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A History of the Third French Republic   By: (1869-1957)

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A HISTORY OF THE THIRD FRENCH REPUBLIC

BY

C. H. C. WRIGHT

Professor of the French Language and Literature in Harvard University

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

[Illustration]

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY CHARLES H. C. WRIGHT

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published May 1916

TO

MY WIFE

CONTENTS

I. THE ANTECEDENTS OF THE FRANCO PRUSSIAN WAR. 1

II. THE FRANCO PRUSSIAN WAR THE GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE (SEPTEMBER, 1870, TO FEBRUARY, 1871). 11

III. THE ADMINISTRATION OF ADOLPHE THIERS (FEBRUARY, 1871, TO MAY, 1873). 31

IV. THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE MARÉCHAL DE MAC MAHON (MAY, 1873, TO JANUARY, 1879). 50

V. THE ADMINISTRATION OF JULES GRÉVY (JANUARY, 1879, TO DECEMBER, 1887). 75

VI. THE ADMINISTRATION OF SADI CARNOT (DECEMBER, 1887, TO JUNE, 1894). 96

VII. THE ADMINISTRATIONS OF JEAN CASIMIR PERIER (JUNE, 1894, TO JANUARY, 1895) AND OF FÉLIX FAURE (JANUARY, 1895, TO FEBRUARY, 1899). 115

VIII. THE ADMINISTRATION OF EMILE LOUBET (FEBRUARY, 1899, TO FEBRUARY, 1906). 134

IX. THE ADMINISTRATION OF ARMAND FALLIÈRES (FEBRUARY, 1906, TO FEBRUARY, 1913). 159

X. THE ADMINISTRATION OF RAYMOND POINCARÉ (FEBRUARY, 1913 ). 176

APPENDIX: PRESIDING OFFICERS OF FRENCH CABINETS. 187

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 193

INDEX. 199

ILLUSTRATIONS

RAYMOND POINCARÉ Frontispiece

ADOLPHE THIERS 32

EDME PATRICE MAURICE DE MAC MAHON 50

LÉON GAMBETTA 70

JULES FERRY 78

SADI CARNOT 96

MARIE GEORGES PICQUART 124

RENÉ WALDECK ROUSSEAU 136

[Illustration: Raymond Poincaré]

A HISTORY OF THE THIRD FRENCH REPUBLIC

CHAPTER I

THE ANTECEDENTS OF THE FRANCO PRUSSIAN WAR

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... Continue reading book >>




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