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Scandals in French History as Portrayed in Historic Encyclopedias


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Park, Hyun
Term Paper, AP European History Class, December 2009



Table of Contents


I. Introduction
II. The definition of 'Scandals'
III. Selection Criteria of the Encyclopedias
IV. Scandals portrayed in various encyclopedias
IV.1 Wilson Scandal - the Resignation of President Jules Grevy
IV.1.1 Jules Grevy from modern source
IV.1.2 Jules Grevy and Daniel Wilson portrayed in 19th century encyclopedias
IV.1.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
IV.1.2.2 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909
IV.1.2.3 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1885-1892
IV.1.2.4 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
IV.1.2.5 Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899
IV.1.3 Comparison of the encyclopedias
IV.2 Boulanger Affair
IV.2.1 Georges Ernest Boulanger and Boulangisme from modern source
IV.2.2 Boulanger Affair portrayed in 19th century encyclopedias
IV.2.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
IV.2.2.2 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909
IV.2.2.3 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
IV.2.2.4 Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930
IV.2.3 Comparison of the encyclopedias
IV.3 Panama Scandal
IV.3.1 Panama Scandal
IV.3.2 Panama Scandal
IV.3.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
IV.3.2.2 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909
IV.3.2.3 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
IV.3.2.4 Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930
IV.3.3 Comparison of the encyclopedias
IV.4 Dreyfus Affair
IV.4.1 Dreyfus Affair from modern source
IV.4.2 Dreyfus Affair portrayed in 19th century encyclopedias
IV.4.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
IV.4.2.2 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
IV.4.2.3 Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930
IV.4.2.4 Catholic Encyclopedia 1907-1914
IV.4.2.5 Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906
IV.4.3 Dreyfus Affair
V. Overall Judgment
V.1 The coverage and details of the encyclopedias ? the quantity of the information
V.2 The objectiveness and how unbiased it is ? the quality of the information
VI. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Introduction
            History is determined by the record of it. Without any record, the history is meaningless and it cannot even exist. However, it is impossible for a man-written record to be always perfect without any omission, exaggeration, or bias. Sometimes these mistakes are purely mistakes, and sometimes they are intended. This paper looked at the scandals in French history portrayed in many different 19th encyclopedias, finding those omissions, exaggerations, or biases, and speculating the reasons for the mistakes if they seemed to be intended. Four scandals were selected according to the following definition, from the period range of 1815 - 1914.

II. The Definition of 'Scandals'
            In this paper, ¡®scandals¡¯ mean major political scandals that are worth discussing. A political scandal is a scandal in which politicians or government officials are accused of engaging in various illegal, corrupt, or unethical practices. A political scandal can involve the breaking of the nation's laws or plotting to do so. (2.1)

III. Selection Criteria and Translation of the Encyclopedias
            Among the encyclopedias accessible on-line, the ones written after the latest scandal on my list were selected as the usable sources. In each scandal, every encyclopedia is searched with every possible key word. If no result came out, the encyclopedia was discarded on that section. When one article from two different editions of one encyclopedia had almost the same contents, the two versions were considered as the same article and were not separated when writing the paper. If the translated version of any relevant biography is on WHKMLA website, that translated biography was used as a source. Otherwise the translation of non-English text was done by Google Translation. Following are the encyclopedias selected as the usable sources :
      (1)     Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 Edition
      (2)     Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 1885-1892 Edition / 1902-1909 Edition
      (3)     Nordisk Familje-Bok, 1876-1899 Edition / 1904-1926 Edition
      (4)     Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon, 1915-1930 Edition
      (5)     Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907-1914 Edition
      (6)     Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906 Edition

IV. Scandals Portrayed in Various Encyclopedias

IV.1 Wilson Scandal - The Resignation of President Jules Grevy

IV.1.1 Jules Grevy from modern source
            Jules Grevy was a President of the French Third Republic and one of the leaders of the Opportunist Republicans faction. Foreseeing that Louis Bonaparte would be elected president of the Second Republic by the people in 1851, Grevy proposed to vest the chief authority in the president of the Council elected and removable by the Assembly, or in other words, to suppress the Presidency of the Republic. After Bonaparte's coup d'etat in 1852, this proposition gained Grevy a reputation for sagacity, and upon his return to public life in 1868 he took a prominent place in the republican party, ultimately leading to his second election as the president in 1885. However, shortly afterwards, his son-in-law David Wilson was got caught selling state honors (The order 'Legion d'Honneur'). Even though Grevy was not accused of personally participating in this scandal, because he was somewhat obstinate in refusing to realize that he was responsible indirectly for the use which his relative had made of the Elysee, he had to resign in the end (1887). (2.2)

