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Action Française

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Militant French right-wing movement, often identified as a precursor to fascism . Founded in 1898 by the neo-royalist ideologue maurras amid the dreyfus affair , the organization was first called the Ligue de la Patrie Française, before becoming Action Française a year later. A newspaper bearing this name appeared from 1908 onwards, edited by the prolific author Léon Daudet. Promoting antisemitism and fierce nationalism , Action Française enjoyed considerable support among the bourgeoisie, though it also sought to attract the urban working classes, and had a youth section, the Camelots du Roi, which broke up left-wing meetings. Having fervently supported the war effort from 1914 to 1918, Action Française lost ground during the 1920s to new right-wing organizations, such as the croix de feu . In 1926 the movement was condemned by pius xi , not for its racism and propensity towards violence, but because of its increasingly agnostic message. Several priests, however, continued to subscribe, and Maurras' men were prominent in the stavisky affair of 1934. During World War II several supporters served in the early cabinets of the vichy regime , before the movement was banned at the Liberation. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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