Chapter

Party Formation (1898–1906)

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/9780199658206.003.0006
Party Formation (1898–1906)

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The Dreyfus Affair split the moderate republicans. Drefusards formed the Alliance démocratique, which until 1906 was allied to the Left. The Antidreyfusards organized in the Fédération républicaine, which was liberal, anti-socialist, and increasingly nationalist and pro-Catholic. To the Fédération's right was formed the ALP, which grouped partisans of the Ralliement.Party formation should be understood in the light of ongoing religious conflict, the principles of collective psychology, and the elite–mass distinction. The Alliance and Fédération endeavoured to preserve elite leadership through parties that used simple ideas to mobilize the electorate, while allowing liberty of judgement to deputies in parliament. The ALP was a mass party that incorporated a host of Social Catholic movements, from women's groups to agricultural cooperatives. For a combination of social and religious reasons, many in the ALP opposed their leaders’ desire for compromise with moderates. Thus, class and religious issues divided the opposition.

Keywords: progressism; ALP; Alliance Démocratique; Fédération Républicaine; Catholicism; Antisdreyfusism; antisemitism; political party

Chapter.  11876 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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