IV.1.2 Jules Grevy and Daniel Wilson portrayed in 19th century encyclopedias

IV.1.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
            The Wilson scandal is explained briefly in the biographical article titled 'Francois Paul Jules Grevy'. The article lists most of the major doings of Jules Grevy, and then mentions that he unfortunately accepted second term as a president. The scandal broke out right after that, and this article explains the scandal itself briefly, mentioning only the traffic of Legion d'Honneur, of all the crimes of Daniel Wilson. Encyclopaedia Britannica states that Jules Grevy was not accused of being directly involved in the crime, but he was eventually forced to resign because he obstinately refused to admit his responsibility, implying that the ultimate reason for the resignation was because Grevy claimed to be irrelevant to the crime. (1.1)

IV.1.2.2 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909
            Meyers depicts Jules Grevy as a president who administered his office with great calmness and impartiality. However, according to Meyers, he retained as head of the State a genuine constitutional restraint, but showed greed and an aversion to Public later on, which deprived him of all the popularity. This contradicts with the explanation in Wikipedia article which accounts that except for Daniel Wilson's scandals Grevy would have left an unblemished reputation. Moreover, it can be biased to say "showed greed and an aversion to public". However, Meyers Konversations-Lexikons clearly explains how Daniel Wilson's crime finally led to Grevy's resignation, by revealing the fact that Grevy looked on his son-in-laws crime in the palace, doing nothing except just trying to persuade him to go get a private residence. (1.2)

IV.1.2.3 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1885-1892
            The 1885-1892 edition of this encyclopedia also covers the same scandal in the article titled 'Wilson', which is about the cause of the scandal himself, Daniel Wilson. The article is relatively not detailed and therefore some of the events in Daniel Wilson's chronology are omitted. The description of the affair is also brief. According to this article, 'in 1887 the large-scale sale of medals became publicly known, and Grevy, because he had tolerated the abuse and had not dismissed Wilson, had to resign at the end of 1887.' However, with only this statement, it is hard to know the Grevy's response to the affair and the exact connection between Wilson's mischief and the resignation. One strange aspect is that in the 1885-1892 Edition, this scandal is covered in the article 'Wilson', but is not mentioned at all in the article titled 'Grevy'. (1.3)

IV.1.2.4 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
            Basically, Nordisk Familjebok's portrayal is not much different from other sources, without detailed account regarding the scandal itself. This this encyclopedia mentioned how strong Grevy resisted before accepting the resignation, by saying "When finally compelled, the 80-year-old president, after stubborn resistance, gave up his dignity" However, Nordisk Familjebok does not clarify the relation of Daniel Wilson and Jules Grevy, and the connection between the crime and the resignation. (1.4)

IV.1.2.5 Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899
            The article 'Wilson' in the 1876-1899 Edition covers the Wilson scandal in relatively detailed manner. This article shows how the crime affected Jules Grevy, and how the resignation was carried out. Nordisk Familjebok portrays Grevy¡¯s response to the scandal quite negatively. In the last part, the article mentions Wilson's life afterwards by saying 'Wilson, now (which means 1893 when the article was written) again is a very rich man, since his wife after the death of her father (Sept. 9th 1891) inherited his fortune, estimated at 10 million Francs' This scandal is covered only in the article 'Wilson', but not ¡®Grevy¡¯, in this edition of Nordisk Familjebok as well as Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. (1.5)

IV.1.3 Comparison of the encyclopedias
            Since the circumstance of this scandal is relatively simple, all the encyclopedias have accounts of similar depths. The description of the scandal itself is relatively short and not detailed in all of the encyclopedias. Especially the reason why Wilson's crimes resulted in such huge consequence, the resignation, is not really clarified. Among them, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon is most successful in explaining the circumstances, explaining how Grevy on-looked Wilson's crime. Encyclopaedia Britannica is also successful in making the reasonable connection, by saying that Grevy finally had to resign because he kept refusing to admit his responsibility in leaving Wilson abuse the Elysee.
            One interesting difference found in Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899 Edition and Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1885-1892 Edition is that the scandal is mentioned in the article on Daniel Wilson, but not in the article on Jules Grevy himself. We can speculate that the article on Grevy was written earlier before his resignation, whereas the article on Daniel Wilson was written after the scandal. This might be because while Jules Grevy was a person of importance, in other words a person worth writing about, ever since he was active in high political positions, Daniel Wilson became a person worth discussing only after he affected the society with the scandal. The second possible reason can be because it was not long after Jules Grevy¡¯s resignation and he was still alive, the negative records on him was omitted. However, considering Grevy's significance in politics after his resignation, the first assumption is more likely.

