157.

Bitche, 24.

Blanqui, 38.

Boeschepe, 164.

Boisdeffre, General de, 106, 125.

Bordeaux, 22, 31, 35, 36, 40, 43, 45, 46.

Borny, 14.

Boulanger, General, 93, 94, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103.

Bourbaki, General, 23, 24, 25.

Bourgeois, Léon, 121, 122, 180.

Briand, Aristide, 151, 153, 156, 163, 164, 165, 166, 169, 170,
176, 177, 178.

Brière de l'Isle, 90.

Brisson, Henri, 84, 92, 97, 109, 120, 129, 130, 131, 138.

Broglie, due de, 48, 51, 55, 56, 57, 67, 69, 71, 72, 83.

Brussels, 35, 102.

Buffet, André, 141.

Buffet, Louis, 48, 60, 61.

Buisson, Ferdinand, 151.

Burdeau, 116, 120.

Busch, Moritz, 11.

Buzenval, 27.

Caffarel, General, 94.

Cahors, 20.

Caillaux, Joseph, 171, 173, 174, 178, 179.

Caillaux, Madame, 179, 181, 183.

Calmette, Gaston, 179.

Cameroons, 173.

Canrobert, Marshal, 21.

Carcassonne, 168.

Carnot, President, 96-114.

Casablanca, 168, 169.

Caserio Santo, 114.

Casimir-Perier, President, 115-120.

Cavaignac, Godefroy, 129, 130.

Châlons, 14.

Chambord, comte de, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 88.

Champigny, 23, 26.

Chanoine, General, 130.

Chanzy, General, 20, 23, 24.

Châteaudun, 19.

Châtillon, 18.

Chesnelong, 53, 54.

China, 90, 91, 143.

Christiani, Baron de, 136.

Cissey, General de, 57, 60.

Clemenceau, Georges, 78, 83, 97, 98, 109, 160, 161, 163,
164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 178.

Clermont-Ferrand, 94.

Clinchant, 25.

Cluseret, 40.

Combes, Emile, 145, 146, 147, 148, 150, 151, 153, 154, 155, 178.

Congo, 132, 171, 173.

Cottu, Henri, 108, 110, 111.

Coulmiers, 22.

Courbet, Gustave, 42.

Crémieux, 19.

Cronstadt, 105, 106.

Crown Prince of Prussia, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18.

Decazes, duc, 56.

Delahaye, 108.

Delcassé, 158, 166, 169.

Delegorgue, 127.

Delescluze, Charles, 37.

Demange, Maître, 119.

Denfert-Rochereau, 24.

Déroulède, Paul, 101, 135, 140, 141.

Devil's Isle, 119.

Dijon, 151.

Dillon, 102.

Dombrowski, 41.

Dordogne, 99.

Douay, Abel, 13.

Doumer, Paul, 160.

Doumergue, Gaston, 178, 180.

Dreyfus, Alfred, 105, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126,
127, 128, 130, 134, 135, 137, 138, 139, 140, 142, 143, 145, 154, 162.

Dreyfus, Madame, 131.

Dreyfus, Mathieu, 123, 124, 125, 126.

Drumont, Edouard, 118.

Duclerc, 86.

Ducrot, 16, 22.

Dufaure, Jules, 66, 72.

Du Lac, Père, 125.

Dumas fils, Alexandre, 42.

Dupuy, Charles, 112, 114, 116, 120, 131, 135, 136.

Edward VII, 154.

Egypt, 86, 132, 155.

Eiffel, G., 108, 110.

Ems, 8, 9.

England, 17, 61, 86, 106, 111, 128, 132, 133, 154, 155, 157, 158, 174, 181.

Ernoul, 49.

Esterhazy, 117, 123, 124, 126, 127.

Eugénie, Empress, 1, 3, 6, 12, 15, 17, 20.

Evans, Dr., 17.

Faidherbe, General, 23, 24.

Failly, General de, 16.

Fallières, Armand, 86, 159-175, 176.

Fashoda, 132, 133, 155, 157.

Faure, Félix, 115-133, 134.

Favre, General, 23.

Favre, Jules, 17, 18, 25, 27, 28, 29.

Ferrières, 18.

Ferry, Jules, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 93, 96.

Fez, 171.

Fiaux, 42.

Floquet, Charles, 84, 97, 100, 101, 102, 103, 109.

Flourens, Gustave, 37, 40.

Fontane, Marius, 108, 110.

Foo-chow, 90.

Forbach, 13.

Formosa, 90.

Fourichon, Admiral, 19.

Francis I, 45.

Frankfort, 35, 43.

Frederick, Empress, 105.

Frederick the Great, 3.

Frederick Charles, 12, 13, 15, 21.

