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Full text of "Will the French Republic live again?"

UNIVERSITY 6t RICHMOND 

-^lll the 
FRENCH 

REPUBLIC 

live again 



AUQ 2 2 





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o<t 



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f^ 



Ml DEPARTMEN- 

EDUCATION MANUAL 

EM40 

^' G 1 ROUNDTABLE 
SERIES 




COPVHIGKT IW4 

BY THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 



This pjiraphlct i^ ont of a *^crk-s mndc available by th<: War Depart- 
ment under the scries title C. L Rnundfah!*:. As ihc gener^il ihle 
mdicatcs, Cr I- RQifudiabU p^mphlcb provide material which ori- 
entation ilild cducalLon officers may use in conducting- group dh- 
CuEsions or forums an part of an off-duty education pr(»grani. 

T^c content of each pamphlet has bcun approved by the HLstoncnl 
Service Boj^rd of the American Hi?^T.onc;L! Assoc! iit ion. 

Specific siiggestion.^ f^^r the discussion or forurn leader ^'ho pl^ns iv 
use ihh pamphlet will be found ati pn^^-r 41. 



WAR DEPARTMENT 

Washingioii 25. D, C, 2i^ .fun^' 19^4- 

EM 40, G. L Roundiablc: WiU tkr French Repuhlic Lii-r A^ain? 
is publi>^<;<j for the information of M conctrncd, 
[A.G. :^00.7 {26 Jiant'44).] 

BY ORDER OF TllK SKCRETARY OF WAR: 

G. C. MARSHALL, 

Chief of Staff. 

OFFICIAL: 

j. A, ULIO, 

Major Onj'-r^rl, 

The' AdfUfariJ Orni^ral. 

DISTRIBUTION: X 

{Additions! copicj^ should h\- reqiUMtiimrd frrm USAFI, Midi'^on. 
WLsconJ^ia, or lUMn^^t Ovei"sr:i« Br.'tneh.) 



VXKGINIA 



WILL THE 

FRENCH REPUBLIC 

LIVE AGAIN 

? 



DREAM OF SECURITY 

The Republic of France came out of the first World War the 
strongesi military power in Europe. It took a leading part in the 
League of Nations. It pla)fed (hat part so as to support strict 
enforcement of the peace terms- It built a framework of alliances 
with the small n<^wly created nation:* along Germany's eastern bor- 
der to guard against the old-time aggressor. It boasted the second 
largest colonial empire in the world and the world^s fourth largest 
navy- 

Ahovc ;i[l, with Germany disarmed, the Inumph^nt French army 
was wiih*>ut a rival in Europe. 

Twenty years Jatcr France was still counted among the great 
powers of the world. To be sure, the League of Nations had fallen 
apart and s^me of Frances's central European allim. were showing 
signs of going over to the Axis. But the people of France — an-d of 
the other Western democracies — found eom.fort in the belief that the 
French army was equal or superior to Hitler's new and untried 
Reichszvehr. And *hey Ituew that the French navy was second only 
(o that of Great Britain in European waters- Furthermore^ the 
Maginot Line of underground fortifications had been completed along 
the section of frontier bordering Germany- For protection along the 
frontier from Sedan to the sea, France depended mosdy on a line of 
strong Belgian forts to delay a new German assault. 

Behind these defenses the French felt reasonably sure that they 
could mobilize their army without interference from a blitzkrieg 
attack such as German and Italian militarists were predicting". They 
were well aware dia^t France was jn a most espoi*d position^ but 
they fimaly believed that the French army, the fortifications, and 
the alliances assured ihem the power to stand off any attack upon 
their country. 

I 



NIGHTMARE OF DEFEAT 

The appearance of strcnji^h and security was deceiving^ however. 
By June IMO^ Frflnce, Bhom of allies, empire, and wealth, was at 
\hc mercy of the Na^i invader, U?^ fortifications outflanked, and it^ 
proud military machine crushed. 

The disaster wa^ ^o suddtn and ^o complete that ii kerned more 
like a nightmare than the real thing. Without the gHiii evidence 
oT a victoriour^ German army "itraininfr to cross the Channel a.nd 
devt>ur England to<^ the w^rld would have found it h:ird !<> belipve 
diat France — or iiny preat nation — could fall so quickly from the 
tftp rank of ^reat powL'rs into the depths of confusion, desjiair, and 
cnslavertifnl to a foreign master. Many Frenchm*!n, stunned by the 
swift collapse of their homrland^ actually could not understand 
what had happened or how it came aboiit. 



THE WORLD'S AWAKENING 

But the world was not long in learning what it meant to have 
FraT*<^e broken. With NaKi arnii<!s holding the wesloni coasts of 
Europe from the Bay of Bi-^cay all the way to the northern tip of 
Norway, ihe last trace of a global balanci? of iniliiary power dh- 
appeanrd. World domination by the Axis became a threatening 
posfiibiJity, and th-e war ceased tn br a Knropran ^^tru^le- It became 
a new world war, 

Spurred by hope of sharing in tlie spoils of a quick and easy 
victory, Mussolini sent his armies into the conflict, stabbing France 
in the back, overrunnins; British Soniiililand, and threatening Egypt, 
The Middle :snd Near East barely avoided the strug^j^le that en- 
gulfed them in 1941 and iy42- 

In the- F^X East as W?1I, J^pan moved to lake advantage of the 
changed situation. In assuming *'protef^tion" of the relatively weak 
and helpless Freneb eolonv of Indn-Chin^j thr JapMni'^e required 



the bases they lattr used to launch attack.^ on Manila and Singa- 
pore. 

The United States woke up to the fact ihflt ils kind of world 
was going to pieces, and its way of life was no longer secure behind 
the AtlantiCr Great stores of guns and amm«nition, left over from 
1918, were rushed across the ocean to rCequip the Allied tr<»p?i 
whose w^^apon'i had been abandoned t*n the beach at Dunkirk. 
Peacetime coiij;eription of men for the Am^y was bcfrun for the first 
time in the his;tory of the United States^ and construction of 'a ^reat 
new N^vy was started. 

With France shattered, the European shieJd agains-t German ex- 
pansion was gone. The world had lo readjust itself to the fact chat 
Europe had a new master, powerfully armed and ruthless in using 
force to carry out his aggressive ambitions. 

CRACKS IN THE ARMOR 

The collapse cif France let loose n A^'mkI of lurid stories about 
''ma^jter spies," '^treacherous generals," and 'Villainous politicians." 
'llicir fifth-column tactics were supposed to have aided ihe enemy 
from within, and it almost seemed fr<>m these talcs that nothing 
else figured in the downfall but the foul play of such people and 
the incompetence of government officials. Fifth eolumnist.^ played 
a part, no doubtj in spreading confusion in France; and there was 
plenty <>f incompetence in high places. But later attempts to explain 
the defeat have hronrrht out the importance of a widrr range of 
factors. 

In all the discussion that has taken place about ilie French col- 
lapEGj a principal cause has sometimes been overlooked because it 
h so obvious- The dowTifall of France was caused in very large 
measure by the ^superiority of the German strategy, morale, and 
armament- Then^ were internal weaknesses in France aplenty, but 
they did not show up in fatal form until the Germans launched 
their blitzkrieg through Hollnnd -ind Belgium after the 8-monlh 
period of "phony war,'' 

3 



FIGHTING THE LAST WAR 

French iiirlitary thinking after the -wtir of l&14-]fi naturally 
dcvelo[Jed along' one line while the <jCTmani ^s naturally followed 
just the oppo1^ilc course. The Frcncli general staff tmderMood that 
the Jast M'dv hud been won with the \isr of eL-i't;iin stratf'jfics and 
tactics; unforluniitely, they assumed that iht &aiiie or similar tactics 
and siraicgics would assure success in any new Tcsr of strength with 
Germany. 

For llie Gt-nniins, on the contriiry^ the big fact witf:> thn.t the last 
udr hiid iM'en UM. They put nU Iht: I'JjiT^y and ripiitude of the 
profcFisional Pm^iKian army oi'g:^nizalion to work on *h<' job of find- 
ing out, T\<yX what liad iKv-n done rights but ^vh^lt had been done 
wrongs and of finding different and hetCer ways of doing it next 
time. 




Both sides correctly yaw that irtnch warfare had stopped the 
German arniieii in l*)]4-]8. But while the Fren^^h were perfecting 
it in the form of gYv:\\ undcrgiouiid foit^i, the Germans were devel- 
oping way^ and niean^ nf ;ivoiding "Static warf;irc-. instead of » 
ffojitii! assanit on the Maginoi Liiie, xYn-y pjjinned and carried out 



ii flanking mov-irirriit, Mobility wi*s thi'ir wiiichwuid iji ciiiikiiip: ihc 
fullest use of the tank, th-e ,se]f-pn:ipe]led giin» and the airplrtnc. 

With the possible exception of the Russians, all the oth-cr g-eneral 
staffs v^^re as Out of date iis the French in strategic thinking; and 
\hf. French fitafT^ to be i^ky ^V3E not d-^ backward as JtJ4 ciriticfi have 
made out. But its ideas of "war were defensive whereas those of 
the Gennan gt^neraJ iitafT were offensive. 