IV.2 Boulanger Affair

IV.2.1 Georges Ernest Boulanger and Boulangisme from modern source
            Georges Ernest Jean-Marie Boulanger (April 29, 1837 ? September 30, 1891) was a French general and reactionary politician. Born in Rennes, Boulanger graduated from Saint-Cyr and entered regular service in the French Army in 1856. After fast promotion, he started to gain the popularity as the War Minister. He introduced many reforms for the benefit of the soldiers, and appealed to French desire for revenge against Imperial Germany. His popularity kept rising, and it started to astonish the government when he got 100,000 votes or the partial election in Seine, when he was not even a candidate. Apposing to the Republic, he started to gather support for his own movement, and 'Boulangisme' soon started to prevail the politics. 'Boulangistes' were found in every department, and nothing seemed to be able to stop his skyrocketing popularity. In January 1889, he was elected as a deputy for Paris. Eventually a coup d¡¯etat seemed probable and desirable among his supporters. Boulanger might have succeeded the coup d¡¯etat, but his procrastinated and lost the chance. Nonetheless he was a threat to the parliamentary Republic, and Ernest Constans, the Minister of the Interior, decided to investigate the matter, and attacked the Ligue des Patriotes using the law banning the activities of secret societies. Astonishingly, Boulanger, on April 1st when government issued a warrant, fled to Brussels and London. On April 4, the parliament stripped him of his immunity from prosecution and the French condemned him and other two for treason, sentencing all three to deportation and confinement. After his flight, support from him dwindled, and the Boulangists were defeated in the general elections of July 1889. Boulanger finally ended his own life in 1891. (2.3)

IV.2.2 Boulanger Affair portrayed in 19th century encyclopedias
IV.2.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
            Britannica¡¯s view of George Ernest Boulanger is rather negative, as shown in lines such as "The general's vanity lent itself to what was asked of it; after various symptoms of insubordination had shown themselves, he was deprived of his command in 1888." According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Boulanger was a popular hero whose abilities were highly overestimated by the people. This encyclopedia also speculates almost the same with Wikipedia article that "Had Boulanger immediately placed himself at the head of a revolt he might at this moment have affected the coup d'etat which the intriguers had worked for, and might not improbably have made himself master of France." This article is definitely not detailed in describing the affair, only stating that ¡®The government, with M. Constans as minister of the interior, had been quietly taking its measures for bringing a prosecution against him, and within two months a warrant was signed for his arrest." On what accusation he was condemned is not mentioned According to this article, after fleeing from Paris, he was tried and condemned in absentia for treason, and thereby the political danger came to an end. This article states that Boulangist echoes continued for a little while to reverberate at the polls during 1889 and 1890. 1.6)

IV.2.2.2 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909
            Meyers Konversations-Lexikon does not portray Boulanger as much a person in the spotlight as other encyclopedias. It mentions how he gained many followers, but does not mention 'Boulangisme' or any other evidence that shows his influence in that period. The biographical record is relatively brief, but the moments of and after the accusation is detailed, explaining how he fled from France to Brussel, and the revelation of the embezzlement. According to this article, Boulanger lost courage when he was accused. However, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon does not mention how he was almost close to coup d¡¯etat. (1.7)

IV.2.2.3 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
            Nordisk Familjebok describes Boulanger more negatively. Unlike Wikipedia or Britannica, this encyclopedia, in article , claims that Even though Boulanger's career as a politician began, it did not contribute to raise his reputation for the afterworld.
            While other encyclopedias admit at least the superficial popularity of him, Nordisk Familjebok does not admit it as much. Acconrding to Nordisk Familjebok, he achieved cheaply gained popularity by making himself continually a spokesperson for the revenge against Germany, and a more truthful fame for various reforms. He campaigned against the republic, and fearing coup d¡¯etat, 'the government decided to intervene, and the energetic minister of the interior, Constans, succeeded in finding a way to scare him, so that to the great amazement of his supporters he suddenly fled to Brussels (April 1st 1889).' In this part of the article, Nordisk Familjebok states that Constance found a 'way to scare him', but does not mention exactly what the accusation was. (1.8)

