France 1870-1890
Domestic Policy
France 1914-1918
Domestic Policy
France 1890-1914
the Economy

France 1890-1914 : Domestic Policy

In 1894 it was discovered that French secret military documents had been handed over to German military officials. The investigation concentrated on ALFRED DREYFUS, an officer in the French army of Jewish-Alsatian descent. Although innocent, he was convicted and sent to Devil's Island (Fr. Guyana). When his innocence, and the guilt of Count Esterhazy, an Hungarian serving in the French army, were discovered, French military leadership with the knowledge of high political officials, in order to avoid a scandal, refused to release Dreyfus, judges acquitted Esterhazy of the crime he committed. When novelist EMILE ZOLA published the letter J'ACCUSE, not the Dreyfus case was rolled up, but Zola found himself accused, as well as the target of an anti-Semitic mob. Yet over time the scandal became public knowledge; many politicians and officers had to resign. In 1899, Alfred Dreyfus was pardoned.
The case was a major turning point in French history. In it, anti-Semitism was discredited, and with it Gobineau's race theory. The French justice system was reformed, the INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY established.

The SFIO (Unified Socialist Party) was founded in 1905, combining radical, socialist and communist groups.

The affair - the case of Alfred Dreyfus, from WFU
DOCUMENTS Textes sur l'affaire Dreyfus, from cliotexte
News from France, in "The Great Round World and What is Going on in it", Vol.2 No.5, February 1898, Vol.2 No.10, March 1898, Vol.2 No.11, March 1898, posted by Gutenberg Library Online
News from France, from New York Times Jan. 31st 1890, Jan. 31st 1890
REFERENCE Jean-Marie Mayeur and Madeleine Reberioux, The Third Republic from its Origins to the Great War 1871-1914, (Fr. Or. 1973, Eng. Trsl. 1984), Cambridge UP 1994, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 944.081 M468t
Peter McPhee, A Social History of France 1789-1914, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan (1992) 2004, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 306.0944 M478s
Article : France, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1913 pp.991-1005 (on events of 1912) [G]
Article : France, in : Statesman's Year Book 1895 pp.467-505, 1898 pp.465-504, 1901 pp.533-580, 1905 pp.589-637, 1910 pp.742-781 [G]
Article : France, in : Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events 1894 pp.283-293, 1902 pp.253-268 [G]
Article : France, in : International Year Book 1898 pp.320-334, 1899 pp.331-345, 1900 pp.356-366 [G]
Article : France, in : New International Year Book 1907 pp.280-284, 1908 pp.256-264, 1909 pp.254-264, 1913 pp.259-267 [G]
Frederic Augustin Ogg, The Governments of Europe (1913), posted by Gutenberg Library Online, Pt.3 pp.289-353 on France
News from France, from "The Great Round World and What is Going on in it" Vol.III No.16, April 1899, pp.572-575, Vol.17, May 1899, pp.602-604 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 2nd 2007

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