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Title: Confronting the revolution : French legitimists 1877-1893.
Author: Simpson, Martin Crispin.
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2001
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My subject is Legitimism in the Third Republic, focusing on the period 1877- 93, namely the period which witnessed both the stabilisation of the Republic and the decline and ultimate failure of Legitimism as a political movement. Legitimism can be read as a local phenomenon, which makes studying it in the local context an obvious approach. I have opted for a comparative study, selecting two contrasting departements in the Midi-Pyrenees, the Haute-Garonne and A veyron. I approach Legitimism as a political culture, examining the ideas and ideology that underpinned Legitimist activity. In particular I investigate the role of myths of the Revolution of 1789 within this political culture, given the context of the 'republican Republic' that took shape 1877-79 and drew explicitly on the Revolution to legitimate itself. I suggest that previous research on Legitimism has seriously underestimated the importance of these myths within the Legitimist movement. My study is centred on an examination of the struggles initiated by the advent of the 'republican Republic': the struggle for republican education, the struggle for republican politics and the struggle for republican symbolism. At all these levels the Legitimist conceptions of society and of the nature of France were challenged. Legitimist mobilisation in the face of these challenges revealed not only their social and political conceptions, but also raised questions about the political strength of Legitimism in the novel context of mass politics. I show the successes and the failures that ensued, the importance of the local dimension and discuss Legitimist engagement in broader reactionary politics, suggesting that standard studies of the French right in this period have neglected nondynastic clerical conservative politics. I conclude by offering a new perspective on the nature of Legitimism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Third Republic; French Revolution History