IV.2.2.4 Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930
            Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon¡¯s article ¡®Boulanger¡¯ contains a detailed and well-organized biography of Georges Ernest Boulanger. This encyclopedia maintains objective point of view, but still portrays minutely the deeds of Boulanger. According to Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon, Boulanger was put under indictment for conspiracy and attempt to lure soldiers to disobedience against the laws, and in the trial after Boulanger¡¯s flight, it was also stated that Boulanger as a minister was guilty for embezzlement of 1/4 million francs. The encyclopedia also mentioned that the election of him as a deputy was immediately declared to be invalid, and almost 50 Boulangists that were elected were also obliterated. (1.9)

IV.2.3 Comparison of the Encyclopedias
            Among the encyclopedias that has the record on Boulanger, Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon provides the most objective point of view, and also it has the most detailed description on the affair itself. Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon is the only encyclopedia that explains the exact charges put upon Boulanger.
            Encyclopaedia Britannica and Nordisk Familjebok is generally similar in describing the affair, but they contradict in the description of Boulanger¡¯s popularity. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, although there were some negative events after Boulanger became an active politician (before the actual scandal) his popularity was never to be dimmed. However, Nordisk Familjebok considers those events more heavily and sees the influence of his political activity on his reputation negatively.
            In the case of Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, the description of Boulanger¡¯s decline takes quite a big part in the article (more than one third), unlike other encyclopedias, where the influence of Boulanger such as Boulangisme is discussed heavily and the accusation is thought just as a natural consequence of Boulanger¡¯s rapid growth. We can find the reason from the fact that Meyers Konversations-Lexikon is a German encyclopedia. It can be explained that for that reason, Boulanger¡¯s desire for war against Germany is not mentioned very much, and his decline is described better than his deeds.
            In the time of Boulanger¡¯s prosperity, he was regarded as a possible dictator by many people. He was heading the Bonapartist party, trying to revive the military glory of France in past. So this could affect in the encyclopedias¡¯ point of view regarding Boulanger, because the purpose of encyclopedias was to provide people with freely written information and enlighten them, so the last thing they would want was an absolute king to restrict free press. Hence most of the encyclopedias are hostile towards Boulanger and passive in revealing his deeds, while Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon, written some years after Boulanger and his menace declined, is willingly taking objective point of view.

IV.3 Panama Scandal

IV.3.1 The Panama Scandal from modern source
            The Panama scandal (also known as the Panama Canal Scandal or Panama Affair) was a corruption affair that broke out in the French Third Republic linked to the building of the Panama Canal. Close to a billion Franc were lost when the government took bribes to keep quiet about the Panama Canal Company's financial troubles, which is regarded as the largest monetary corruption scandal of the 19th century.
            In 1892/1893, a large number of ministers (including Clemenceau) were accused by French nationalists of taking bribes from Ferdinand de Lesseps in 1888, for the permit of the lottery issue, leading to a corruption process against Lesseps and his son Charles. Meanwhile, 510 members of parliament - including six ministers - were accused of receiving bribery from the Panama Canal Company to withhold from the public information about the company's financial status. Lesseps, his son Charles, members of the management as well as the entrepreneur, Gustave Eiffel, were at first given high jail sentences, although the sentences were later annulled.
            In the bribery trial, the former city development minister, Bethaut, received five years imprisonment, three of which he had to serve. Baron Reinach - the financial adviser of the Canal Company and exerciser of the various bribes ? committed suicide. Other defendants fled to England. On 7th December 1894, Lesseps died. (2.5)

IV.3.2 Panama Scandal portrayed in 19th century encyclopedias

IV.3.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
            Encyclopaedia Britannica provides the most detailed explanation on the subject ¡®Ferdinand de Lesseps¡¯ and ¡®Panama Canal.¡¯ However, Encyclopaedia Britannica does not classify the corruption as ¡®Panama Scandal¡¯ or ¡®Panama Affair,¡¯ but just explain as a whole the process of building Panama Canal. It is rather hard to find the exact information in the lengthy text with detailed record of financial situation.
            The account on Ferdinand de Lesseps is rather subjective. According to Britannica, ¡°he was not a man to shirk responsibility, and notwithstanding that he had reached the age of 74, he undertook to carry out the Panama Canal project.¡± Encyclopaedia Britannica explains that Lesseps was sued because ¡°the adversaries of the French Republic, seeking for a scandal that would imperil the government, hoped to bring about the prosecution of the directors of the Panama Company,¡± implying that the corruption of Lesseps¡¯s company was exaggerated by the adversaries of the French Republic for political reasons. (1.10)