•i:-'. A ^'"^ ' 




POLITICS OF POWER 

Not oftly yy<-T<: the plani^ of the Geimati anny designed to push 
offensive!^ into other eo^iint^ieSs but ftfl Oetpiany was organized to 
acf o-Ttipl ish the very same end- There again the Germans had an 
advantage, iiiict^ Xhc French army never had comparable povv-cr to 
marshal all thi- iictivilies and all the resources of the nation in the 
Kupport of militaiy aims. When Goering announced ihe Nazi 
preference for jjuns instead of bulterj the French retorted that they 
still preferred butter. Fr;mce did not refuse to support its army; 
it :simplv did not foJlow the Gtrman exaniple of making the needs 
of the military supreme over all other considerations. 

Nor did France nrm kself in sufTicicnt strength to make good on 
its diplomatic pledges to other nations. This was a more ohvious 
failure to bring military policy into line with foreign policy — or 
rather, \o keep the niilionS international promises within the limits 



oi ]t% military capacity. France hud promised to go to the aid of 
a number of other countries if thuy were attacked: Poland, Czecho- 
filovatiaj Virgoslavia, Romania, and Belgium, But it was not strong 
enough to carry out those promises^ especially after Hitler remili- 
tarized ihc Rhincland in 1&j6, And it lacked the industrial bone 
and economic mu^le to keep abreast of German rearmament had 
ihe French people wanied a icbt of strength— which they did not- 

UNWILLING WARRIORS 

The war of 1914-15 wa^ a terrible blow for France. Over 
1,300^000 Frenchmen were killed and another 4,000.000 wounded, 
many of them iO that they could never again lead normal lives. 
It Wi*,s a per capita loss much greater than any otlier nation suf- 
fcrcd> TJiiri enormous deslrutlion of young manhood was doubly 
tragic for the futgre of Fiance because ]t camr on top of a birlh 
rate a[ready hardly JiU(hoi<>nt to m-ikc up for deaths. 

France, likewise, sntfiTed more dc^tru<.:tiOcl of |>roiJcrty than any 
other country in the Ust ivar_ A broad arf^a in the rait anj north 
was Ipfl in shamble?. French industry was disorganizf^d, its markets 
disrupted^ and the nations to which France had made loiins before 
191'1-j particularly Russaa, were bankrupt. To top it off, the cruKhing 
national debt incurjicd to fight the war and reconstruct the country 
forced devaluation of the currency so that by 1933 the owners of 
insurance policies, bonds, bank accounts, and mortgages had seen 
much of their wealth wiped out. 

All this meant that France was bled white in both human and 
material resources. Many Freni!imen lost confidence in themselves 
and their institutions-. Influential elements in the population lacked 
the ivill to carry on the slnigglc for national existence, and even 
high <5ffic<:rE of the army openly stated after 1520 that France could 
never survive another war like the la.a one. 

It -wns hardly surpris^nf^^ therefore, that a kind of logical pacifism 
spread throughout the country. It rf^ef:iv^d f^ffieial encouragement 
from ilie public schooh and the ministry of education, and foMild 

8 



}>n|inbr fivipport m ul! oorncrs pf the nation. A ftrdjng of n'vnlsinr 
riom war ami a stir^uiig dQ\^m for lasting peace- were common to 
■Jill EurojJe and all the u'orld after 1918, but nowhere; ivere they 
-stronger than in Franco, The fact that nearly t^very French family 
counted one or even more t>f its members amon^ the dead or 
woimded UJLK, of <:oiar?Cj a povvf rful argument Jij^ainst further war. 
But more thnn that, tiie people rccoErnizcd that FrLiiice simply could 
not afford the costly sacrifices of another such struggle. 

It Wits not unlil the \^J?>(}\ however, ih^it Frnnee hit rm-k bottom, 
Thruiighout the lon^ dcpre^sinn no leLidrr appeared In innpire popu- 
lar hope and coiificiencc. On the contrary, sueh events as the 
Kt;ivi^ky fvCimdalj which broke early in 1*J34, ihr^w suspicion nn 
seveml prominrnt polhiri.ins itnd r;u^ed questions about the in!ep- 
rity of the JtrpLiblk, Of its instability thirre w;i^ fi]f!niy of evidriK e. 
Nt> Treneh ;^ovcrnniciit AVfi^ aMe to woik out a political platform 
that the peopl!', or their elected repre<.emaiives in the Chamber of 
Deputies, the lower huii';e of the FTeiu:h parliament, would approve 
and supjjort for very loiij:^. From Frbmnry 1930 to Juno 1910, one 
politician foJlowp:d aiiother aK pivmicr Altogedier, 2'^ cabinets were 
formed and fell in those fateful lO year.^ U'hen strong and stable 
Ieadershi|j was vo nnich ni^cded. 

The deprewion prodnred unemptoyment in France, ju£t a.^ it did 
in ihr re?^t of Europe and in the Uuiled States, In order to keep 
as many workers employed rs possjblej the French employers split 
up the available jobs into fragments so smnll that tho^- who did 
have emiJlo^Tiient received unbelievably low wages. As ii natural 
cons<^<liienic, the French \vork.ers became discontented and sought 
relief or the promise of a IwtTer system in various jjroposals for 
jsocii^l itnd Jndii^li3al reorganization, lending to the Left. 

Likowi.N^, 'Al the upper Ond of the ladder, the owner?^ of the banks, 
the factories, and other enterprises were hard hit. "While they did 
not go hungry, tliey saw their weallh and their position of leader- 
ship in i.ocirty imdermined. They, too, became discontented and 
souj^ht relief in propn;;a]s for ncvv and -different ^yFitcm^i, tending (« 
the Right. 



This aurm^pfierc of politiciii confusion itnd social unri-^st encour- 
aged the formation and rapid growth of organizations propoKing 
active measures to remedy the situation. Their agaLatiotij in tunij. 
stirred up stiJl greater dissatisfaction with, conditions and with the 
govcminent"'s failure to find a cure. Almost all shades of political 
thinking could be found among these groups: some were closely 
linked to parties, in the Chamber of Deputies; others ignored the 
Republic and threatened to set up revolutionary regimes of one 
kuid or another; some were niere^ propaganda mouthpieces; others 
were orgsnriT.d a^* wnal] private armies and equipped even with 
m.achine guns and gas grenades. 




ON THE BRINK 



The climax: of discontent cante on February 6, S934 in the form 
of a bloody riot in the streets of Paris. Frenchmen of the Left 
fought Frenchmen of the Right; and both fought the police and 
units of the army caUcd in to guard the Chamber. Order was 
finally restored and the Republic managed to stave off pohticai 
bankruptcy- But from that moment until 1939, the specter of a 
civil war like that in Spain wa^ never far from the minds of 
French men. 

10 



OUTSIDE AIMS AND INSIDE AID 

To make matters woisc, internal French poJitics became tied to 
mov&mtnts that t>rigiii-atcd and weae directed from outside the 
country. The Rightist Jcagwcs looked to Mu.ssoiini for inspiration 
and hf^ip, and through him to Hitler. When the Paris police found 
hidd(»n arsenals of arms made in Italy, it was clear that dirty work 
was afoot- 

Th(? f^o-rriest uf;jjeet of all -was that traitoi^ ^as well as sincere but 
misled Frrndimon served, »nd-cr color of patriotisirij as the eyes. 
eai5, and tonnes of the fasost Ttgimes in corrupting and confysinij 
the people of France. Before the war they spread defeatist and 
pro-Axk propaganda; after it started^ ihny poisoned the minds of 
the troops with ^uch questions as ''Why die for Dani^ig?" and told 
the home folks that '^Britain would fight to the last Frenchman." 

On the other J^rde, the Communists^ acting through a variety of 
organization!^ in some of which they held the real authority while 
othcn* provided the clothing of respectability, manaf^ed to exert a 
wide influence on behalf of the Third International. When the 
Nazi-Soviet pact was signed in 1939, the Communist Intemational, 
and therefore the French Communists too, abandoned suddenly 
their former role ui^ mainspring of the united front against Nazism. 
Instead, they denounced the war as an "imperialist" plot and just 
anothi^j" '*pluto-deinOcratic" schenne to e;^ pi oil the: worker^i and 
peasj^nts. 

Thus on the Left as well as on the Kight, there -were French 
eyes^ ears, and tongues that di^w th[--ir inspiration from outside 
France. 

NOISY BUT NOT NUMEROUS 

One can readily -understand that the French national will to 
resistance was not Jitrengthene^d by the propaf^anda and the activitii^s 
of these minorities. But it would be a grave mislxike to think that 
the noi^e they Tnade and thi? confusjon they spread were true nw^an- 

7J 



RIGHT 







WHICH WAY? 

ures of their numerical size. Circu instances gave them an influence 
all out of proportion lo their iiumbLTs. 

