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William D. Irvine

Scholars of Third Republic France have long assumed that the political spectrum was divided into a readily identifiable Right and Left, adhering to mutually exclusive positions. But this comfortable political taxonomy could, at times, to violence to political reality. The Right could at some periods in the history of the Third Republic be aggressively nationalistic; at other times it could be positively irenic. The Left was often pacifist, but not always and there were moments when it, or some fraction of it, could be quite bellicose. Neither anti-Semitism nor racism in general were the exclusive province of the Right. On critical issues, the Left could be more refractory to women's rights than was the Right. French fascism claimed to be neither right nor left and at least some French fascist movements could list as many former members of the Left among its leaders as former members of the Right.

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Robert O. Paxton

Gérard Noiriel, Les Origines républicaines de Vichy (Paris: Hachette Littératures, 1999).

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Whitney Walton

blend of femininity, accomplishment, and independence. Along with other recent works cited below, it offers another example of the varied ways that women in Third Republic France engaged with public debates about women and gender. Barine's contradictory

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“Algeria for the Algerians”

Public Education and Settler Identity in the Early Third Republic

Kyle Francis

On 10 May 1881, Ferdinand-Philippe Belin, France’s superintendent of public education in Algeria, wrote to the minister of public instruction and future prime minister of the Third Republic, Jules Ferry, to express his anxiety over an issue that

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The Color of French Wine

Southern Wine Producers Respond to Competition from the Algerian Wine Industry in the Early Third Republic

Elizabeth Heath

directed their attention to foreign competitors—namely Spanish and Italian growers—who now constituted a direct threat to the recovery of the southern wine industry. 26 In the early 1890s, French winemakers pushed the Third Republic to aid the recuperating

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Elizabeth C. Macknight

separation of church and state. 2 Although politically turbulent, the Third Republic seemed destined to last. Within this context, French Catholics did not espouse the premise that nothing could be done. Pope Leo XIII’s directive for ralliement to the

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Civilization versus Barbarism

The Franco-Prussian War in French History Textbooks, 1875–1895

Jörg Lehmann

In French history textbooks published after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871, the presentation of the war and its outcome frequently include the myth of France's revanche and depictions of the Prussian enemy as barbarians. Other textbooks presented a narrative of progress in which the French Third Republic is shown as the endpoint of a process of advancing civilization. While the idea of a French revanche can be regarded as a founding myth of the Third Republic, the narrative of progress can be seen as an echo of this myth, cleansed of the concept of the enemy as barbarian, which constitutes a national master narrative.

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James E. Genova, Daniel G. Cohen, and John Ambler

James E. Genova Expériences coloniales: La Nouvelle-Calédonie (1853-1920) by Isabelle Merle

Daniel G. Cohen Xavier Vallat: Du nationalisme chrétien à l’antisémitisme d’état, 1891-1972 by Laurent Joly

John Ambler Schools and Work: Technical and Vocational Education in France Since the Third Republic by Charles R. Day

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"La Dérive Bergery/The Bergery Drift"

Gaston Bergery and the Politics of Late Third Republic France and the Early Vichy State

Diane N. Labrosse

In July 1940, Gaston Bergery composed the founding document of the Vichy State, the Bergery Declaration, which called for a "renaissance" of France, domestically and in terms of its relations with the New European Order. It also offered one of the first clinical autopsies of the French Third Republic. Bergery's status vis-à-vis the end of the Third Republic is important in two interrelated respects. First, his political career is indicative of the taxonomical problems of French politics between the two World Wars and during the early Vichy regime. Second, his seminal role in the creation of the Pétainist state speaks to the French political upheaval of the late 1930s, when party lines and ideological adhesions were broken and re-formed in an unpredictable manner. His principal historical importance is based upon his status as one of the most notable representatives of the cohort of left wing pacifist and anti-communist politicians who rallied to Vichy.

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Beyond Left and Right

New Perspectives on the Politics of the Third Republic

Linda E. Mitchell

The articles in this issue all reflect on the various ways in which political trends during the period of the Third Republic have been categorized by both historians of the period and the political actors themselves. Ranging in topic from political trends in the French military in the years after the Dreyfus Affair to the participation of women in the politics of the extreme Right, these pieces focus especially on the need to transcend categories of Left and Right in order to discuss more accurately the ways in which the political party system developed, in particular during the years between the world wars.