IV.3.2.2 Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909
            According to Meyers, the Boulangists republican party was accused of taking bribes from the Panama company (November 1892). 510 members of the parliament including 6 former ministers were accused of having accepted millions of francs. It also states that the Boulangist party led the accusation against Republican Party, as revenge. (1.11)
            About the head of the Panama Association, Ferdinand Vicomte de Lesseps, Meyers is explaining that he was sued in 1891 because the Panama Association declared bankruptcy from wasteful spending during construction. (1.12)
            Meyers Konversations-Lexikon is relatively detailed in explanations regarding Panama scandal. However, how the Panama Association resulted in declaring bankruptcy is only vaguely explained with obscure expressions, such as ¡®wasteful spending¡¯. When compared to Wikipedia article, which includes one independent section about the bankruptcy, Meyers focuses more on the result of the scandal, such as the trials.

IV.3.2.3 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
            Nordisk Familjebok has two major articles regarding Panama scandal, the one about Lesseps and the one about Panama Canal. The article on ¡®Panama Canal¡¯ contains detailed accounts of the economic situation of the Panama Association, whereas Meyers mainly depicts the politics and the trials. Nordisk Familjebok therefore has hardly any biased or exaggerated statements, but has numeric data and economical/ logical reason of the bankruptcy of Panama Association.
            Various articles on Lesseps from different encyclopedias do not vary much from each other and Nordisk Familjebok is not an exception, but it provides the exact reason why Lesseps drove the company to bankruptcy and was sued, which was not explained in Meyers, by mentioning ¡°he was accused for his management of the latter in 1892, because of certain dubious financial transactions.¡± (1.13)

IV.3.2.4 Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930
            In the article ¡®Panama-case¡¯, Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon clearly explained how the affair started and eventually resulted in political scandal, starting with the statement that this incident did not result only in a lawsuit against Lesseps, his son and their assistants, but also in a major political scandal. According to Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon, when politicians committed suicide or fled to England after the lawsuit, it was asserted that they released several millions of francs to buy politicians and journalists for helping Panama Canal promotion. Many of the defendants were soon acquitted, but some individuals such as Clemenceau indicated that they really had taken the bribe. This incident became an instrument in political struggles, led the change of the minister, and gave men like D?roul?de and G. E. Cavaignac opportunity to act with claims of political honesty. (1.14)

IV.3.3 Comparison of the encyclopedias
            Most of the encyclopedias were unclear about the original reason for the first accusation. Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon's explanation is most satisfactory, and Nordisk Familjebok also explains the circumstance. However, other encyclopedias are rather ambiguous in explaining exactly what happened and what the charge was. Especially in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Meyers Konversationslexikon, it is stated that the opponents of the Republic (or the Boulangists) led the accusations on the politicians as revenge, which raises a question in how much of the corruption was true and how much was fabricated (or exaggerated). Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon and Nordisk Familjebok state the content of the crime in a certain tone, but they have a shortcoming that the political controversy and background is not mentioned.
            Also, while Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon and Nordisk Familjebok maintain objective point of view, Encyclopaedia Britannica is quite subjective in describing Ferdinand de Lesseps. It considers Ferdinand de Lesseps¡¯ defect in the personality and his age as the reason for the company¡¯s failure.

IV.4 Dreyfus Affair

IV.4.1 Dreyfus Affair from modern source
            The Dreyfus affair (L¡¯affaire Dreyfus) was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent. Sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly having communicated French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was sent to the penal colony at Devil's Island in French Guiana and placed in solitary confinement.
            Two years later, in 1896, evidence came to light identifying a French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy as the real culprit. However, high-ranking military officials suppressed this new evidence and Esterhazy was unanimously acquitted after the second day of his trial in military court. Instead of being exonerated, Alfred Dreyfus was further accused by the Army on the basis of false documents fabricated by a French counter-intelligence officer, Hubert-Joseph Henry, seeking to re-confirm Dreyfus's conviction, and uncritically accepted by Henry's superiors.
            Word of the military court's framing of Alfred Dreyfus and of an attendant cover-up began to spread largely due to a vehement public protestation in a Paris newspaper by writer Emile Zola, in January 1898. The case had to be re-opened and Alfred Dreyfus was brought back from Guiana in 1899 to be tried again. The intense political and judicial scandal that ensued divided French society between those who supported Dreyfus (the Dreyfusards) and those who condemned him (the anti-Dreyfusards), such as Edouard Drumont (the director and publisher of the antisemitic newspaper La Libre Parole) and Hubert-Joseph Henry.
            Eventually, all the accusations against Alfred Dreyfus were demonstrated to be baseless. Dreyfus was exonerated and reinstated as a major in the French Army in 1906. He later served during the whole of World War I, ending his service with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. (2.6)