The vast majority of ihc French jK^asanls, workers, and middli^- 
class people did not support cither extreme. They simply stood 
aiide and silent, so overwhelmed by the efT€<:lri of the depression 
and the threat of war that ihey seemed iiieapable of actioii- 
Through the last twenty year's y great majority of Frcrichmcn voted 
for men and parties that were neither of the extreme Left nor of 
the extrenic Right. Any analysiis of tlic future of Friinee that 
assigned principal roles to Either the communists or the fascists 
probabJy would not be realistic. 



TWO RIVOLUTIONS 

Through the last ct^ntury the habiti^ of French political thought 
and action have been shaped by two grent n^nlulions: first, ihc 
Revolution of 1789 that overthrew the monarchy tn favor of popu- 



17 



lar ruie in France; second, llie Indnstrial Revolution ihal changed 
France fioin a puivly farm and handicraft system at the bcginnitig 
of the last centur>' into one of .limited industrjat factory production 
at the end. 

The Revolution of T 789 was inspired hy the political ideaU of 
^■"Liberty, Equahty, and Fraternity." In tvirn, it inspired the spread. 
of those idea^ through much of the rest of the Western world. The 
basic ideairs of the French and the American revolutions are closely 
related : that all m.cn arc created equal and that ijovcrnment should 
rest on tile consent of the gOvOrned. The prmciples and ihe practice 
of freedom are as deeply ingrained in the people of Flfan^:e as in 
the people of the United States, and it if; hif^hly probabic that they 
Avii! reaEsert themselves when Franee is liberated. It fs also probable 
that the jiittural eoosef^uerice^ of the indListrml Revolution wiii lead 
to demands for greater social and economic equality, and for 
greater security from the hazards of unemployment^ sietnesi, acci- 
dent, and old age. 

LJBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY 

From 1789 on^vard, Frenehmen have tried to futfitl in prac-- 
lice the ideals of the Revolution. In 1830, 1S48, and 1S70 the 
forces demanding more power for the mass of the people broke 
out hi violence. At other times the struggle wai less open, but 
it never stopped because ihe French people would accept no so- 
lution as permanent that denied or limited the rijjht of self- 
government- 

But the people and the groups accustomed to the exercise of 
authority in France did not want to give it up. The Revolution of 
1789 had stripped the nobility of wealth and jjrivilcgc, and forced 
the king^ to recognize the right of the nation to rule itself- Subse- 
quent victories, g-aincd under the banner of ''Liberty, Equality, and 
Fraternity," restricted or eliminated the priviioge& of other groiips- 
The course of events was -quite JIi accord with the American con- 
cept of gover[]ment of, by, and for the people. 

T3 



REACTIONARIES ON THE RIGHT 

Nevertlicic_s.\ there ^irc still poweHul g^roupjs in Frajice which 
have never freely or fully accepted the idea that the people should 
rulc^ According to one French writer, n large part of the upper 
class — the j>eople witlt wealthy leisure, nnd education — is bitterJy 
op|X>.sed to the practice of political equality and univOvsiiJ miinhood 
iLiffragc. (French women Iiav^: ntvCr l^f^i^ giv<-ii the riprht to vote,) 
Thi^ grOii]> might pTJ^ftr iiii jamfocratic government for ;i future 
Fiance, An<>ther small but noisy minority want.* a rffurn of the 
monarchy- And, of eniirsf.', the Vichyiles have been workint^ for 
the '*new order" 

The common, garden variety of Frenchman, hov-i'vcr, vai\ Im- 
counted on to remember that his ancestors fought and died for 
freedom and for the right to govern themselves. He will pnihibly 
never surrender chose 2j:ains as long as there h llir faintol chance 
of a successful fight In hnld on to them. He and his fellow believers 
in the Revolution — undoubtedly a clear majority of the ]H>lilinilly 
consdons people of the nation — looked upon the Third Republic 
as their government, Yet many thoughtful ones Linjt>nq them 
advised important rcvision:i in the constitutional lil^s T'> make the 
regime fit the conditions of tho modem worid. 

THE SECOND REVOLUTION 

Part of this prej^sure for change gre^v out of diif si-coud revolution 
ihat deeply affected the life of France. This was the economic and 
industrial revolution. Growth ■duriiif; the nmeteenlh century of the 
railroads, steamship lines, heavy indu^trie?^, and bank^ g;reatly mul- 
tiplied tlie numbers and the importance of two claries of society: 

(1) the professional men and owners of business enterprises-, and 

(2) the propertylcss wage earners. During th€ iirst ha.lf of the cen- 
tury the two groups stood together against the BoMrbon king^ artd 
the nobler. But in the middle of the c<!iitury they jiarted company, 
becoming dirfctly opposed to each other m their d-p^ire^ :ind 
tntpre'itfi. 

14 



Tht! husines.smiiifcj hmdlordi, and the Lipptr middle class in general 
felt ihat "liberty" ihoiild pro-pcrly be exlendi^d to economit enter- 
prise, and that the sIaIc should not interfere with business. To 
them *'(^fjiiii|il^" rtii^ani dimply the absence of le^iil privileges based 
iiport blfio^l "If tfiiditjon, while "Jihtvty" mriint ihM every man had 
freedom Jo pur^ntr his o^vn inten-^t^ atid iioquiro ihcrcby vvcaltJi and 
the privjJcRfs that conie with w^riilih. The middle dass wanted the 
protOiftion t>f slate laws and eouTls j^^'yin^it ^ueh things n^ foreij»n 
compc-tilion, but its mcmboni did not \\i\nt iht*^ ^1ale to restrict their 
freedom of cconotnir action. 

The working class and y>me of" the lower injdd]e class^ on the 
other hand, rcjnctfd ihf fdea ihal the ji^ovcmment should not take 
ciiiy jwrt, except that of an uinpin.', in the i.-irononiir life of the 
nation. Thry wimicd stnte guarantees of ""Wcurity*^ ii^uinst sickness, 
old ai^, and aceidnil; thfiy wanted minimum wage and hr^ur regu- 
lations; and ina'iy of thtm wsiittcd ti» m^v tht^ .nale become the sole 
admini.slnilor of ih-t" ancinis of production and distribution of goods. 
It .should be noticed, however, ili:U thr most powi^rfid |>oliticitl p;itiy 
to ame out of the laborinEf da*as dcmnndj^ ■was nr^t thr Communist 
but a i^ocTaJ di'in^j-r^iic jmrty. 

It was not iinlil ]9\^6 thai -a |joliiTrL;m who really rt'-pn^f^t'nted tht 
social democratic tradition h<?c!imc premier of F^rance. Leon Blum, 
the first and only Socialist prime minister, aTtemptcd his reforms 
under extremely difficult conditions. On the one ^idv tlic shadow 
of apjiroach ing war obscured part of h^s work. On the o!h*?i^ he 
wa^ emb:irrLi*ised by the |>olilicid tactics; of the ComnnLnist,% who 
were in a position to ovcrlhrnw the ^ox-ernmcnt, Ni^netheless, the 
Blum Tcforms were popubjr enough v\ilh working-class France to 
give assurance that his party wnll be a hictor in any fntiire regime. 

THE PARTY LINE-UP 

TEr- tnidition^ of the democratic Revolution of 17tJ9 find the 
pressures of the economic and social revolution have created the 
two ohiVf Jiiit's nf divi'^ii^n in Frc-nch jjolitical life. Tht'se mn 

15 



through the entire electorate of France but are besi described in 
terms of party groupings in th(^ Chamber of Deputies. 

Looking ove^r the floor of ihc Chamber from the speaker's roS' 
Inim — before 1940 — one woiiid hiive seen llu" deptaties arranged 
according to the political portion of ihrir partie!^. To the extreme 
left of the speaker were the men of most radical political views; 
to the extreme ri^ht those of most reactionary poUtical outlook; and 
in between a whole range of intermedijite po&iitions. 

It has been traditional in French politics that parties of protest 
or reform arise at the e^itreiTie Left and gradually, as their programs 
arc put into effect, become conservative and move around toward 
the Ri^'ht. But they have M^njally kept their oritjinal nam^s. Thus 
the RcpiibIit:a.Ti groups^ rcpreKcnting the blinking, hu^ines.^, and pro- 
fessional people, were very conservative and sat far to tht right 
before the war. But a century and more ago, when Fraiice was a 
constitutional monarchy, they were political radicals and occupied 
the extreme left, where the Coniniuiiists now sit. The Radical 
Socialists^ fo give a favorite example, were neither socialist nor 
radical, but moderately liberal. Thus, too much signifieiince cannot 
be attached to tlie names of French parties. 

Of real significance, however, is — or was — tbe attitude taken hy 
the various parties toward the two revolutions. On the left the 
ComiJiunists and the Sociahi^ls advocated the social revolution and 
accepted the democratic revolution — though the Communist ac- 
ceptance was proba.bly more a matter of tactics iban of conviction. 
In the center the Radical Socialist ^i^d Republican clenients re- 
jected the social revolution but were^ of course, dedicated to 
dpmocrscy- On the nf^ht was the third grou|>, whose meniher; 
accepted neither revolution but desired either a return to monarchy 
or a fascist '*new order." Very few of the last were ever elected. 