Freycinet, Charles de, 20, 24, 30, 77, 79, 85, 86, 93, 109.

Frohsdorf, 52.

Fröschwiller, 13.

Frossard, 13.

Gabès, 82.

Galliffet, General de, 137, 139, 143.

Gambetta, Léon, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 28, 29, 31, 33, 44, 47, 66, 67, 68,
70, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 97, 136.

Garibaldi, 24, 25.

Geay, Monseigneur, 151.

Gérault-Richard, 120.

Germany, 31, 34, 48, 60, 81, 89, 94, 119, 128, 132, 154, 155,157, 158, 159,
162, 166, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 174, 179, 182, 183, 184.

Gervais, Admiral, 105.

Glais-Bizoin, 19.

Goblet, 93.

Gouthe-Soulard, 104.

Gramont, duc de, 6, 7, 9.

Gravelotte, 15.

Grévy, Albert, 110, 111.

Grévy, Jules, 32, 75-95, 96, 110.

Grey, Sir Edward, 158.

Guérard, A.-L., 178.

Guérin, Jules, 140, 141.

Habert, Marcel, 135, 141.

Henry IV, 45.

Henry, Colonel, 116, 117, 123, 124, 126, 130.

Henry, Emile, 114.

Héricourt, 25.

Hervé, Gustave, 166.

Herz, Cornelius, 109, 111, 118.

Hugues, Clovis, 97.

Italy, 81, 89, 106, 107, 150, 154.

Ivry, 54.

Jacques, L., 178.

Japan, 158.

Jaurès, Jean, 166.

Jeanne d'Arc, 45, 185.

Jerome Napoleon, 86.

Josnes, 23.

Kairouan, 82.

Kiel Canal, 121.

Kitchener, 132.

Königgrätz, 4.

Kroumirs, 81, 82.

Labori, 128.

La Cecilia, 41.

La Motterouge, 19.

Lang-son, 90.

Laval, 24, 151.

Lavigerie, Cardinal, 104.

La Villette, 141.

Lazare, Bernard, 124, 125.

Leblois, Maître, 125.

Le Boeuf, Marshal, 12, 21.

Le Bourget, 26.

Lecomte, General, 39.

Le Mans, 24.

Le Nordez, Monseigneur, 151.

Leo XIII, 87, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 113, 144, 150.

Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, 5, 7, 8, 9.

Lesseps, Charles de, 108, 110.

Lesseps, Ferdinand de, 86, 107, 108.

Lille, 70.

Lisaine, 25.

Lloyd George, 172.

Loigny, 22.

Loir, 24.

Loire, 19, 22, 23.

Loisy, Abbé, 150.

London, 26.

Longchamps, 136.

Lorraine, 11, 13, 34, 35, 43, 157, 162, 183, 185.

Loubet, Emile, 109, 134-158, 160.

Louis XIV, 26, 36.

Louis XVI, 45.

Louis-Philippe, 115.

Lunéville, 13.

Lur-Saluces, comte de, 141.

Luxembourg, Duchy of, 4.

Lyautey, General, 174.

Lyons, 114.

McKinley, 114.

Mac-Mahon, maréchal de, 13, 14, 15, 16, 40, 49, 50-74, 75, 77.

Madagascar, 89, 122.

Madrid, 21.

Mainz, 13.

Marchand, Captain, 132, 133.

Marne, 22.

Marrakesh, 168.

Mars-la-Tour, 14.

Mauchamp, Dr., 168.

Mayer, Captain, 118.

Mediterranean, 81.

Méline, Jules, 107, 122, 129, 134.

Mercier, General, 118, 139.

Merry del Val, Cardinal, 150.

Metz, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 34.

Meuse, 16.

Mexican expedition, 1.

Millerand, Alexandre, 97, 137, 178.

Miribel, General de, 85.

Moltke, 18, 26.

Monis, Ernest, 171, 179.

Montbéliard, 25.

Montmartre, 39, 52.

Montmédy, 16.

Montretout, 27.

Morel, E. D., 158.

Morès, marquis de, 118.

Morocco, 155, 157, 158, 159, 168, 171, 172, 174, 181, 183.

Muley-Hafid, 168, 174.

Muley-Yussef, 174.

Mun, comte de, 105.

Nancy, 13.

Napoleon I, 1, 87.

Napoleon III, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 35.

Narbonne, 168.

Négrier, General de, 90.

New Caledonia, 42.

Newfoundland, 155.

Nicholas II, Czar, 123, 145.

Nile, 132.

Nord, 99.

North Germany, 4, 12.

Nuremberg, 182.

Offenbach, 3.

Ollivier, Emile, 6, 8, 9.

Omdurman, 132.

Orléans, 19, 22, 26.

