Democratic France: The Third Republic from Sedan to Vichy

Democratic France: The Third Republic from Sedan to Vichy

Democratic France: The Third Republic from Sedan to Vichy

Democratic France: The Third Republic from Sedan to Vichy

Excerpt

Usually a description of how a book was written is of interest only to the author, but in this case the reader may care to know that not only is this the first complete history of the Third French Republic, but that, since the draft of this was completed in June 1940, it may claim to provide an interpretation of the Third Republic that did not have to be changed because of the Fall of France and of the Republic. The text was changed somewhat, since the Fall of France made it seem a wider audience would be interested in the subject, but essentials have not been changed. Indeed, because the last scene of the Republic, at the Casino in Vichy, has fitted so neatly into the interpretation already given, the author has reason to hope that that interpretation may be worth putting before the general public.

The aim of this book is to show the average American what France was like during the seventy years she was a democracy. The means used is to try to see the French as they saw themselves, by looking at the workings of the collective mind of the Nation, the French Parliament. Each of the four parts of the book attempts to use that means to that end. Part I, the Foundation of the Republic, has as its purpose to show how France found herself a republic in fact as well as in name, when the National Assembly took over, after the collapse of the Second Empire and the end of the Republican "Dictatorship at Tours." Part II, the Constitutional Stage, has as its purpose to show how the temporary republic became permanent, and found methods for estab-

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