The Political Parties'Political party' is a term with two meanings. There is the modem sense of an
organized institution with formal membership and official hierarchy: a political
party, in this sense, in a democratic state, is an institution that links the political
leaders in a representative assembly with the local party members, the 'militants',
in the constituencies. On the other hand there is the older and vaguer sense in
which one talks, say, of the Whig and Tory parties in seventeenth- and eighteenth‐
century England. They had no institutional embodiment, but were the sections
into which the politically conscious elements of the nation divided. The transition
from the first to the second of these senses took place in the mid-nineteenth century in Britain. In France it was long delayed, and was still not completed by the
end of the Third Republic. Formed 'groups' existed in the Chamber and the
Senate, but before 1900 there were no party organizations in the country, unless
one counts the Socialist sects. There was a kaleidoscopic mass of local committees,
usually the organ of individual deputies, and not linked to each other in any
national institutions. Clemenceau's attempts between 1880 and 1885 to link up
various Radical committees had not been successful. Even after the appearance
of party organizations from 1900 on, the parties were weak, had little control
over the deputies and senators who belonged to them, and could not command
much loyalty on the part of the voters; nor did they cover the entire political
spectrum, as the classical Right remained without any party organization. Clemenceau's position between 1900 and 1920 illustrates the weakness of the party
organizations. He was the most prominent Radical politician in France, but he
was never the leader of the Parti-Républicain Radical et Radical-Socialiste, and
after 1909, not even a member of it.This appendix lists:
|(I) the main political tendencies in the period 1870-1900, and|
|(2) provides a list of the parties founded between 1900 and 1919, and a table
relating them to the Parliamentary groups, and to the generic names of the main
political tendencies: these generic names have been used in the text as far as
I POLITICAL TENDENCIES, 1870-1900
(a) The Left
|(i) Collectivist Socialists, divided into several sects, Reformists, Blanquists, Guesdists, Allemanistes, etc., but in total of little significance in this period.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Georges Clemenceau:A Political Biography.
Contributors: David Robin Watson - Author.
Publisher: D. McKay.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1976.
Page number: 417.
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