Within these broad political divisions there were subdivisions and 
factions to a number surprising to anyone not familiar with Euro- 
pean domestic politics. There arc many reasons for this luxuriant 
growth of parlies.. Since 1789 France has had three constitutions 
providing for a limited monarciiy, thrre providing for a republic, 

T6 



two for an empire, ;ind ^^veral transient regimes 'inch as the 
Directory and its Napoleonic succcisot, the Consulate. One should 
not be surprised that thrsf difFerent traditions left their mark^ on 
ihe party structure 



EVERY MAN HIS OWN PARTY 

More important than the^e diverse political Iradftions, however, 
is iJie fact that F^eiich electoral practice thus far has not encour- 
aged party orgajiizations. Elections to th-t" Chamber of Deputies 
have been more like municipjil than national elections in America. 
In ft municipjil election in the United SIeiU's people lrc;quentJy vole 
for their friend^ ;Mj<i rn^ighbor-s i<?r the tnen rather tii^w the party. 
And that has becrt the case 1^ France- 

In factj one might say ihat mosit French politicians have con- 
Kiderfd an organiaytion composed nf the candidate and enough 
voters IQ elect him to be nn ideal parly. 

The resuh is that political alliances in the Ghambei have not 
ordinarily been worked out until after the election was over, and 
deputies, have sometimes shifted from party to party without in any 
way hurting their chances fcjr reelection. However, the three parties 
on the Left have had considerable unit>' and discipline. TTie Com- 
munists, of course, have been held strictly to the party line; the 
Socialists have had a somewhat less closely knit oi^iUiiy^itiun, though 
4hey h;jve gi^nerdly stuck tugetfier quite firmly as a party. And the 
Radical Socialists, the parly of the lower middle classes and the 
small farmers, also have had a regular fhough loo^e organis^itioti 
that has not always W]>\ it^ member deputies In line. 

This kind of system, in which every shade of political opinion 
was represented by a separate party, had the ^dvanta^e of assuring 
that any rcasona.bie political proposal would receive a voice in the 
Chamber and a chance to be translated into law. But on the other 
hand it also had serious practical weaknesses. In a two-party system 
h is almost inevitabTe that one party will have a dear majority in 

17 



the i-e^ishilun', that it can cariy t^ui its program and be held to 
account therefor. 

But in France, since no single party ordinarily controlled a 
majority of votrs in the Chamber, cabinets htid lo be made up out 
of combination of party leaders, each of whom demanded not 
only a cabinet ministry for himsctf hut acceptance of hb party's 
program in the cabinet's policy. None of the cabinet ministers 
would accept rt'sponsibiKty for the acts of a colleague, however, 
and any mcfnber p^rty could wreck the government by rcquirini; 
its ministers to resign — and frequently did. The premier's authority 
over the cabinet he mana^pd to astiemble was hmitcti to persuasion, 
and the French president was a fipjrehead who stood above parties 
and whote powers were slights 

During the decade of the 1930\ cabincl.s appe^ired and <Ii.^a]>- 
pcared with more than ordinary mpidity. Orn^. government lasted 
but a singlci day; rmothcr only two days. At the othi^r end of the 
scale, a record life of just over a year stood to the CR^dil of the fir^t 
EEum cabinet. Not until Dnladier became premier in April 1938 
was this mark challenc^ed, Dnladier's so-called ''national govern^ 
ment" — supposed lo be a government standing above party dSvi- 
sions and speaking for the nation as a whole — came into being soon 
after the Nazi annexation of Austria^ survived the M\inich crisis, 
the final rape of Czechoslovakia j and ihe outbreak of war, and fell 
in March ]5i0j nearly two years after ils formation. 

In the la^t tM^cnty years of the Third Rej^ublic this governmental 
instability was particularly distressing, for there were critical prob- 
lems to be solved- Yet, no general agreement on the best mea&ures 
of solulion could be pennaiicnily reached^ The result was a political 
deadloe]^; ihat opened the gates to revolutioniiry agitation from both 
the ilight and the Left. 

THE OTHER BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT 

Both the French administrative system and judicial structure 
\^'ere cnrations of the Revolutionary antE N^iprJconic era of 1789 lo 

re 



ISHj (irt-d both iiru- dtt^ply rtjoLud in French lifi?. They have out- 
lasted two fmpircs, two- monarchies, and two republics — anrf they 
will probably outJast liic present Vichy-Nazl nir>n?it rosily. They 
seem to be wt?II suited to French civtHzation and to French ways of 
thinJiing and doin^. 

The legal system is ba.'^d upon the great codes of law established 
under Napoleon*s direction. They regulate: (1) criminal law^ (2) 
commercial law, (3j civil law, and (4) court procedure- Unlike 
the Anglo-Ameriran legal system, that has developed i^irough an 
accumulation of common law and court d:eci?<ions, the French code^, 
based fundamentally on Roman law,, are Jixed and prescribed. 

The cnurC sy^^tcm, tco^ i:s unified and direct. The design is like 
a pyramid: abo\.r the lower courts are courts of appeal^ and at the 
top is ihe so-caJled ^^conrt of ca^^ation." This is the supreme tourt 
of the French judicial sy^iem^ but it does not have llic power 
pofises:]<;<f by the United States Supreme Court to rule on the con- 
stitutionality of laws. 

THE BUREAUCRACY 

The administrative system of France is divided into ninety 
'"departments" (excluding the three in Algena), e^ich headed by a 
''prefect" who is appointed by and responsible to ihc centra! j;overn- 
ment in Paris. There arc elected deparlmcnial councils, but the 
power of the central authority is oven^' helming in most matters. 
The position of the departmental governments, therefore, is not 
parallel with that of state governments in the United States, There 
is nothing in the French setup that i-cscmblcs "state rights" undei 
the United Sliitea Connlitulion. The French system, hkc that of 
Great Britain, is one of highly centrdiaed authority. 

The govermncnl bwrtnuSi in Paris are ihe heart of the whole 
sy^tefn, for tJhtrOj ijl the last analysis, most decisions arc made. EacIi 
Tninistry (we call them departmentfi- — f^r in^tuncc, the Ml"i^try nf 
Foreign AH'aini eorre^]Jcnds to our Department of Stale) 'm headed 
by a cabinet aninister who is responsible to tlie Chamber of Depu- 

19 



ti-es- But the rr.il strt:ngth of the ministry' has always been in thr 
pennanont ci>r|is of dvil servania who staff its van&uii bureau^. 
They :irc the cxpcita en whom the mmistcr imist rely for informa- 
tion and guidance and for the airiying out of h^s polkic^. 

To be sure, ihe bureaucracy in V^m was often an ob^iactf? to th^- 
iniroductioii of new ideas or new methods of governing. But at 
the same time it fjTovided an element of permanency and stability 
much needed in Ihe French Kysioii. Ministers; might come Jind go. 
but the perma.nent staffs continued in oflice to give a continuity of 
poiicy that otherwise vroiild have bren ^;idly hicking. 

Sometimes the pcnii^ujent ofnei:il>; of the Fii-neh Tiiire^u'; pre- 
sumed to handle the affairs of govcmment without rcfrard cither to 
the W]?<hes of the re^^ponsihle Ciibimt minister nr to- the cxpnrxMd 
will of the nation. Confident that they knew what was best f-or the 
pi^opk'j thi'y sometimes went right aliead u> apply iheir own ideas 
of the proper th'mg to do whether the. peojale warttrd it or not. 

Agi^in, the French bureaucrats tended to get wound up in red 
tape until red tape seemed an cud in itself- Comfortably Jn^ta]Ld 
in Paj'ifi, ihcy tended to bet^nme Jneflicient find slotJiful, i\n6 lhey 
did not fllw-ayai listen to com|jlainls and picas ansini^ fre^m local 
problpni^. But m spitC of severe Criticii^m of h^ ffl-ults and in ^pite- 
of ailments that centralization cf Authority does not square with 
true democracy, the Fn^ijch administrative sysM^m has lasted for 
more thiin a e^ntuiy witlinut much ehanjre. 

CHURCH vs, STATE 

AmerieanM may find it diffieult to underi^Tand the prn^blfms that 
have .Jirisen in Fiance out of the relationship between chureh and 
state. In the United States the dividing line between government 
and n?7igiort has ht^en sharp and strictly preservedj vi'hereas in France 
tfie line has be*-!! bkirred. The great majoiily of Frenchmen are 
Roman Catholics and the Catholic church i^; an iuttitution older 
than the French state itself. Under the '*01d Regime^* — when 
France was a monarchy — the church exerted a powerful influence 

20 




in alTair^ of slate masmuch as the dergy constituted one of the three 
"estates*' [tlic others- were nobles and comitioncn ) that jnaH^e up 
the king's advi-sers-. 

During the period of t!ic Firnch Revolution a great crisis faced 
the church. Tfie Rtvolution looked upon jt as a pillar of iht Old 
Regime and attempted to break the church's power by confiscating 
its propertyj disrupting it?i organizaHon, and outlawing its ministcK. 
The church, on the olhcr hand, vigorously opposed the Revolution 
and condemned its prin<;iples- Resiored l:iy Najjoleon to a place in 
the national life as the oiticial or '"'established** faith of France^ the 
church (ended throughout the nineteenth century to side with the 
forces of conservatism and rcacdon against those of liberalism and 
democracy. 

