By Paul B. Miller

From Revolutionaries to Citizens is the 1st entire account of crucial antiwar crusade sooner than international battle I: the antimilitarism of the French Left. overlaying the perspectives and activities of socialists, exchange unionists, and anarchists from the time of France’s defeat by means of Prussia in 1870 to the outbreak of hostilities with Germany in 1914, Paul B. Miller tackles a primary query of prewar historiography: how did the main antimilitarist tradition and society in Europe come to just accept or even aid warfare in 1914?

Although extra basic money owed of the Left’s “failure” to halt overseas battle in August 1914 specialize in its loss of harmony or the decline of exchange unionism, Miller contends that those motives slightly scratch the outside by way of studying the Left’s overwhelming reputation of the struggle. by way of embedding his cultural research of antimilitarist propaganda into the bigger political and diplomatic heritage of prewar Europe, he unearths the Left’s likely surprising transformation “from revolutionaries to electorate” as much less a failure of get to the bottom of than a confession of commonality with the wider beliefs of republican France. studying resources starting from police documents and court docket documents to German and British international place of work memos, Miller emphasizes the good fortune of antimilitarism as a rallying cry opposed to social and political inequities on behalf of standard voters. regardless of their willing knowledge of the bloodletting that awaited Europe, he claims, antimilitarists eventually authorized the struggle with Germany for a similar cause that they had pursued their very own fight inside of France: to handle injustices and shield the rights of electorate in a democratic society.

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Extra resources for From revolutionaries to citizens : antimilitarism in France, 1870-1914

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Perhaps the most telling element of the work is the author’s binding suspicion that the present political and economic system has essentially brainwashed people. ‘‘Militarist spirit’’ becomes something artificially maintained in citizens through the capitalist press, politicians, and education. ’’∞∏ I highlight these passages not because they are innovative in any ideological sense, but because of their very consistency with late-nineteenth-century anarchist and radical socialist propaganda. Nieuwenhuis’s appeal here is to consciousness.

Allemanists, Blanquists, and, more hesitantly, Guesdists chided it as ‘‘patriotic groveling,’’ Tsarist opportunism, and undisguised belligerence. ‘‘The Russian alliance means peace like the Empire meant peace,’’ read an editorial in Le Socialiste. The politicians Jaurès, Brousse, Millerand, and Viviani were more pragmatic, accusing the triple origins of war 25 alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy) of forcing France to seek allies of her own. Perhaps Millerand argued the point best, reminding his fellow socialists that they are ‘‘patriots, profoundly patriots, patriots of feeling and of reason.

The aia did advocate the workers’ revolt in the case of war, and it admitted discussion of extreme measures such as desertion and sabotage. ≤Ω From the outset, there seems to have been a conscious e√ort on the part of the section’s founders to make the ideology of antimilitarism a self-standing and universally appealing one. Not all parties concerned, however, were willing to accept this compromise, and the aia had its dissenters too. Several pieces in the new journal L’Anarchie denounced ‘‘aiat-ism’’ as a degradation of true anarchist principles: ‘‘Antimilitarism is essentially of anarchist origins.

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