Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
Chapter 22 Le Parti de la République Autoritaire
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In 1923 Hervé was as upset with the violence of the extreme Right as he was with that of the extreme Left. The antics exhibited by the Camelots du Roi not only helped the cause of the extreme Left, they were the antithesis of the discipline which he assumed was mandatory for a redressement nationale.1 Despite the counter-revolutionary cast of his own ideas, Hervé was almost always against violence. His regressive domestic policies were reactive responses to increasingly rapid changes in an era of disorder and violence. Because his extreme solutions to French problems sought safety, security, and order, he was out of step with almost every shade of militant opinion in France in the interwar period. Positions similar to Hervé’s were often more forcefully stated and more readily accepted when they were expressed by others. After placing great hopes in the Bloc National, Hervé became disillusioned by its failure to attack the problems which he considered most urgent: depopulation, the heritage of republican anticlericalism, and constitutional reform. In 1923 Hervé had, for a time, supported Poincaré’s aggressive foreign policy in the hope that such support might foster governmental policies favoring re-Christianization.2 His desire to avoid international disorder, his disillusion with Poincaré’s anticlerical domestic policy, and his criticism of the Ministry’s excessive formalism along with its penchant for overly legalistic approaches to solve problems led to a cancellation of financial support to La Victoire by the Président du Conseil’s political allies.3 ← 701 | 702...
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