Among the French people there occuircd a division into bitterly 
OpiX»sing camps; clericals and anlicJericals. The former, or pro- 
church elements, wCrc hostile to the Revolution of 1739. Many 
were royalists and favored extreme Rightist policies. The anti- 
clericals were generally liberal in religion, republican sn pxilities^ 

21 



and strongly opposed to rfiurth iniluenco in t-duaition nnd govern- 
ment. 

The conflict increased in sharpness after 18S0 and readied a 
climax in the celebrated Dreyfus ca^e that shook France to its 
political and social foundations at the turn of the century. Alfred 
Dreyfus, a captain in the French army and a Jew, was accused of 
selling military secrets to Germany, Although the real traitor was 
one of his fellow officers, Dreyfus was co^Jrl-martialcd, stripped of 
rank^ and exiled to DeviVft Island- The officers^ -corps of the French 
army, strongly tinged with anti-Semitisnl, ht'Iped first to rrtfinvfat' 
ture and thf^n to <^ofend this niiscarri^gf^ of justicp. And the clcTkah 
stood with the militarii^l:^; and the forces of rcactson in general 
against y reconsideration of Dreyfus' guilt. 

When a ni'w tnal was held in n.\ijjK>nsj; to outraged public opinion 
and the innocence of Dreyfus proved, the Republic turned with 
fury on aJI its enemi#?,s: cloricalsj miJitarisls, and royalists. The 
royalists were ko discredited ihat they practically disappeared as a 
polilical party; the anli-Dreyfnsards in the army were removed 
from positions of authority; and the church was strjpj>ed of much 
of its power, notably in education, and completely separated from 
the state. 

When the first Worid War bjokc out the issues raised to while 
heat in the Dreyfus case were forgotten, and a united Prance fared 
die German invader. The subsiding of anticlerical sentiment during 
die war opened the way to a progressive Catholic campaign for 
social justice along the advanced lines laid down by Pope Leo XIH 
in 189L in the twenty years between war^ a con&iderablc section 
of the French clergy joined in carrying forward the ideas of the 
great rcfonning pope. By the 19;30's the church eTijoyf<i a pre^tig^ 
in the -working-cJai^ di^lriclw of France greater than it had had for 
hundreds of years., and a number of Cathoiic leaders were pressing 
forward to take a place in French political life again. 



aa 



POPULATION PROBLEMS 

For almost a century France has h^d a population problem of 
iiicrc-asing acutoncss. Sinco 1880 the French pojiulatior' hiiw tl- 
mained aJinoJ^t :stition;iry near the f{fr\}rt^ of forty million.. And tht 
birth rate has declined steadily until in recent years it no longer 
has been sufficient to assure replacement of the population. 



POPULATION GROWTK 1830 TO 1930 



FRAHCE 




INCftEASED -J 



doubled! 



7% 
FRFNCH 

POPl/LATION 

WERE 

FOFEEICMEBS 

IN 

1^30 



m WOMEN TO 
EVERY ItW MEN 



PEOPLE 

BEIATIVEIY 

OLDER 



At the same time, France's neighbors were showing very marked 
increases in populiition. The Fri^nch iiguTe rose about onc-lhird in 
the century from 1830 to 1930 while those for Italy and Germany 
doubled. Had there been a 1940 census, France would have made 
an even poorer showiiig since by tliat year territonal additions had 
given Germany a population twice as big a5 that of France. 

Moreover^ very significant changes were taking place within the 
forty million total of French population- Once ihc miwt p-u-puhnis 
country of EuropCj France in 1930 was far Ic^s den_scly populated 
than its neighbors- As a result, nliniigration from Germiiny, Italy, 
and Spain during ihe Jrtterwar yeoi^ provided FrstJ^ce with a popn- 
ItitJOn tl"ial by 1930 was already about 7 per cent of forci^ ong-in. 

Furthermore^ the French population was the oldest in Europe 
and growing older, Th.a.t iy, the proportion of the population com- 



23 



posed of people Ovor 60 vns large and growing larger :; the propor- 
tion composed of people under 20 w'as small and growing smallern 
That kind of situation obviously did not mak^ for a high birth rate. 
Neither did another characteristic of the French p^r^pul^tion : the 
marked CKccsjf of women over men. In I93D, not counting the 
foreign clement, there were 111 females in France to every 100 
males. Tliis was an unbalance between the sexes greater than in 
any other country of Europe and one still further cxacjgerated sin<:e 
1940 by the absence of nearly two million Frenchmen held In 
German prison and work camps. 




GEftMAWV 



FRANICE 



INDUSTRY, LIMITED 

Popufation statistics reveal another important fact about France. 
In -co-mpariMon ivith the other industrial natiom of the world, 
France has not developed as many large factory cities with huge 
worker p^puli4tians. This is partly because French indu.stry h not 
g^Ared to m^ss production so nluch as it is to small^ sp-cciaily, a.nd 
lu?iijry m ami fact uring. For genc^rations, Parii? ^ownii nnd hats set 
the *tyle; French perfumes, gkives, silks, and thinawarc were eagerly 
bought in the markets of the world. Tlie tyi^ic;*] French factory 
employs less than twentv-five workers, and out of the grand total 
of about a million and a quarter indu*^trial establishment!^ the sur- 
prising proportion of one-sixth are one-man shops in which the 
owner is also the entire labor force. 

24 




GERMANY 



FRANCE 



Jrancf ha.^ built up i^evcrai largt centers of heavy industry, but 
it can ncrvLT appi-oach the industrialization fittained by Gcrmaiiy, 
Grtat Britain, the United Stales, and Russia. Unless ntw advances 
jrt scif^ncf? ehinge the picture, France^s lack of raw m&terial& and 
the mcan<; of aeqitiring tJicm in q"jantity will fontinue to net as 
limitatioTis yn Fi'.'Tich ind'-i>^tni>hz;.iTiOT^- 

First arid foremost amorL*^ th^^se limitations h France's tack of 
fupl. In^nflif'icnt resources of co;i], parlieularly coking coitl, hiLVe 
held Franre back in thf* industrial race. At no timt' an the past 
hundred y^^r^ hiis Franee jirwliieH eiw>ugh coal to supply her own 
np*:-ds. This is significant in view of the fact that, unless and until 
scicnee is able In diseovcr a substitute^ lai^e stocks of coal are vital 
to industrial production. 

STEEL AND ALUMINUM 

Two very important raw materials Franec does have m abuil- 
dance. They ar^ iron ore and alumimJin ore (bauxite), But the 




IbOH OPE )]EtL 



25 



processing of the ores into refined metals requires coal or elixlricity 
—and much of the latter has been produced from eoal. Because 
its sTjpphes of coal arc limited, France has never been able to- make 
full use of its iron-ore and bauxite deposits. 

In the record year JP29, ior instance^ France produced 4^,925,4^^0 
Jong tons of iron ore, about one-fourth of the world production in 
that year. But even with that amount of ore ;inJ evrn v:hh the 
coal of the Saar Bajiin, then available to France, only some 9,550,003 
long tons of finished steel could be made. 

The reason for this lies in the economic fact that it k more 
profitable to move Iron ore for smelcing to areas where coal and 
limestone are found in quantity than the other way around. Thus^ 
most of the iron ore from northern Minnesota fiow^ to the. Gary- 
Youngslown-Pittsburgh regioHj where ample supplies of the other 
two ingredients necessary to sleelmakjng are found* For the a:imc 
reason much of the ore from French Lonraine normally flows to 
Gtimany's Ruhr Valley- 
Modem mechanized warfare requires enormous quantities of steel 
in all kinds of arm:;, munitions, and cquipmi;nt_ A nation's capacity 
for producing^ steel, therefore, is a relatively accurate measure of its 
ability to fight a twenticth-oc-ntury war_ In 1939 Germany stood 
second among the nations of the world in production of steel; 
France was fifth. 



UtIITU ITITU ti.W.QOfr MET TOMS 



SUNUriV rtAlJJfX Nit roN^ 



■U»IA ICIITCW MET TUPC 



UHinD »rtg-DOri ibietoo 



IN IV39 GERMANy \//At SECOND 
AMONG THE NATIONS IN THE 
PRODUaiON OF STEEL - . . 
FRANCE WAS RFTH 



FUHCE r^rjan 



u 



BAUXITE 

MINED IN 

1936 



FRANCE GERMANY 



l938RtFIN£D 

ALUA^INUM 
PRODUCED 



FRANCE GERMANY 
44,60O 156,500 



For years preceding the outbreak of the war^ France had Jed the 
xvorld in production -of aluTninTiTTi ore. Vet its p^isiticin with respect 
lo Germany was even worse for refined aluiY^inum than for steelr 
In 19/18 France mined about thirty-five times as much bauxite as 



27 



Germany, which ha^ aLmosl no reserves of thai on^ In the very 
sanic year Germany, leading ttit wt>rld by a wide margin, manu- 
factured 15S,5W long tons of aluminum in refined form^ com- 
pared with oDily 44560tS long tons rdiiicd in yruiict- Again the 
CAji]a.nLition la io be foitnd in France's lack ol adequate ptswcr 
re; sources, eiTh<;r coiil or hydroelectric, to proco^ia dit ore. 

