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Anti-Protestant Rhetoric in the Early Third Republic

Steven C. Hause
French Historical Studies
Vol. 16, No. 1 (Spring, 1989), pp. 183-201
Published by: Duke University Press
DOI: 10.2307/286440
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/286440
Page Count: 19
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Anti-Protestant Rhetoric in the Early Third Republic
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Abstract

During the late nineteenth-century, anti-Protestantism revived in French political thought. This was part of a right-wing attack upon the "quatre états confédérés" (Jews, Protestants, Masons, métèques) seen as threatening the nation and its traditions. Anti-Protestant rhetoric can be found in the writings of such well-known figures as Edouard Drumont, Charles Maurras, and Maurice Barres as well as in the works of many less prominent figures. They argued that Protestantism was (1) a foreign religion, essentially Germanic; (2) revolutionary, threatening all authority; (3) anti-Catholic, or even anti-Christian; and (4) that Protestants had begun a "conquest" of France, holding vastly disproportionate power during the early Third Republic. Anti-Protestant arguments typically rested on misrepresentations of the French Protestant community and on fallacious logic, such as depicting Protestantism through prominent Parisians rather than studying the Protestants of the Cévennes or the pays de Montbeliard.

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