Republic, Third

   The Third Republic was the government of France from september 4, 1870, to July 11, 1940, succeeding the second empire after the defeat at Sedan in the franco-prussian war. An early act of the Third Republic, under adolphe Thiers, was the suppression of the Paris commune (May 1871). The republic would also experience in its early years attempts of Bonapartist and monarchist takeovers (1886), the panama affair (1889), the Dreyfus affair (see dreyfus, alfred) (1896), and World War I. Nonetheless, it was also a period marked by economic, scientific, and technological progress. in 1905, the Socialist Party (SFIO) joined the government, and the separation of church and state was achieved. After bringing the nation through World War I, the Third Republic saw, during the 1920s and 1930s, a period both of political unrest and of the formation of political coalitions (Bloc national, 1919; cartel des gauches, 1924; front populaire, 1936), the rise of right-wing organizations such as the action française, and a financial scandal (stavisky affair). There were also important gains in terms of labor rights and social welfare during the 1930s. In foreign policy, the Third Republic, while extending the colonial empire, had achieved alliances with Great Britain and Russia in the pre-World War I period (Entente Cordiale), which brought France out of diplomatic isolation and, in the 1930s, sought to increase national defense in the face of the rising threat from Nazi Germany. Soon defeated at the beginning of the World War II, the Third Republic ended when the National Assembly gave power to the vichy regime (1940). The careers of many important French political leaders, including jean jaurès, jules ferry, georges clemenceau, raymond poincaré, léon blum, edouard daladier, and other significant figures were spent during the years of this government.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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