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  • William Tyler

France: The Third Republic 1870 up to outbreak of war in 1914

The period falls into four parts. Firstly what can be described as the traumatic birth of the 3rd Republic in the aftermath of defeat in The Franco-Prussian War, the abdication of Napoleon III, and the Paris Commune.

The second part of the story lies in the following decade of the 1870s, when the Monarchist Right Wing finally failed politically, and left the field open for moderate Republicanism.

The third period, lying in the 1880s was a period of social reform, gradual improvement of living standards, and secularism.

The fourth and final period was the period known as La Belle Époque (although some date it back to the foundation of the 3rd Republic), or the Fin de Siècle Age. A period of an explosion of culture, gaiety, optimism, economic success, and colonial expansion; but it was all to end in the horror of The First World War, for which France was ill prepared, yet had been long aware of the growing German threat to European peace.

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