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

By David M. Gordon | Go to book overview

economic revolutionaries, the partisans of a dynamic capitalism that did more than any other factor to destroy traditional manufacturing. Their assault on the placid routines of merchant manufacturers and artisan laborers made them the true economic radicals of the prewar period. While many of those who were fearful of change looked to political extremists of all stripes to save them from the anarchy of the capitalist marketplace, these Progressistes remained devoted to the free market and the parliamentary politics of the Third Republic. Their confidence in the ability of industry to provide a rising standard of living for all classes made them friends of democracy. A belief in the ability of French industry to compete in the international markets made at least Motte and Wendel supporters of free trade. Their own large firms helped keep French industry modern and competitive, while the energy and confidence that they brought to the problems of the economy, combined with the innovative techniques and new business structures that they helped introduce, would serve France well as a model for solving the problems of a modern industrial society.


NOTES
1.
Claude Willard, Le Mouvement socialiste en France, 1893-1905: les guesdistes ( Paris, 1965), p. 763.
2.
As Adam Przeworski observed, neither "ideological domination nor repression is sufficient to account for the manner in which workers organize and act under capitalism. The working class has been neither a perpetual dupe nor a passive victim"; rather, it "has been an active force in transforming capitalism. We will never understand the resilience of capitalism unless we seek the explanation in the interests and in the actions of workers themselves." See Adam Przeworski, Capitalism and Social Democracy: Studies in Marxism and Social Theory ( Cambridge, 1985), p. 3.
3.
The reasons why workers in democratic capitalism countries "continue to be organized by multi-class-oriented, economically reformist electoral parties ----- 'social democratic' parties, whether or not they wear the label," is the subject of Adam Przeworski's Capitalism and Social Democracy. Przeworski offers a detailed analysis of two themes: why "in the process of electoral competition Socialist parties are forced to undermine the organization of workers as a class," and why "compromises over economic issues between workers and capitalists, are possible under capitalism and at times preferred by workers over more radical strategies." See Ibid., pp. 3-4.
4.
Judy Reardon, "Belgian Workers in Roubaix, France, in the Nineteenth Century," Ph.D. dissertation ( University of Maryland, 1977), p. 280.
5.
Jean W. Scott, "Mayors Versus Police Chiefs: Socialist Municipalities Confront the French State," in John Merriman, ed., French Cities in the Nineteenth Century ( London, 1982), p. 242.
6.
Jean-Marie Mayeur and Madeleine Rebérioux, The Cambridge History of Modern France: The Third Republic from Its Origins to the Great War, 1871-1914 ( Cambridge, 1975), p. 137; Michelle Perrot and Annie Kriegel, Le Socialisme français et le pouvoir ( Paris, 1966), p. 56.
7.
Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, La France et les français, 1900-1914 ( Paris, 1972), p. 229;

-191-

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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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