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Political problems faced by the Third Republic in France 1870-1900:

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Political problems faced by the Third Republic in France 1870-1900: The year 1871 signalled the end for the French 2nd Empire. The 2 September 1870, the Prussians had beaten, in Sedan, the French convincingly and had captured Napoleon III, France Emperor at the time. Two days later the third republic was proclaimed without violence. The new government continued resistance to the Germans who then laid siege to Paris. To defend the city, a National Guard was raised. Paris was besieged until January 1871. On 8 February 1871, a new National Assembly was elected and this one gave to Thiers the title of Chef du Pouvoir. This government was established at Versailles not in Paris because of revolt in the city. The Paris Commune was elected on 28 March with its seat at the Hotel de Ville but a civil war was fought between the Commune and the troops of the Versailles government. The Second Siege of Paris began. The Commune was suppressed by government troops led by Marshal McMahon.. In May the Nation Assembly approved the Treat of Frankfurt with Germany that ended the Franco-Prussian war but France lost Alsace and Lorraine. ...read more.


The next crisis to hit the Republic was the Panama Scandal. It's a corruption affair linked to the building of the Panama Canal. This crisis broke when members of the government were charged of having taken bribes from the Panama Canal Company to withhold from the public, news that the Company was in serious debts. This meant people in Paris continued to invest and as a result lost money. All but one of the accused went unpunished due to lack of evidence. The heat was taken away from the government somewhat by the fact that two Jews were also involved in the scandal and they received most of the coverage from the press and public. Georges Clemenceau was defeated in the 1893 election because of his association with Cornelius Herz one of the Jews involved in this crisis. This crisis obviously differs from the previous one in that the Republic was never really in threat of being overthrown. However, it did raise doubts in the public eye and meant that politicians were no longer trusted as much as they once were. ...read more.


January 14, 1898, a day after Zola's article was published in the newspaper L'Aurore, anti-Semitic protests begin throughout France, lasting for three days. The French-ruled Algerians began to persecute and kill Jews. Over a month later, Zola was put on trial and found guilty of libel, but escaped to England. These sorts of conflicts, the conflict between the right and left and anti-Semitism, arose from the Dreyfus Affair, thus causing it to be another problem for the French Third Republic. In it would seem fitting to directly quote Thiers by saying that "the Republic is the form of government that divides us least". All throughout the 3rd Republic this is proved to be true. No other party was able to organise themselves and co-ordinate their efforts to pose a serious threat to the Republic. People want strong leaders who are going to defend the Country and their beliefs, and the Republic proved themselves to be very strong. It gives a sense of security and stability rather than constant and disorienting social uprooting. The Republic didn't change anything dramatically. Rather they took pride in bringing about change slowly and surely. ...read more.

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