Zola Jackson (COLL BLEUE) (French Edition)
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It remains one of the most striking examples of a complex miscarriage of justice in which a central role was played by the press and public opinion.
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At issue was blatant anti-Semitism as practiced by the French Army and defended by conservatives and Catholic traditionalists against secular centre-left, left and republican forces, including most Jews. In the end, the latter triumphed. The affair began in November with the conviction for treason of Captain Alfred Dreyfus , a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent. Two years later, evidence came to light that identified a French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy as the real spy. After high-ranking military officials suppressed the new evidence, a military court unanimously acquitted Esterhazy.
In response, the Army brought up additional charges against Dreyfus based on false documents. Activists put pressure on the government to re-open the case. In , Dreyfus was returned to France for another trial. The new trial resulted in another conviction and a year sentence, but Dreyfus was given a pardon and set free. Eventually all the accusations against him were demonstrated to be baseless, and in , Dreyfus was exonerated and re-instated as a major in the French Army. From to , the scandal divided France deeply and lastingly into two opposing camps: the pro-Army "anti-Dreyfusards" composed of conservatives, Catholic traditionalists and monarchists who generally lost the initiative to the anti-clerical, pro-republican "Dreyfusards", with strong support from intellectuals and teachers.
It embittered French politics and facilitated the increasing influence of radical politicians on both sides of the political spectrum. The democratic political structure was supported by the proliferation of politicized newspapers. The circulation of the daily press in Paris went from 1 million in to 5 million in ; it later reached 6 million in Advertising grew rapidly, providing a steady financial basis for publishing, but it did not cover all of the costs involved and had to be supplemented by secret subsidies from commercial interests that wanted favourable reporting.
A new liberal press law of abandoned the restrictive practices that had been typical for a century. High-speed rotary Hoe presses , introduced in the s, facilitated quick turnaround time and cheaper publication.
New types of popular newspapers, especially Le Petit Journal , reached an audience more interested in diverse entertainment and gossip than hard news. It captured a quarter of the Parisian market and forced the rest to lower their prices. The main dailies employed their own journalists who competed for news flashes. All newspapers relied upon the Agence Havas now Agence France-Presse , a telegraphic news service with a network of reporters and contracts with Reuters to provide world service.
The staid old papers retained their loyal clientele because of their concentration on serious political issues. The Roman Catholic Assumptionist order revolutionized pressure group media by its national newspaper La Croix. It vigorously advocated for traditional Catholicism while at the same time innovating with the most modern technology and distribution systems, with regional editions tailored to local taste. Secularists and Republicans recognized the newspaper as their greatest enemy, especially when it took the lead in attacking Dreyfus as a traitor and stirring up anti-Semitism.
After Dreyfus was pardoned, the Radical government closed down the entire Assumptionist order and its newspaper in Banks secretly paid certain newspapers to promote particular financial interests and hide or cover up misbehaviour. They also took payments for favourable notices in news articles of commercial products. Sometimes, a newspaper would blackmail a business by threatening to publish unfavorable information unless the business immediately started advertising in the paper.
Foreign governments, especially Russia and Turkey, secretly paid the press hundreds of thousands of francs a year to guarantee favourable coverage of the bonds it was selling in Paris. When the real news was bad about Russia, as during its Revolution or during its war with Japan, it raised the ante to millions. During the World War, newspapers became more of a propaganda agency on behalf of the war effort and avoided critical commentary. They seldom reported the achievements of the Allies, crediting all the good news to the French army.
In a sentence, the newspapers were not independent champions of the truth, but secretly paid advertisements for banking. The World War ended a golden era for the press.
Their younger staff members were drafted, and male replacements could not be found female journalists were not considered suitable. Rail transportation was rationed and less paper and ink came in, and fewer copies could be shipped out.
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Inflation raised the price of newsprint, which was always in short supply. The cover price went up, circulation fell and many of the dailies published outside Paris closed down. The government set up the Interministerial Press Commission to supervise the press closely. A separate agency imposed tight censorship that led to blank spaces where news reports or editorials were disallowed. The dailies sometimes were limited to only two pages instead of the usual four, leading one satirical paper to try to report the war news in the same spirit:. Regional newspapers flourished after However the Parisian newspapers were largely stagnant after the war.
The major postwar success story was Paris Soir , which lacked any political agenda and was dedicated to providing a mix of sensational reporting to aid circulation and serious articles to build prestige.
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By , its circulation was over 1. In addition to its daily paper, Paris Soir sponsored a highly successful women's magazine Marie-Claire.
