By M.E. Schmidt

In 1878 Alexandre Ribot assumed his position on the left-center of the French Chamber of Deputies. From the following he begun a lifelong attempt to set up a average republic dependent upon his perception of liberal political values. The time appeared propitious to instill lofty function into French political existence, for his access into the Chamber coincided with the consolidation of the republican regime following the situation of sixteen may perhaps. 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 background - Boulangism, the Dreyfus Affair, separa­ tion of church and country, the emergence of socialism, and finally, the calls for of wartime management - may try out Ribot's process of political values. Adaptive and resilient, he subtle his definition of liberalism in line with political switch and the cost that his plea for liberty and toleration had turn into as a substitute sanctuary for a privileged category in French society.

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Ribot responded to this new evidence of domestic malaise by concluding that while Grevy was innocent of wrongdoing the presidential office had been tainted; therefore Grevy had to resign. Supported by Ferryists in discussions for formation of a cabinet, Ribot subordinated everything to the president's resignation, and the two men discussed its manner of presentation at length. Ribot's first serious bid for the premiership was rejected, however, because Grevy hoped secretly that the deputy would help maintain him in office.

He knew administrators, judges, and prefects valuable connections for a future minister but valueless in his effort to establish a parliamentary base. Politically, Ribot viewed the deputies as a mass of individuals who barely recognized the existence of parties as such, but who understood the significance of MacMahon's resignation as president early in 1879. Republicans now controlled the republic. This implied the overwhelming influence of Leon Gambetta and his prevailing non-doctrine of opportunism.

25 Speculation over what the opportunist leader intended to do is unprofitable except to note that Gambetta offered Ribot a post in his "grand ministry" in November 1881 26 because of his views as well as his recognized parliamentary skill. Electoral success had encouraged Gambetta finally to exchange his Le Parlement, 13 August 1881, p. I, and 14 August 1881, pp. 1-2. Ribot to Boucher, personal letter, 7 February 1881, Ribot MSS. 25 Le Parlement, 8 June 1883, p. I. 26 Joseph Reinach, Le Ministere Gambetta,' Histoire et doctrine, [1 novembre [88[-20 janvier [882 (Paris: G.

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