IV.4.2 Dreyfus Affair portrayed in 19th century encyclopedia

IV.4.2.1 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
            The article ¡®Alfred Dreyfus¡¯ of Encyclopaedia Britannica is relatively brief. It contains a briefly summarized biography of Dreyfus and then states that he was unknown to the general public before the arrest in October 1894. The article omits the subsequent proceedings of the case by saying that it is told in the article 'Anti-Semitism', but that article is nowhere to be found. The explanation of Emile Zola¡¯s writings is also omitted. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, when Dreyfus was brought to the retrial in 1899, because the anti-Semitic and military prejudice was still too strong, he was again found guilty. Then he was ¡®pardoned¡¯ 10 days later. Only in July 1906 it was decided that the conviction had been based on forgery and that Dreyfus was innocent. (1.15)

IV.4.2.2 Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926
            In the article of Nordisk Familjebok, only the events after 1898 are recorded in detail, so the process of Dreyfusards¡¯ revealing Dreyfus¡¯s innocence is not explained very well; for example, it does not mention Lieutenant Colonel Piquart¡¯s discovery in 1895 or suggested innocence of in 1896. Then, almost half of the article is devoted to describing the writings and the conviction of Emile Zola. The record after that is relatively detailed, and especially the account about the latest period of the scandal contains almost all the chronological events that can be found in other sources. (1.16)

IV.4.2.3 Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930
            Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon maintains an objective point of view, only listing the facts. It shows well-organized chronology, basically containing all the information that can be found in other encyclopedias, but in brief, summarized form. Nevertheless, this encyclopedia also shows resentment against the treatment to Dreyfus, by saying that Dreyfus was returned to Rennes after having been treated in the most revolting way, sent to Devil¡¯s Island. Since the encyclopedia is 1915-1930 Edition, it covers the events until the complete end of the affair. However, this encyclopedia omits the information about the final judgment in 1906. According to Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon, the political fanaticism which was raised by this affair and almost divided France in two was so strong that even the complete acquittal of Dreyfus was not able to conciliate the opponents. (1.17)

IV.4.2.4 Catholic Encyclopedia 1907-1914
            There is no seperate article regarding Dreyfus Affair in this encyclopedia, and the name ¡®Dreyfus¡¯ is only mentioned for a few times in other articles, once in the article ¡®History of the Jews¡¯, and once in ¡®Jesuit Apologetic¡¯. In the article ¡®History of the Jews¡¯, this name is mentioned only to explain that the Jews of the country and of Algiers has not been molested since the wave of Anti-Semitism, which culminated on the well-known case of Alfred Dreyfus. The article ¡®Jesuit Apologetic¡¯ shows objection against the accusations brought against the Jesuit society, many of which are ¡®too absurd to deserve mention¡¯. According to the article, ¡®Such for instance are the charges that the Society was responsible for the Franco-Prussian War, the affaire Dreyfus, the Panama scandal, the assassination of popes, princes, etc. - statements found in books and periodicals of some pretense.¡¯ (1.18)

IV.4.2.5 Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906
            Jewish Encyclopedia has the most detailed explanation about the Dreyfus Affair. It explains the origin, the process, and the result of the affair. Jewish Encyclopedia accounts exactly how the bordereau of the culprit arrived, and in what process the evidence against Dreyfus was established. What is exceptional of this encyclopedia is that it not only has detailed description of the affair itself, but also has many subjective explanations regarding the personages of the affair. For instance, there is a chapter in this article titled ¡®(Alfred Dreyfus¡¯s) Appearance and Character¡¯, which states that Dreyfus was recognized by his comrades to be brilliant and correct, even though he seemed rather haughty on the surface. According to this chapter, ¡®His patriotic sentiments were those of a soldier and an Alsatian emigrant - that is to say, fervent almost to Jingoism,¡¯ and ¡®only the most rabid anti-Semitism could have originated the idea that this Alsatian Jingo was a traitor.¡¯ This article points out the absurdity and hastiness of the misjudgment of the ¡®inexperienced and prejudiced¡¯ officers. It also stresses on how harsh the treatment for Dreyfus was, by mentioning that the inquirer, Major Du Paty de Clam, ordered to Madame Dreyfus ¡®under the most terrible threats¡¯ to keep the matter secret, and that Dreyfus¡¯s nights in prison ¡®passed like a frightful nightmare.¡¯ According to the article, the alleged crime of Dreyfus was claimed not only by the prejudiced officers, but also by the public, and the press magnified the matter. The article does not cover the events after 1902, and ends with stressing the significance of the affair that has shown people the danger of religious prejudice. (1.19)