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Another magazine, Match , was modelled on the photojournalism of the American magazine Life. France was a rural nation, and the peasant farmer was the typical French citizen. In his seminal book Peasants Into Frenchmen , historian Eugen Weber traced the modernization of French villages and argued that rural France went from backward and isolated to modern with a sense of national identity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
He based his findings on school records, migration patterns, military service documents and economic trends. Weber argued that until or so a sense of French nationhood was weak in the provinces. Weber then looked at how the policies of the Third Republic created a sense of French nationality in rural areas. Weber's scholarship was widely praised, but was criticized by some who argued that a sense of Frenchness existed in the provinces before The French gloried in the national prestige brought by the great Parisian stores.
Zola represented it as a symbol of the new technology that was both improving society and devouring it. The novel describes merchandising, management techniques, marketing, and consumerism. The Grands Magasins Dufayel was a huge department store with inexpensive prices built in in the northern part of Paris, where it reached a very large new customer base in the working class. In a neighbourhood with few public spaces, it provided a consumer version of the public square. It educated workers to approach shopping as an exciting social activity, not just a routine exercise in obtaining necessities, just as the bourgeoisie did at the famous department stores in the central city.
Like the bourgeois stores, it helped transform consumption from a business transaction into a direct relationship between consumer and sought-after goods. Its advertisements promised the opportunity to participate in the newest, most fashionable consumerism at reasonable cost. The latest technology was featured, such as cinemas and exhibits of inventions like X-ray machines that could be used to fit shoes and the gramophone.
Increasingly after , the stores' work force became feminized , opening up prestigious job opportunities for young women. Despite the low pay and long hours, they enjoyed the exciting complex interactions with the newest and most fashionable merchandise and upscale customers. It was classically liberal in political orientation and opposed the monarchists and clerical elements on the one hand, and the Socialists on the other. Many members had been recruited by the Freemasons. The workers' demands for strikes threatened such stability and pushed many Radicals toward conservatism. It opposed women's suffrage for fear that women would vote for its opponents or for candidates endorsed by the Catholic Church.
In foreign policy, it favoured a strong League of Nations after the war, and the maintenance of peace through compulsory arbitration, controlled disarmament, economic sanctions, and perhaps an international military force. Governing coalitions collapsed with regularity, rarely lasting more than a few months, as radicals, socialists, liberals, conservatives, republicans and monarchists all fought for control. Some historians argue that the collapses were not important because they reflected minor changes in coalitions of many parties that routinely lost and gained a few allies.
Consequently, the change of governments could be seen as little more than a series of ministerial reshuffles, with many individuals carrying forward from one government to the next, often in the same posts. Throughout the lifetime of the Third Republic — , there were battles over the status of the Catholic Church in France among the republicans, monarchists and the authoritarians such as the Napoleonists.
The French clergy and bishops were closely associated with the monarchists and many of its hierarchy were from noble families. Republicans were based in the anti-clerical middle class, who saw the Church's alliance with the monarchists as a political threat to republicanism, and a threat to the modern spirit of progress. The republicans were strengthened by Protestant and Jewish support.
Numerous laws were passed to weaken the Catholic Church. In , priests were excluded from the administrative committees of hospitals and boards of charity; in , new measures were directed against the religious congregations; from to came the substitution of lay women for nuns in many hospitals; in , the Ferry school laws were passed.
Napoleon's Concordat of continued in operation, but in , the government cut off salaries to priests it disliked. Republicans feared that religious orders in control of schools—especially the Jesuits and Assumptionists —indoctrinated anti-republicanism into children. Determined to root this out, republicans insisted they needed control of the schools for France to achieve economic and militaristic progress. Republicans felt one of the primary reasons for the German victory in was their superior education system.
The early anti-Catholic laws were largely the work of republican Jules Ferry in Religious instruction in all schools was forbidden, and religious orders were forbidden to teach in them.
Funds were appropriated from religious schools to build more state schools. Later in the century, other laws passed by Ferry's successors further weakened the Church's position in French society. Civil marriage became compulsory, divorce was introduced, and chaplains were removed from the army. In , he told French bishops not to act in a hostile manner toward the State 'Nobilissima Gallorum Gens' . In , he issued an encyclical advising French Catholics to rally to the Republic and defend the Church by participating in republican politics 'Au milieu des sollicitudes' .
From the Churches perspective, its mission was to express the political ideals and new social doctrines embodied in Leo's encyclical " Rerum Novarum ". Membership was open to everyone, not just Catholics. It sought to gather all the "honest people" and to be the melting pot sought by Leo XIII where Catholics and moderate Republicans would unite to support a policy of tolerance and social progress. Its motto summarized its program: "Liberty for all; equality before the law; better conditions for the workers.
The ALP was drawn into battle from its very beginnings its first steps coincided with the beginning of the Combes ministry and its anticlerical combat policy , as religious matters were at the heart of its preoccupations. It defended the Church in the name of liberty and common law. Nevertheless, the ALP remained until the most important party on the right.
The attempt at improving the relationship with republicans failed.