11 France and Britain in the Belle Epoque: -- Part 2
The issue merged with a lot of other issues and emotionally fraught symbols.
The central point for many anti-Dreyfusards was whether France's army should be subjected to humiliation and destructive scrutiny by the left.
The threat to weaken a vulnerable fatherland by humiliating its army was more important than Dreyfus.
Even if justice worked against the security of the state, it became a pure and simple issue for many Dreyfusards.
The way that the anti-Dreyfusards saw left-wing politicians and intellectuals was similar to the way they saw conservative military officers in France.
Emile Zola, France's best-known novelist, became involved in The Affair and wrote a manifesto that became one of the most famous in European history.
Many of his novels portrayed French society as being in the grips of impersonal forces and were considered trash by the Catholic right.
Many conservatives had to learn that Zola was defending Dreyfus in order to become anti-Dreyfusard.
Zola saw it as a necessary gamble, with the goal of putting life into the case, even though he could not prove many of his charges.
He succeeded in that regard.
After spending five years on Devil's Island, a prison in French Guiana, Dreyfus was finally brought back from his imprisonment, and he was cleared after new trials.
After taking control of the French parliament and state, the Dreyfusard republicans moved to clean house in the army.
Further measures were taken to weaken the Catholic Church.
The Affair lived on.
The exoneration of Dreyfus was a demonstration of the power of the Jews.
It was believed on the left that justice had prevailed and that corruption in high places had been exposed.
For a few years, it seemed that the Dreyfusard victory might contribute to a more stable and secure republic, based on a cohesive left-center coalition, one that would be capable of more effectively addressing France's many neglected economic and social problems.
The cabinet instability of the previous years, as well as the corruption of France's political class on both the left and right, reappeared.
By the eve of World War I, some of the idealists who had joined the fight for justice and truth had become discouraged.
Theodor Herzl, a reporter for a prominent Viennese newspaper and the founder of modern Jewish nationalism, was another disappointed observer of the Dreyfus Affair.
This new ism is often described as having sprung up in response to antisemitism, epitomized in Herzl's conclusion that Jews would never be fully accepted into any modern nation.
He thought France to be a model of modern toleration and universalist ideals, but after the Affair he wrote that "we Jews move where we are not persecution, and our appearance then leads to new persecution."
The answer to the Jewish Question was for Jews to abandon hope of being accepted through assimilation, and to establish their own state, where they could become "normal", shaking off the defects, psychic and physical they had acquired over centuries of persecution, exclusion, and disdain.
Europe's broader society didn't pay much attention to Herzl, who died at forty-four years of age in 1904.
The repercussions of the socialist Millerand's joining the bourgeois-dominated, non-socialist coalition of republican defense formed in June of 1898 had to do with another sign of disgruntlement in France.
Millerand's time in office was seen as disappointing by many socialists because it showed that class cooperation was an illusion and that bourgeois politics were corrupting.
After World War I, Millerand moved to the right and became the president of the republic.
The formation of the SFIO in 1905 was the result of the Socialist International's official denunciation of class collaboration and ministerialism in 1904. socialists were not to enter any future cabinets of bourgeois parties, and instead were to work for an eventual Marxist-style victory in revolution, based on the support of the majority of the population, according to the new party program.
The SFIO grew steadily between 1905 and 1914 but was still small compared to the SPD.
The CGT was suspicious of the SFIO because it was allied with the German trade-union movement.
The politicians of the Third Republic were distrusted by the French anarcho-syndicalists.
They shared a contempt for all things bourgeois with the Marxist.
The general strike of the anarcho-syndicalist movement gained national attention in the late 19th century because it would bring down capitalism and the centralized state.
The state would be ruled by local organizations of the working class.
Working-class leaders in Germany were divided over the feasibility of a general strike.
It was seen as inviting chaos by some.
The idea of a general strike was most attractive to trade unions in France, Italy, and Spain.
Mussolini was credited with influencing men who later became fascists after reading Sorel's writings.
The "myth" of the general strike was similar to the Day of Judgment for the Christian faithful according to Sorel.
The way in which myths could inspire moral fervor and heroic action was what he was most interested in.
Historians have been critical of the Third Republic because of France's collapse before the armies of Nazi Germany.
In a similar way, the Holocaust has made the Dreyfus Affair stand out, offering proof to some observers that Herzl was correct and that there was an ominously rising tide of antisemitism in the generation before 1914.
The survival of the republic and the victory of those who opposed antisemitism were impressive in the immediate prewar years.
French Jews didn't try to leave France.
Most Jews in the countries of western Europe were not tempted to become Zionists.
The Third Republic of France allowed Jews from eastern Europe to escape poverty and persecution.