The Politics of Pessimism: Albert de Broglie and Conservative Politics in the Early Third Republic

University of Delaware Press, 1996 - 427 pages
Despite his importance in conservative politics of the early years of the Third Republic of France, Duc Albert de Broglie has been largely ignored by historians. Historian Alan Grubb seeks to right that oversight in this book.
Broglie was the most outstanding, influential, and controversial figure of the conservative group. He bore an illustrious family name, but because of the vicissitudes of French politics, he entered public life only in 1871, at the age of fifty, following the collapse of the Second Empire. Elected to the National Assembly, he became the acknowledged, if not always liked, leader of the monarchist majority, the spokesman of conservative union, and the Right's most effective - and to the republicans, confounding - political strategist. As such, he played a central role in political developments of the day - in the overthrow of Thiers, in the attempt to restore the monarchy, in the creation of the seven-year presidency or Septennat, in the monarchists' reluctant adoption of a republican constitution in 1875, and finally in the Right's desperate attempt to hold on to power in the so-called Seize Mai affair of 1877, the Republic's first major political crisis.
There is no biography of Broglie in either French or English, a lack that Grubb tries to remedy in this study. The author uses Broglie's published memoirs and family archives of his close friends to examine his political career and conservative politics of the period. For in Broglie's "failure" there was also the Right's and his own "brief passage in affairs," as he later called it, that proved to be an important one in French history: for himself, the Right, the Notables, and the Republic itself.

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Table des matières

The Long Preparation
Deputy and Ambassador
24 May
The First Ministry
The Septennate
The Constitution of 1875
Seize Mai
The Campaign
The Last Years
Droits d'auteur

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Page 8 - The salient fact of her life— from the day of her birth, which she credited almost exclusively to her father, to the day in 1817 when the Due de Broglie deposited her body at the feet of...
Page 409 - Acton, Essays in the Liberal Interpretation of History, ed. William H. McNeill (Chicago and London, 1967), p.
Page 16 - ... drawing-room. He had never been frivolous, as one of his friends once said, and had but seldom shown himself amiable. This absence of human passions made him sometimes unjust towards those who had felt their influence, or allowed themselves to be carried away by them. One could not imagine a time when the Due de Broglie had been young, nor a moment when he had not been absorbed by his duties or his studies. He was a living encyclopaedia, and was continually improving his own mind by devoting...

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