IV.4.3 Comparison of the Encyclopedias
            Since Dreyfus Scandal was affected by racism, the records on it showed the most interesting features. The article ¡®The Dreyfus Affair¡¯ of Jewish Encyclopedia is the longest article ever dealt in this paper, and the most detailed one as well. It can add on anything that is insufficient in other encyclopedias. It not only has the accurate and detailed chronological record, but also provides detailed description on the story of each event. However, Jewish Encyclopedia is rather biased, or, in more proper words, emotional. Since it is written in Jewish point of view, it tries to elevate the Jews and criticize the discrimination. Therefore in this article, many subjective descriptions are added, all the good aspects of Dreyfus¡¯ personality are exaggerated, and the anti-Semitism at that time and the prejudice against the Jews are exaggerated.
            The article in Catholic Encyclopedia is also interesting, although there is no article on the scandal itself. In this encyclopedia, Dreyfus Scandal is mentioned to justify Catholic point of view, by denying that Catholicism influenced anti-Semitism and this Dreyfus Scandal. The information in Catholic Encyclopedia often strongly unbalanced, just as Jewish Encyclopedia, if not more than it, because it regards ¡®religion¡¯. Perhaps religion is the easiest way for people to be subject to bias, resulting in highly intentional omission or distortion in historical records. Therefore Catholic Encyclopedia also omitted detailed account on Dreyfus but just defends Jesuit society, concealing its relation with anti-Semitism.
            Rest of the encyclopedias has relatively ordinary articles on the scandal. Clearly purposeful omissions or biased statements are not found in other three encyclopedias. Among them, Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon is the most subjective and organized one. However, it omits the important record of the final judgment in 1906. Nordisk Familjebok is less organized and less detailed, but basically contains most of the important events. However, the article¡¯s emphasis on the role of Emile Zola is not understandable. Britannica lacks the most in the information. It describes only the superficial facts, but not what happened in the progress and what was truth.

V. Overall Judgment

V.1 The coverage and details of the encyclopedias - the quantity of the information

Encyclopaedia Britannica Meyers Konversations-Lexikon Nordisk Familjebok Salmonsens Konversations-Leksikon Catholic Encyclopedia Jewish Encyclopedia
Wilson Scandal Average Good Good - None None
Boulanger Affair Average Average Average Good None None
Panama Scandal Excellent Average Average Good None None
Dreyfus Affair Average - Average Good Poor Excellent

V.2 The objectiveness and how unbiased it is ? the quality of the information

Encyclopaedia Britannica Meyers Konversations-Lexikon Nordisk Familjebok Salmonsens Konversations-Leksikon Catholic Encyclopedia Jewish Encyclopedia
Wilson Scandal Average a little biased Average - - -
Boulanger Affair a little biased Average a little biased Good - -
Panama Scandal a little biased Average Average Good None None
Dreyfus Affair Average - Average Good Biased Biased

VI. Conclusion
            When comparing the encyclopedias, we can see that Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon is exceptional in having objective and well-organized, abundant article. There was no evident omission or exaggeration except for few mistakes. However, this is only a exceptional case, and other encyclopedias are all in similar circumstances. Mostly, the accuracy or objectivity of an encyclopedia depends on what article it is about.
            When the omission, exaggeration or other distortions happen, it can be intentional or not intentional. In many cases they are not intentional. In those cases, maybe because of lack of information, maybe because of the difference in period, or maybe just because of heedlessness, some information is missed out, without influencing the whole story, without influencing the reader. However, when the record is intentionally distorted, it usually influences the reader¡¯s perception. Major events or information are easily noticeable when omitted or distorted, so usually distortions are done with small information, or just with the tone of the writing. In the records of Scandals in French History, manipulating the tone is the most frequently used method. The extreme cases are Jewish Encyclopedia and Catholic Encyclopedia. Those two are originally made for the point of view of specific groups, so the statements are sided to the groups. Words are frequently emotional and judgmental, giving the reader intended impression about an event or a person. These are special cases, however, and usually the changes in tones are milder. The examples can be easily found in this paper.

