Chapter

The Bloc National (1919–1924)

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/9780199658206.003.0009
The Bloc National (1919–1924)

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In 1919, the conservatives won their first election victory since the establishment of the Republic. The transfer of the culture of war from the German to the Bolshevik enemy reinforced unity, while opposition to the excesses of wartime ‘organization’ provoked convergence around a liberal version of the organizational project. Thus, a parliamentary coalition captured the brew of anti-communism, nationalism, and expectation of change that led to Fascism in Italy. By 1923, most of the Bloc's partisans believed that it had failed, and a gulf opened between Right and Centre. Some centrists turned to the Left, which they saw both as a guarantor of secularism and as the vehicle for a revived organizational project. The Right turned to orthodox liberalism or to a regionalist, corporatist organizationalism. As disenchantment with the Bloc grew, activists began to revive party organizations as a means to ensure that deputies did not betray them again, and some turned to the extreme right. The hegemony of elitist parliamentary conservatism began to fracture.

Keywords: Poincaré; Alliance Démocratique; ALP; Fédération Républicaine; organization; Union Sacrée; Clemenceau; Millerand

Chapter.  14124 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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