Orléans, Duke of, 141.

Palikao, comte de, 14, 15, 17.

Pams, Jules, 176.

Panama, 97, 107, 111, 134, 161.

Paray-le-Monial, 52.

Paris, 2, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33,
34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 46, 64, 84, 101, 105, 106, 120, 128, 134, 140, 154,

Paris, comte de, 44, 52, 53, 55, 100.

Patay, 22.

Pau, 178, 179.

Pelletan, Camille, 97, 166.

Pellieux, General de, 135.

Père-Lachaise, 41.

Péronne, 24.

Perpignan, 168.

Picquart, General, 123, 124, 125, 126, 162, 163.

Pie, Monseigneur, 52.

Piou, Jacques, 105.

Pius IX, 54, 68, 87.

Pius X, 150, 164.

Poincaré, Raymond, 175, 176-185.

Poitiers, 52.

Pont-Noyelles, 24.

Portsmouth, 105, 106.

Prince Imperial, 13, 86.

Prussia, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12.

Rampolla, Cardinal, 150.

Ravachol, 114.

Raynal, 85.

Regnier, 21.

Reichsoffen, 13.

Reims, 16.

Reinach, Jacques de, 108, 109, 110, 111, 118, 134.

Rémusat, Charles de, 48.

Rennes, 135, 138, 140, 143, 162.

Rezonville, 14, 15.

Rhenish provinces, 2.

Rhine, 2, 4.

Ribot, Alexandre, 109, 121, 180.

Rigault, Raoul, 37.

Rivière, 89.

Rochebouët, General de, 71.

Rochefort, Henri, 102.

Rochette, 179, 180.

Roget, General, 134, 135, 138.

Rome, 150.

Rossel, 40.

Rouvier, 85, 93, 94, 109, 111, 155, 158, 160, 164, 169.

Russia, 61, 105, 121, 123, 145, 154, 155, 158, 181, 182.

Saarbrücken, 12, 13.

Sadowa, 4, 6.

Saint-Cloud, 2.

Saint-Mandé, 137.

Saint-Privat, 15.

Saint-Quentin, 24, 27.

St. Petersburg, 106.

Salisbury, Lord, 81, 106.

Salzburg, 53.

Sans-Leroy, 110.

Sarrien, Ferdinand, 160.

Say, Léon, 85.

Scandinavia, 181.

Scheurer-Kestner, 125.

Schnaebele, 94.

Schoen, Baron von, 181.

Schwartzkoppen, Colonel, 117, 128, 130.

Sedan, 16, 17, 49.

Selves, M. de, 173.

Serbia, 182.

Sfax, 82.

Sicily, 81.

Simon, Jules, 28, 67, 68, 69, 84.

South Germany, 4, 7, 12.

Spain, 5, 8, 155, 158, 159, 171, 174.

Spicheren, 13.

Spuller, Eugène, 113.

Steinheil, Madame, 132.

Steinmetz, 12, 13, 15.

Strassburg, 11, 18.

Sudan, 89.

Suez, 86, 107, 132.

Switzerland, 26.

Syveton, 152.

Tangier, 158.

Thiers, Adolphe, 17, 18, 31-49, 50, 51, 58, 61, 70, 76, 86.

Thomas, General Clément, 39.

Tien-tsin, 90.

Tirard, 102.

Tonkin, 89, 90, 93.

Toulon, 106, 167.

Tours, 19, 22.

Trochu, General, 17, 19, 22, 27, 29, 52.

Tuileries, 2, 17.

Tunis, 81, 93.

Ujda, 168.

United States, 62, 159.

Uzès, duchesse d', 100.

Vaillant, 114.

Var, 178.

Vendôme, 24.

Verdun, 14.

Versailles, 18, 27, 34, 36, 40, 41, 56, 64, 120, 128, 134.

Victor-Emmanuel II, 68, 104.

Victor-Emmanuel III, 150.

Victoria, 106.

Villepion, 22.

Villers-Bretonneux, 23.

Villersexel, 25.

Villiers, 23.

Villorceau, 23.

Vinoy, General, 27.

Vionville, 14.

Viviani, René, 161, 180, 181.

Von der Thann, 22.

Vosges, 12, 25.

Waddington, 77, 78, 79, 81.

Waldeck-Rousseau, 85, 120, 136, 137, 138, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148,

Wallon, 59.

Weiss, J.-J., 85.

Welschinger, 30.

William I, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 18, 26, 35.

William II, 157, 158, 173.

Wilson, Daniel, 88, 94, 98.

Wimpffen, General de, 16.

Wissembourg, 12, 13.

Wörth, 13.

Wrobleski, 41.

Zola, Emile, 127, 128, 130, 135, 163.

Zurlinden, General, 130.

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