VII. Notes
           
Primary Sources
(1.1)      Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 Francois Paul Jules Grevy
(1.2)      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 Grevy
(1.3)      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1885-1892 Wilson
(1.4)      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 Grevy
(1.5)      Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899 Wilson
(1.6)      Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911 George Ernest Boulanger
(1.7)      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 Boulanger
(1.8)      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 Boulanger
(1.9)      Salmonsens KonversationsLeksikon 1915-1930 Boulanger
(1.10)      Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 - Ferdinand de Lesseps / Panama Canal
(1.11)      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 Panama Progress
(1.12)      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 Lesseps
(1.13)      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 Lesseps
(1.14)      Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930 Panama-Sagen
(1.15)      Encyclopaedia Britannica Alfred Dreyfus
(1.16)      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 Dreyfusprocessen
(1.17)      Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930 Dreyfus, Alfred
(1.18)      Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907-1914 Jesuit Apologetic, History of the Jews
(1.19)      Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906 the Dreyfus Affair

Secondary Sources
(2.1)      Wikipedia Article Political Scandal
(2.2)      Wikipedia Article Jules Grevy
(2.3)      Wikipedia Article Georges Ernest Boulanger
(2.5)      Wikipedia Article Panama Scandals
(2.6)      Wikipedia Article Dreyfus Affair


Bibliography Primary Sources
1.      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 : , posted by Zeno, http://www.zeno.org/Meyers-1905/A/Gr%C3%A9vy?hl=grevy
2.      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1885-1892 : - Translated version from WHKMLA, http://www.zum.de/whkmla/biographies/france/wilsonenc19.html#me1885
3.      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 , posted by Project Runeberg, http://runeberg.org/nfbj/0168.html
4.      Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899 - Translated version from WHKMLA, http://www.zum.de/whkmla/biographies/france/wilsonenc19.html#nfb1876
5.      Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911 , posted by jrank, http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/GRA_GUI/GREVY_FRANCOIS_PAUL_JULES_1813_.html
6.      Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911 , posted by Classic Encyclopedia, http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/George_Ernest_Jean_Marie_Boulanger
7.      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 , posted by Zeno, http://www.zeno.org/Meyers-1905/A/Boulanger
8.      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 : Boulanger - Translated version from WHKMLA, http://www.zum.de/whkmla/biographies/france/boulangerenc19.html#nfb1904
9.      Salmonsens Konversations-Leksikon 1915-1930 , posted by Project Runeberg http://runeberg.org/salmonsen/2/3/0823.html
10.      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 , posted by Zeno, http://www.zeno.org/Meyers-1905/A/Panamaproze%C3%9F
11.      Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909 - Translated version from WHKMLA, http://www.zum.de/whkmla/biographies/france/lessepsenc19.html
12.      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 - Translated version from WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/biographies/france/lessepsenc19.html
13.      Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930 (Panama-Case), posted by Project Runeberg http://runeberg.org/salmonsen/2/18/0858.html
14.      Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911 - Ferdinand de Lesseps, posted by Classic Encyclopedia http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Ferdinand_de_Lesseps
15.      Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911, Panama Canal, posted by Classic Encyclopedia, http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Panama_Canal
16.      Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906 the Dreyfus Affair http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=482&letter=D&search=dreyfus
17.      Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907-1914 , posted by New Advent http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08386a.htm
18.      Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907-1914 , posted by New Advent, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08386a.htm
19.      Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon 1915-1930 , posted by Project Runeberg, http://runeberg.org/salmonsen/2/6/0446.html
20.      Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926 , posted by Project Runeberg http://runeberg.org/nfbf/0460.html
21.      Encyclopaedia Britannica , posted by jrank, http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/DIO_DRO/DREYFUS_ALFRED_1859_.html

Secondary Sources :
22.      Wikipedia Article Political Scandal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_scandal
23.      Wikipedia Article Jules Grevy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Grevy
24.      Wikipedia Article Georges Ernest Boulanger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Ernest_Boulanger
25.      Wikipedia Article Panama Scandals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_scandals
26.      Wikipedia Article Dreyfus Affair http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreyfus_Affair
27.      Wikipedia Article List of French Political Scandals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_political_scandals
28.      BBC Edited Guide Entry http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A658000


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