Chapter

Nationalism (1898–1900)

Kevin Passmore

in The Right in France from the Third Republic to Vichy

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199658206
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745034 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658206.003.0005
Nationalism (1898–1900)

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Whereas some historians have argued that the Dreyfus Affair caused ‘anachronistic’ religious issues to disrupt the ‘modern’ conservative party that had been emerging in the 1890s, I show that religious and social questions were always inseparable. Nationalism derived from the conviction that parliamentary conservatism was an inadequate barrier against socialism. Nationalists elaborated alternative means of containing socialism and feminism. The moderate Ligue de la Patrie française endeavoured to remake the anti-socialist coalition of the 1890s on a more authoritarian footing, and thus secure the leadership of the ‘competent’, that is the educated and wealthy. The radical leagues defined competence more in terms of adhesion to nationalist ideology. They also expressed regionalist hostility to centralization and secularization, conservative workers’ anti-capitalism, and Catholic women's activism. Moderate and radical leagues shared anti-parliamentarianism, but the latter's populist anti-republicanism, coupled with the intransigent Catholicism of Nationalist women, undermined the moderates’ efforts to rebuild the conservative coalition.

Keywords: nationalism; Antidreyfusism; antisemitism; Barrès; Maurras; Action Française; Déroulède; Ligue des Patriotes

Chapter.  13185 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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