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 started a lifelong attempt to set up a average republic established upon his perception of liberal political values. The time appeared propitious to instill lofty objective into French political existence, for his access into the Chamber coincided with the consolidation of the republican regime following the difficulty of sixteen might. however the first wave of republican anti-clericalism printed the fragility of Ribot's hopes. in the course of the subsequent 40 years, successive dramatic levels in republican heritage - Boulangism, the Dreyfus Affair, separa tion of church and nation, the emergence of socialism, and finally, the calls for of wartime management - might try out Ribot's process 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 develop into in its place sanctuary for a privileged classification in French society.
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Additional resources for Alexandre Ribot: Odyssey of a Liberal in the Third Republic
Ribot, speaking for Dufaure, fought Simon's plans by depicting the danger from the right as far greater than fears of Gambetta. Consequently, Parlement shied away from Simon's idea of a broadly based conservative party encompassing the right. 20 He clearly drew the line at the right flank. Then, on Gambetta's pet project of replacing the scrutin d' arrondissement by the scrutin de lisle method of voting, Ribot's links to opportunism became clear. , an editorial which broke cleanly with Dufaure and Georges Picot without forewarning either his patron or his friend.
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. Neither could accept this position. IS Thus the paper's editorial line remained indecisive, vacillating between the camps of the opportunists and the right.
Ferry's subsequent dominance, however, ended this flurry of activity. Parlement simply never drew a sustaining audience, and certainly the competition of the Debats for a similar moderate center readership contributed to this failure. Directed by Leon Say, the Journal des Patinot to Ribot, personal letter, April 1885, Ribot MSS. Ribot to Mme Ribot, personal letter, 19 August 1884, Ribot MSS. 43 Ribot to Boucher, personal letters, 7 February 1881, 5 April 1881, and 28 October 1882, Ribot MSS. 41 42 POLITICS AS A PROFESSION, 1878-1889 Dibats projected a more clearly laic position on religious matters and adhered to economic free trade more closely than Parlement.