With the L'Mccption of ricli potaiih beds in Alsace, enou^ lo last 
for centuries at the present rate of use^ France either lacks entirely 
thf other Mj-callcd *'siralogie materiiils'* or it4 supplifj^ are not 
enoui*h for home consumption. In conivci^uencc it depends to an 
unusual extent for these materials on sources beyond its own 
frontiers. 

In 1925-29 — years of jjreat prospcnty— France produced export-' 
iihle surpluses of iron on.% biiuxiie, chemicals, iind potasJn But iron 
arid steel production only equaled home use and some machinery 
W4S impcrted. With its industrial plant rumiiji^ at full capacity 
France produced only a. fraction of thf^ output of the industrial 
giants^ and from that linit^ onwLird its production -rreelined while 
that of both Germany and Russia wa^ rapidly increasing. 

FARMS AND FARMERS 

France produces a high proportion *if it?; food requirements, dif- 
fering in this respect from the other Europear> induxtrial nations, 
which normally iinpor! much of thf food they need. Nevertheless, 
dierc arc problems connected with French at;riciiliure. The system 
of landownership in France, a holdover from the feudal day.s of a 
^lOUsand years ago, encourages minute subdivision of the farm land 
rather than iU combination into large fields and fitrniSn Of (he 
total 3,966,000 farm units in France, approximately three-quarters 
are leas than 25 acres in size. Nearly one-fourth are less than 2.5 
acres. At the other end of the scaie only 114,000 farms are larger 
than 1 25 acres. 

Furthermorej fields Ijelonging !o a single owner aix- as likely to 
b*' scattered separately about the iocaJity as to be all next to each 



other in one pEacc. Th? result is that tractors and other farm 
machinery cannot profitably be u^d^ even if the small fanners could 
afTord their purclia&e. French farmers^ therefore^ practice a more 
int<:n?Live kind of frtrmin!;, wilJi great*?r use of human labor than do 
American f:irmf;n- For instance. In 1929 there ^vere only 20^000 
tractors in ail of rural France- 

The French peasant is a good fanner and he Wes the soil- He 
has tended in the last century more and more toward truck fann- 
ing, dairyin,(^, fruit raisings and the like as the most profitable ways 
to use his iLind, Ju.st as French industry is noted for its luxury 
products, French agriculture is famous for its berries, its wines, its 
VtgetabJcs, and its cheeses. And a.t llLr same tim^, enough wheat, 
potatoes, BUf^ar bef-Cs, and other cereals ajid root crops are produced 
to supply tl-ie nationa! need c>f the&C staples- 

PAYING PROTECTION MONEY 

However, ihe production of farm commodities in sufficient <^uan- 
tities to supply the domestic market was not wholly the r4!sult of 
natural fertility. It w;3s partly a rffsult of the national policy of 
protecting home agrieultuTe a^ ue!J as home industry from foreign 
competition behind a his»h tariff walk This has ass.ured the French 
market to the French faimer and tlie French manufacturer without 
having to meet direct con3[JeIition from lower-cost production elf^c- 
wher-p — of Afnerican or Canadian or Argentinean wheat, or Cuban 
cane iugar, for instance. 

The tariff has given French economy some of the more undesir* 
able aspects of a hothouse. Enterprises ficurish that would die if 
exposed to tfie pie^iure of price:; in the wodd market, and French- 
men, as consumers, have to pay that much more for the things they 
buy. The French accept the protectionist ari^umcnt that the na- 
tion's economic life would be destroyed by foreign competition. By 
atid large diey seem content to p;iy the price of artificially stimulat- 
jng some enterprises nnd encouraging inefficiency in Others bohind 
ih<r protective tariff, 

29 



THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE 

A factor of French economic life more difficult to weig-h but of 
great importance is the psychological make-up of the Frenchman. 
He.^ very individualistic and for the most part very conservative. 
Change on a brojid 5Cale comes very slowly in France because it is 
<Iiflic^ih to convince ihc French businessman and farmer Uiai he 
should Cry ufw niclhods. 

The average Frenchman does not have ambilious 1o expand and 
enlar^p^e his economk- activities without limit. IT he has a secure 
living; he is satisfied- Has dreana ifi not to become a millinriaire, but 
to rotfrc (m a 'kittle" fortune no d^at he can have a "little" home 
and a "little" garden and read France^ lar^'^cst newspaperj Le petit 
Parisif^n, who<if? n^i^e mertns 'The Liltlc Parisian." This way of 
ttiinkitig undoubtedly p;kyfi high dividi:'iicl^ Ira j>cr50nal satisfaction, 
hut it docs not build a dynamic economy. 



LOOKING BACKWARD 

Thus (zr we have been looking almost wholly backward to the 
collapse of France. We have examined Jiome of ifie causes, both 
immediate and remote, of its fall. Here arc some of the things tliat 
,stand out from our analysis: 

The German army in 194(1 was sui>crior in si^c, equipment, and 
strategy to that of France- — and of Friince's allies. 

The French people were at odds ajnon^ themselves ov-rr the 
achievements of the deniocralic Revolution of 1789 and over 
the is£Mt"s raised by the Industrial Revolution. 

The parliamenti^jy machinery of the Third Rcpuhbc was proving 
inad<!<^uate Co meet and *^olve n^od^^m probiema. 

No leader appeared in France who cowld unilc the nation and 
forge a stable government out of the political factions in the 
Chamber. 

30 



The French populaiiim wat* siaiidiiig still or even dctlininp in 
iiuTnb<:r5^ ^nd it was out of balance in age and sc^ divisions. 

Finally, France did not have, find could not have had, ati ]ndui>- 
trial system big enoucjh and of thf kind needed to support modern 
warfare. 



THE QUESTION OF THE FUTURE 

We have not yet given direct considetation to the qucj^tion whether 
Frantc can riKc again in Lhc future, but we have from time? to time 
H-cn hints of h^w the past is likdy lo m^iM ihr future. Nations, 
like peopk", do not cliiaoge their naiuro overnight. Ju^^t liki' jx^nph' 
ihcy do changCj but it is a proce-^s of development out of previous 
ejcperience. 

French civilization with Us ncli cultural heritage and its proud 
traditions will not wither ;ind die just because France lost ihi- h;it- 
tle of I940> Gt^neml de Gaulle proclaimed at the time that the battle 
nijjEsht he lost but not the war. As a matter of fact, nations with 
thousands -of yeiirs of hiNtojy Ix-hind thrni and millions of citizens 
in llu'ir jXTpnliitions usually sui'vive cvtn a lor^t wa.r. 

But a reijimc cannot withstand ihc impact of snch a diwistcr 
without .sufT^-ring -st^rious con^^equencfii. It will be ^uipfising^ there- 
fore, if far-rcauhing constitutional cliyng*'^ <Io not appear in the 
government of w rCJ^tOTCd Fiance- But underneath the s u^xrrs I ru*;- 
ture of a govornn^ent of one kind or Jinother, the spirit of the peopli" 
will probably j'em^iJn :ibnut the same. It may be w[>rth while to 
illustrate this with two quotations from the fditorial columns of thr 
J<£W Tork Tiruidi at ihe moment France fell : 

"The end of the Third Republic is not the end of France. The 
reporters of the exodus of the French pay tribute to- the courage, 
liie patience, the dauntless spirit of the people on the roads. They 
all agree that the peasant refugee preserves under a terrible ordeal 
his ihanicterifstic faidi in himseEf and hi.s conntiy. The j>eusant is 
France, steady, (ou^h, indcpi'ndt^nt and bnive. . . . Nobody who 



knoiv^ (he gr^ij^s roots of France can doubt that even under Nazi 
occupation the R<:p\iblic will survive^ will be reincarnated, may in 
ihe long run be Che force which will help to fashion the Fourth 
Reich-^' 

^'Within the framework of the Third R.cpublic . . . thc^rc lived 
and flourished a civilizalion so brilltant, so human, so gracious and 
beautiful, that mankind will he in its debt forever, . _ ■ When free 
men look back upon this Republic, they will remcml>t:r - . . the 




32 



artists and thinkers, the poets, musicians, and scientists who made 
France during those ycar.^ a temple of ihc Western spirit." 

If thi*^ ""itOrpretaticjii of tlie undyin.^ .spirit of France is correct, 
the answer to our Oi'iginrtL question must be: "Yes, Fti^nce will live 
again.'' Bnt Fninct has. undf'fgont; not only -a d^mofa Sizing; dc-ftat. 
Since June 1940 it has been Bubmora^c^d in a dc^tadlnp^ Nazi occu- 
pation in which certain prominent Frenchmen have collabf^rated. 
In thf: courw: of the occupation has tho j;pirit of France suffered 
damaj»c tjcyond repajr, or has it been redoubled in strengUi through 
Nazi suppression and torture? 

