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Catholicism, Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century France$
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Kay Chadwick

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239741

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312779

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Catholicism and Nationalism The Fédération républicaine, 1927–391

Catholicism and Nationalism The Fédération républicaine, 1927–391

(p.47) 3 Catholicism and Nationalism The Fédération républicaine, 1927–391
Catholicism, Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century France

Kevin Passmore

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the historical importance of the Fédération républicaine, the largest party of the parliamentary Right in twentieth-century France, and its dominant nationalist wing. Founded in 1903 by the Right wing of the moderate republicans, the Fédération républicaine had subsequently become increasingly clerical and nationalist. Under the leadership of Louis Marin, known for his extreme nationalism, the party grew in popularity due to the re-making of Catholicism in combination with broader social and political developments. The party called for the union and mobilisation of all Catholics around a programme of social conservatism within a Christian society, and used a populist discourse – supported by Catholic women and workers – to counteract the ‘danger’ posed by socialist and feminist movements. The chapter suggests that the Fédération républicaine's populism was repeatedly eclipsed by its basic distrust of the masses. It considers the decline of the party and the persistence of Catholic nationalism.

Keywords:   nationalism, Fédération républicaine, Right, France, Louis Marin, Catholicism, Catholics, social conservatism, feminist movements, populism

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