Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography

By David Robin Watson | Go to book overview

5

BOULANGISM

I CLEMENCEAU HOPES FOR OFFICE, 1885-1887

In the Parliament of 1881-5 Clemenceau had represented intransigent opposition. As the Opportunists had a clear majority over both Radicals and Right combined, he had little chance of being brought into the government. His position was very different in the Parliament of 1885-9. Although the elections had proved a bitter disappointment, he seemed to have a strong tactical position in that the Opportunists no longer had a majority over all other groups. They had to form coalitions in which the Radicals could expect to wield considerable influence. Clemenceau could be expected to be the major beneficiary of this situation, and he was able to exercise much influence in these years, although he was not himself asked to join a cabinet. There is a noticeable difference in his political activities after 1885. Between 1881 and 1885 Clemenceau won his reputation as an orator with no fewer than twenty-seven major speeches in the Chamber, as well as many speeches to public meetings. His 'comptes-rendus du mandat' to his Montmartre electors at the Cirque Fernando were major events, and he made speaking tours through the provinces. He was especially active in the months immediately before the 1885 elections, but he addressed public meetings in some of the great provincial cities on several other occasions. After 1885 all this ceased: in the new Parliament his interventions were few and brief, and outside speeches ceased altogether. He was now seeking a place in the government. No longer was he the most extreme of Radical politicians. He saw the importance in politics of commanding the middle ground. Systematic opposition for its own sake was never part of Clemenceau's scheme of things. He was in politics to achieve practical results, not for the sake of sterile assertions of principle.

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Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Georges Clemenceau - A Political Biography *
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations *
  • Acknowledgements 11
  • Part One - Childhood, Youth and the Commune I84i-1871 *
  • 1 - Childhood and Youth 15
  • 2 - The Commune 34
  • Part Two - The Radical Attack I87i-1889 *
  • 3 - Challenger from the Left 59
  • 4 - Clemenceau versus Ferry 81
  • 5 - Boulangism 101
  • Part Three - Defeat and Resurgence I889-1906 *
  • 6 - Panama 117
  • 7 - The Dreyfus Affair 138
  • Part Four - The First Ministry I906-1909 *
  • 8 - Minister of the Interior 167
  • 9 - Clemenceau as Premier 183
  • 10 - Clemenceau as Strike-Breaker 200
  • 11 - Foreign Policy 215
  • Part Five - Opposition I909-1917 *
  • 12 - In Opposition before the War 237
  • 13 - Opposition in Wartime 249
  • Part Six - Pere-La-Victoire I9i7-1918 *
  • 14 - Second Ministry: Domestic Politics 275
  • 15 - Military Strategy 293
  • 16 - Russian Intervention and Victory 315
  • Part Seven - The Peace Settlement and after I9i8-1929 *
  • 17 - The Versailles Treaty 331
  • 18 - The Middle East and Russia 366
  • 19 - Domestic Politics and Last Years 380
  • Part Eight - Conclusion *
  • 20 - Conclusion 397
  • Appendices Sources and Bibliography Index *
  • Appendix I 411
  • Appendix II 414
  • Appendix III 416
  • Appendix IV 417
  • Appendix V 424
  • Appendix VI 428
  • Appendix VII 434
  • Sources and Bibliography 438
  • Index 455
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