Liberalism and Social Reform: Industrial Growth and Progressiste Politics in France, 1880-1914

By David M. Gordon | Go to book overview

other opponents were a businessman with Opportunist and some Radical support, who chided Guesde for taking campaign contributions from German Social Democrats, and an obscure independent Socialist who favored "une république populaire." Guesde won an absolute majority over all his rivals, with 6,879 votes, or 50.6 percent of those cast on the first ballot. 72

With their leader in the Chamber, the Socialists prepared to renew their mandate in the 1896 municipal elections. They now shed their Radical allies. Helped by an expanded electorate, they got almost 54 percent of the vote on the first ballot and won majorities in eleven of Roubaix's seventeen electoral districts. Even a coalition of Opportunists, Conservatives, and Radicals, which claimed to defend property rights, was unable to prevail against them and got only 46 percent of the vote. 73 A new Socialist age indeed seemed to be dawning in the north.

Only one small cloud remained on the horizon. Eugène Motte, Roubaix's richest industrialist, had begun to build a political career with a moderate republican program. In 1895 he defeated Henri Carrette in the Conseil général for Roubaix-Nord and Wattrelos. The Guesdist leadership was probably not much disquieted. Roubaix-Nord, with its large rural population, was notoriously moderate in its opinions, and Wattrelos had long been a lost cause. 74 Motte's success mattered little. The industrial heart of Roubaix seemed safely (and increasingly) devoted to Socialism and the Parti ouvrier. Two years later, the Socialist leaders would discover how great their danger was.


NOTES
1.
Claude Willard, Le Mouvement socialiste en France, 1893-1905: Les guesdistes ( Paris, 1965), p. 71; and Yves-Marie Hilaire, Louis Trenard, Pierre Deyon , Félix-Paul Codaccioni , Pierre Bruyelle, and Jacques Prouvost, Histoire de Roubaix (Dunkerque, 1984), p. 196.
2.
Jules-Mathieu Bazile, who was popularly known as Jules Guesde, was born in Paris in 1845. After being elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1893, he distinguished himself as an orator, especially in his denunciations, in February 1894, of the Méline tariff and protectionism. After his defeat in 1898, he remained a major force within the Socialist party. Although present at the 1896 St. Mandé banquet, which united all Socialist leaders, including Jean Jaurès, Jean Allemane, and Edouard Vaillant, he was usually a divisive force, and insisted on the preservation of Marxist doctrine over practical political considerations. He thus led the attack on Millerand at the 1899 Socialist meeting at Nantes after the latter had accepted a ministry in the Waldeck-Rousseau government. Long an opponent of Jaurès on the best way of establishing Socialism in France, he won a great victory in 1904, at the International Socialist Congress at Amsterdam, when "ministerialism" was condemned and a united French Socialist party, the SFIO, was created on the principle of no cooperation with the bourgeoisie. However, despite this apparent vindication within the international Socialist community, the practical compromising of Jaurès soon came to dominate party politics. Guesde was once again elected at Roubaix in 1906, though only by a very slim majority (11,245 votes to 11,018

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Liberalism and Social Reform: Industrial Growth and Progressiste Politics in France, 1880-1914
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 27
  • 1 - Industrial Growth and Socialist Success at Roubaix 31
  • Notes 50
  • 2 - Eugène Motte and the Bourgeois Political Resurgence 55
  • Notes 78
  • 3 - Georges Claudinon and the Industrial Revival at Le Chambon-Feugerolles 83
  • Notes 109
  • 4 - Industrial Crisis and Progressiste Success at Rive-De-Gier 115
  • Notes 135
  • 5 - François De Wendel and Progressiste Politics in Industrial Lorraine 141
  • Notes 164
  • Conclusion 171
  • Notes 191
  • Appendix 195
  • Bibliography 209
  • Index 217
  • About the Author 227
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