FACTORS FOR THE FUTURE: FOUR SURE THINGS 

Ahsolute prodi<!tions are, of course, iTripossibJe because men can- 
not foresee the future. But some of the factors that wiJl undoubt- 
edly operate to shape the future can be foreseen, perhaps enough 
of them to paint a rather definite picture of what is. likely to come. 
Let's see what they are. 

It seems reFatively safe to suppose thiit the downward trend of 
the French population will continue- The drop may very well be- 
come BharjxT because of the war_ In any case- — despite Gennan 
losses that before the end of die war will number many times those 
of France — there will pr&bnbly be no great change ill thfr relative 
siwy of France with respect 10 Cei-martyi^ If anything, Germany will 
probably gain in compsrativc numbers . 

Natural limitations on the development of French industry pro- 
vide a second fairly cerlain factor- The Frejich pref*?i' the &mal3 
specialty and luxury' type of produelioHj and in it they show to be.si 
adviintage. But quite a^ide from preference or tradition, die sheer 
fact that France lacks ess;ential resources for the support of much 
modem industry in iron and stcet or light metals and aluminum 
alloys means ihat such industry will rcmam xinder a handicap- 

A third aspect of French life that seems unlikely to change very 
much is the system of owning and cullivaling farm land. By Amer- 
ican standards, it may be a poor way of doin^; under the cir- 

33 



cuinstances that exist in France, it may be the best way. Good or 
bad, it will not readiJy be abandoned by the stubbomJy conservative 



peasant farmers. 




Hevivevefj if the yoiin^ pxiopjc of France continue as they did 
between die wars to stream frwn tlic fcirm* to th^^ citie-!, the conse- 
quences- may be serious for a fofid produeiion ^y^trm ih^ii demarids 
a high quantity and quality of human latior. Already in V.VM} ^vhole 
villages in some air-as gf France were deserted and the fields were 
returning to an uncultivalcd state- Jii other ro'^ons the process was 
well along and efforts to check the population flow by favorahle 
fann legislation probably had hitie re:d suctess- 

Fourth, ihe legal and administrative systems are likely to remain 
pretty much aa before. They proved themselves adequate and ac- 
ceptable Jo France under the Third Republic and under hs nionar- 
ehical and imperial predecessors as welt. They seem to answer 
French need:^ and temperament, so only minor changes^ if any, may 
be expected here. 

THE BJG ISSUES 

In other matters the probable lines of development are much 
more hidden. There arc long-term factora to be considen^d; there 
are faeTors that will emerge dttriTi(^ or out of the transition from 

34 



occupied Ui Frto nation; ^and there arc factoid thai lie pTJcnarily 
within the decision not of France, but of the principal United 
Nations governments. 

Some Frtrnchmen advocate the r^^storation of the monarchy as 
the best form of government for France. But their numbers are 
not large; and the monarchist cause, too, has been discredited be- 
cause some of its foremost advocates allied themselves with Vichy. 

One of the mo!*t perplexing, most unpredictable, and at the aame 
time most important questions as to the future of France involves 
the potential slrcn^h of the Communist movement. Before the war 
Communist iJifluture was growin?; m France; the elections of 1932 
gave the Communist party ten seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 
those of 1936, seventy-two seats. By 1940, however, there were 
signs that the Fri*-nch eleetorat-c was finding tho quick-change 
artistry of the Communists to'> tnuch to stomach and was swinging 
back toward a more conservative outiook- 

TheiJ<^ circumstances must now be put It) the clans of iteiTiS inter- 
esting if true, for (he war and Ihe occupation have considerably 
changed the situation. The prestige of the Soviet Union has ri^en 
throughout tht world becituse of il^ victories over the Nazi armie&j 
and part of that admiration may have spilled over onCo the Soviet 
theory of government- The people of Franco no less than those of 
England and the United States have felt admiration for Russia's 
achievements in the war. Perhaps the French have also been influ- 
enced by the fact that the Conununists hEive taken a leading part 
in organizing the underground resistance movement. There are 
several Communists among the various elements rcpre:!jented lo 
General de Gaulle's NationEiL Liberation regime, and no analysis of 
the future of France would be complete that left them out of 
consideration. 

HoWfv-{:r, tl^e great body of Frenthm.en can probably be counted 
on to remain fajthfal to the piinciplci i^nd practices of popuhir 
government through republiciin forms. 

This makes it hkely though not certain that the new France will 
adoptj with some modifications, the system of the Third Republic. 

3S 



And there is j^otncthing to be s^nid for it i»s well ^^ agiiiiist il. In the 
first place the constitutional framework of the Republi*- was very 
flexible. That may not Eouiid liJ^e a desirable quality; but it means 
that considerable change?? can take place in a revised government 
without doing violence to the fundainenta] charter. 

Furthermore, it should hi.- said in favor of ihcNThird Republic 
that its basic constitution corresponds to the pattern of government 
that France has been learning to operate ever since 1815_ If the 
system left something to he desired m sueces.sfii] O]>erfltion, the more 
plauwble reform ■would seem to be to build on the long cjipcritnce 
of the past rather than to throw the whole scheme overboard, 

Il has b^en widely frit by thoti^hifuJ Frenchmfit^ that M^me 
strengthening of the executive branch of government is not only 
desirable but absolutely necessaiy, Proposiils to accornpJisli this 
range from an autboritariiin f^olution that would reduce the legis- 
lative branch to a jnere ehorus of ''yes men" — like the Getmyri: 
Reichstag after 1933 — to slight reforms that would merely give the 
premier greater authority over his cabinet and somewhat more pres- 
lige in the Chamber. 

THE SIIENT PEOPLE 

Another factor, however, probably will be decisive in the final 
determination of tile future form of government- This is the fact 
that, beciufee of the G^m^:in occupation and the htOp the G^rmnns 
receive from Viehy, only those Frenchmei^ fortunate enough to 
ej^cape from France have any chance to express opinions now. 

But. when German power is broken and France is again free, it 
is likely that the now sttcnt voice of the rcprcs^ned French al home 
will dominate the discuF^ion and the decision over the natiot;i*s 
political future. "No government which doe^ not have the sujjport 
of the French people can lon^ rule France— except by the u.^e of 
machine guns. The traditions of popular government arc loo strong 
(o allow disregard of die people's win. 

Popular government means party government of one sort or an- 

36 



other. And in any frtt eleclion in thf future, it is probable that 
the political picture will rc^emblE that of 1939^ with t!ie same gen- 
eral line-up of parties and m much the same proportionate strength. 
Shifts may be vi.^iblc, particularly toward the Left^ but it is unlikely 
that sny parties but iJjc openly pro-Nazi will diaappe-ar ejllircly^ 

UNSCRAMBLING THE ECONOMIC EGGS 

However, it is clear that the change from th-c status of Ati occu- 
pied belligere^it 1<j that t>f a n^ition Iil>em1ed iind at pe^ace will 
breed probI(::ms. Some of the most delicate and difficult of ail prob- 
lems m ihe reconstruction nf France are bound up in this matter 
of transition. 

One of the most trying is the question of recovering from ihr 
Getrnan^ lo^-il control over French economic instituiions. The Nazi 
method of Eakiiig ovrr Frrncli induMry, commerce, b:tnking, and 
similar institutions whs arbitrary, but it was accomplished with a 
careful regard for the outwiird legality of i3ie transactions under 
French law. 

On the one hand the invaders required the paymenl in Francs of 
enormous sums us *^co.sts ^>f occupalii^n," imposed fines on indi- 
vidual% group?, and particularly on citic:?, find summarily d^^alued 
the franc in teims of the markr With the fundi> thus acquirf^d, they 
paid out with the other hand the requisite purchase price of French 
businesses which tbey "persuaded" the owners to sell. Outwardly, 
it was all done "according to Hoyle," and it will be very difficult 
lo undo for that very reason, 

An added conipliralion in the w,iy of returning ownership to 
rightful hand^ h provided by the Gcnnait use of certain '"^tame" 
French capita.lists and of the facilities of neutral corporations to 
hide tlicir control. In oulvvitrd appearance, many entcrpriw:s remain 
French or belong to Swedish, Spanish, or Swi^s interests through 
perfectly legal purchase of control on the open stock market^ actu- 
ally the lines of control and of profit flow from and to members of 
the Nazi party. 

37 



In ail Europe since 1919 the l<;nd<^ncy has been for government 
ta assume more and more control over the national economy. In 
France after 1936 the tendency became marked, and it is not im- 
probable that the future will sec further development of the iiune 
trend. In the end, exact and careful return to the previous private 
owners of muct French property^ especially such things as public 
utilities^ common carriers, and basic productive industries^ may turn 
out to be an academic question. Rather than try to imscrarnble the 
ownership omelet <:^>oked up by the Naxis, a future French govern- 
ment may conceivably lake St over whole an the easiest way out of 
the mePA and the way most in line wtth the tend<Micy of the past 
quarter century. 

TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT 

A second issue involved in the transition period js tliat of tem- 
porary go-vemracnt. It shouJd be rem^irked at oare diat the French 
lio not contemplate either the necessity or the possibility of an occu- 
pation by Allied forces with accompanying supervision of French 
civil government- As far as ihe French are concerned, there in 
i^oing to be no Allied Military Government of Occupied Territory 
:ipplied in France. 

