By M.E. Schmidt
In 1878 Alexandre Ribot assumed his position on the left-center of the French Chamber of Deputies. From right here he begun a lifelong attempt to set up a average republic established upon his notion of liberal political values. The time appeared propitious to instill lofty function into French political existence, for his access into the Chamber coincided with the consolidation of the republican regime following the predicament of sixteen may well. however the first wave of republican anti-clericalism printed the fragility of Ribot's hopes. throughout the subsequent 40 years, successive dramatic levels in republican historical past - Boulangism, the Dreyfus Affair, separa tion of church and country, the emergence of socialism, and eventually, the calls for of wartime management - may try Ribot's method of political values. Adaptive and resilient, he sophisticated his definition of liberalism based on political switch and the cost that his plea for liberty and toleration had turn into as a substitute sanctuary for a privileged type in French society.
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Extra info for Alexandre Ribot: Odyssey of a Liberal in the Third Republic
Politically, at least in Pas-de-Calais, elements of the Catholic Church were enemies of the republic. "16 Mter years of theoretical discussion, he faced the practical challenge of reconciling the principle of individual liberty with the needs of the state. Cautiously, in spring 1880, Parlement came out in favor of control over religious associations as part of a general law covering all associations, both civil and religious. The discriminatory Ferry legislation was unacceptable. However, beyond favoring a general law, or perhaps one for religious congregations, if necessary, which would "conciliate the rights of the state and those of liberty," Parlement was not very helpfulY And when Dufaure presented a bill in the Senate to maintain full liberty for religious congregations - the impeccable liberal positionboth Ribot and his editor Dietz were completely disconcerted.
Conciliation required collaboration with opportunists, and Picot, Patinot, and Dietz at the Dibats viewed their friend's 48 Picot to Ribot, personal letter, 31 August 1885; Ribot to Mme Ribot, personal letter, 3 September 1885, Ribot MSS. 49 Ribot to Mme Ribot, personal letter, 5 September 1885, Ribot MSS. 50 Gaston Griolet to Ribot, personal letter, 6 October 1885; Leon Say to Ribot, personal letter, 12 October 1885; Patinot to Ribot, personal letter, 13-14 October 1885, Ribot MSS. POLITICS AS A PROFESSION, 1878-1889 39 behavior with misgivings.
Perversely, at the last moment when Freycinet decided to stake the life of his cabinet on the issue, Ribot was one of a handful of deputies who supported him. France stood aside as the British occupied Egypt. During the remainder of the decade, Ribot would refuse to become alarmed at the tightening British hold. Regrettably, the problem divided the two nations, but he bore no grudge, since he was convinced that the matter could be arranged. 35 When he did become foreign minister in 1890, Egypt was the first topic on his agenda.
Alexandre Ribot: Odyssey of a Liberal in the Third Republic by M.E. Schmidt