There are two rival regimes ofTering their services or preisumably 
available to assume the duties of midwife to the rebirth of France: 
the Vichy govrmment and the French Committee o^f National 
Liberation, The former can be counted out at the start. Led by 
Laval^ the men around Petain have compromised themselves in the 
eyes of the world and condemned themBclves in the eyes of the 
French. They cannot survive the defeat of Germany. 

Tlie Committee of National Liberation, howevef^ has several 
advantages. Its hcad^ Gciicr^il dc Gaulle, ha^ the prestige that 
accrtics to a man who never stopped fighting the Germans or 
ceased to call upon his counti^inen for resolute resistance. It n the 
only group that ha^ a claim to be representative of the people of 
France so far n% thev are vocal through the undertrround. And it 

36 



has been rccc^nized by (he principal Allied powers, with certain 
reservations, as the only provisional French authority wHth which 
they will deal. 

The Committee ha^ gone tlirough several reorganizations since: 
ata establishment on June 3, 1943. Originally It was a comprnmise 
Coilibination between the Free French movement led by De Gaulle 
^Jld staiione^d in London -and the military and civil Quthoritics that 
had faciHtated the A iiglo- American landings in North Africa. The 
Committee has fjradually become :i M>rt of irepi^&HCHtative cabinet 
buttressed with a Comultalive Assembly an both of which the vari- 
ous c-leraents of the French population are supposed to be repre- 
sented in proportion to their 5trcn^h. 

The National Committee in its pre^^ent fomi comes closer to 
popular rcproscutativc govmimrnt than did ihp- originally self- 
ronslituted Coniniines", hia in the natuic of things the actual divi- 
sions of opinions in France cannot be found out until liberation 
opens the way to democratic balloliug- Howevefj the aim of giving 
the people of Fnuicc an opp-ortunity to rule themselves when the 
time comcj^ is reci^iized in the Committee^ '"charter," in which it 
'Solemnly commits ilsclf to re-establish all French liberties, the laws 
of the Republic and the Republican regime." 

The same obligation to observe the popular will in setting "Up a 
future permanent government in France Ji stated very clearly in the 
terms of recognition e>itended the Committee by the United States 
and Great Britain. The United Slatcfin for in^iiance. recognized ''the 
French Comnnnee of National Liberation as functioning within 
specific limitations during the war. Liiter on the people of France, 
in a free and unlrammcled manner, will proceed in due course to 
select their own government ;ind their own officials to administer 
it." 

It will be easily seen that the Conmtittee has the inside track in 
the projected electoral race and is likewise in the best position lo 
propose the fomi of government to be eventually created. Until the 
jwople of France have a free voice to say what they want, no 
better barometer of future political arrangements in Franc* JS avail- 

39 



able to the world than the changing composition of tjic French 
National Committee. 



FRANCE IN THE COMING WORID 

Thus both the Committee of National Liberation Pud the United 
Nations have pledged to the peopJe of France an opportunity freely 
to choose their own future government. This double pledge, coupled 
with the devotion ol the great body of the F'-ench peoplp to popular 
government through republican forms, is perhaps the best possible 
assurance that the French Republic will tive again. 

But the choice of a future government is only one of a niimber 
of problems thai will confront France when the Germans have been 
driven out and peace has been restored. There will be the ravages 
and dislocations of the war to repair. There will be questions occa- 
sioned by the impact of the war on the French colonial empire. 
There will be the problem of the position of France, which lacks 
many of the saneWnS of power in Ihe machine agt, an^ong the nations 
of the world. 

As Ofie thinks about these problems of Fran-ce's future, il is well 
to remember thi^t for many generational French ideas and French 
traditions have exerted an enormous influence on the civilization 
of the world. If civilised men are to control the world of tomor- 
row, surely France, the source of so much in Western culture that 
is of enduring beauty and value, will again find a place in the fore- 
front of the struggle for freedom and hunxan welfare. 



40 



TO THE LEADER 

How to UsQ This PampMef 

Typ^s of discussion. Hie material in fhjSi pamphlet on the social 
and political instiiuiiuiis of France may well be treated in any one 
of four types of discussion; 

( 1 ) JnformitJ discussion 

(2) Panel discussion 

(3) Singlc-spcak.tr forum 

(4) Symposiitm 

Techniquc^n for orp;anizing and conducting these forms of discussion 
arc outlined in Guidt for Di^cusiion Leaders, a numbered Education 
ManUttl published as on^ of the s^me series of pajn]>hlet3 as the 
present one- This j^uidc should be in the hands of ev^ry leader of 
off-duty discussions in lEie Aimy- 

Since it i? necOss^ry to liavO a fairly detttij^-d background skeich^^d 
for the meiTlbtr^ of ^ ffi^oup atudyinj^ ihc future of france, you will 
be well advised to use the forum, or symposjum setting if you e?ip*?ct 
an audience of fifty or more person.^. If ynur group k analler, you 
should do one of two things: (1) Choose the pant'l discus.'^ion tech- 
nique and arrange lo have the panel members study the material 
carefully in advance so that they arc familiar with essential facts. 
(2) Choose informal dLsru-vsion and use one or more assistant 
leaden. If an expert on the suhjcct of France is availablcj use him 
as an assistant — otherwise one or more intelligent and interested 
individuals who are willing to prepare themselves on the facts thai 
will be needed during the discussion. 

Charts. Be svare to secure a map of France and reproduce charts 
given in this pamphlet. Put <hem up around the room or fasten 
them on a blacliboard or other stand so that ihey may Ix; seen by 
all members of the group. It does not matter if the reproductions 
arc crude[y done on rough paper, but they should be of sufficiently 
large size ti> be legible to a person fitting at the bacli of the 
audience. 

41 



Reading by group membem. The better acquainted the group 
members, are wath the facts about France, the more intelligent will 
be their questions or discussion. Have a copy or two of this 
pamphlet available for reading in the library or other reading room. 
Ask the librarian to prepare a reading shelf of books on the subject 
and to call it to the attention of visitors to the library. Announce 
publicly where preliminary reading naay be done by those interested. 

Panel discussion. In your introductory -statement summarize the 
reasons fur ibe collapse of France. Vou will iind six major reasons 
listed under the h^-ading 'Xookinj; Backward" page 30. This list 
is a brief summary of the first 30 pages of the pamphlet, which will 
.supply you with any other details you may wish to use- Your open- 
ing question might well be directed to an a,^sJ^tant leader who has 
^ome background in the .subj^ctn Su^f^ted openinj^ questions ^re: 
From ivhat we know about the Freneh, their instittitionSj and social 
and political ideals, is it likely that they will organize a democratic 
type of govemmciit after the war? Is fascism or communism likely 
to come to the fore? 

During (he course of your discussion you should h:ave in mind 
three main lines of in<|uiry: ( 1 ) Rea^ons for the politira) confu?;ion 
and final collapse of France in l?J40_ (2) Factors upon which the 
future of France will be btnlt. (3) Political and economic issues to 
be settled- Question^j in these three main lines of inquiry are sug- 
gested here. 

(1 ) Collapit. Was military defeat the cause or the result of distn* 
legration within France? To what extent did French pacifism bring 
about di^ititegration? Are the poputation trends in France good for 
the development of a strong nation? Does the muJtiple party system 
necessarily lead to weak political institutions i* To what eslent were 
fascists and communists within France causes of the collapse ? Was 
the French cotic<;pt of ''liberty'^ an aid to strong national govern- 
ment? Were French bureaucr^its a source of stren^h or ^veaknesE? 
What were the eflecls. of French industry on the stability of govern- 
ment? How has the relation.ship between church and state in 
France affected the strength of th*- nation? What part did the 

42 



farmers and high tariff play m Krcnch economic life before the 
war? (Seepages I-3I.) 

(2) Factors for the jscturc. Will the populadon trend conlinuci' 
What are the implications of this? Can France- develop extensive 
heavy industry? Will the French system of laiidownership change? 
Are the French legal and administrative systems Iike3y to change 
radically? (See pages 31—35.) 

(3) J.siuvi. Will there be a Fourth Republic? Do many French- 
men bclitve in monarchy? la it likely that the communists will sell 
their ideas to lh^ Fj^nth? What are the factors that will make 
economic- rtrcovery difficult ? Will (he De Giiullc Committee of 
>fational Liberation b^ a stabilizing ii^duence during a it-dmitif>i1*4l 
period? What may be the future nf France as a world power? 
fSec pa^s !ii-+3.) 

Panel dhrussion. Divide the three main lines of inquiry among 
the panel, asking ooc or two members to make themselves expert 
on each of ihem. For the diJieussion, follow the same general plan 
as above. 

Single -ipeaker {arum or syrtiposiunt. The same general outline 
will be useful for cither forum or symposium. Do not uic a single 
speaker unless you have an undoubted authority who speaks wcll_ 
If you cho«ie a symposium^ .select three speaJ^ers and assign one of 
the three maio Jinf.^ of inquiry to ciich. Allow ea.ch 10 to 12 minutes 
for his speech, and provide for a question period afterward. 



43