Paul Maistre, 1858-1922, French General
Paul Maistre was a French General who came to prominence late in the First World War. As commander of the Sixth Army he helped to restore morale after the disastrous spring offensive of 1917. He then saw command in Italy, helping to restore the situation after the battle of Caporetto and back in France during the German offensives of the spring and early summer of 1918.
Maistre was a graduate of St. Cyr, with a successful pre-war career that include line, staff and teaching posts, including a period teaching tactics at the staff college under Ferdinand Foch. In 1909 Colonel Maistre was given command of a regiment, and by the outbreak of the First World War he had risen to command a brigade.
In 1914 he was appointed chief of staff to General Langle de Cary, commander of the Fourth Army. In that role he took part in the battle of the Ardennes, and then the first battle of the Marne. As a result of his performance at the Marne he was promoted two levels to command XXI corps.
This corps took part in the Race to the Sea. It was the northernmost corps on the Tenth Army front when the BEF came into the line at La Bassée, and ended up at Armentières in November 1914, where it spent the next year.
In the first half of 1916 Maistre and his corps served at the battle of Verdun. Later in the year they took part in the last French offensives of the battle of the Somme. In April 1917 XXI corps was in the reserve, and missed General Nivelle’s disastrous second Battle of the Aisne (16 April-15 May 1917).
During that battle General Mangin, one of Nivelle’s main supporters, had led the Sixth Army to a bloody defeat on the Aisne, and on 1 May 1917 Maistre was appointed to command the Sixth Army. His immediate problem was to put down the mutinies that broke out after the failure on the Aisne, and during this period he warned General Pétain, the new French commander-in-chief, not to risk using it for offensive operations, as it wouldn’t leave its trenches.
Maistre successfully restored the morale of the army over the next five months, until it was capable of launching a small scale offensive (battle of Malmaison, 23-25 October 1917). This battle saw a skilful use of heavy artillery combined with tanks, and achieved its limited objectives at a low cost.
His success with the Sixth Army boosted Maistre’s reputation. When the Italian front collapsed at Caporetto (24 October - 12 November 1917), Maistre was sent to command the French Tenth Army, sent to assist restore the situation. The Italian retreat came to an end at the Piave river, seventy miles behind the original front line, and British and French troops would eventually help the Italians push the Austrians back out of Italy, but Maistre did not remain to see that.
In the spring of 1918 Ludendorff launched the first of his five great offensives, on the Somme. The Allied line bent and buckled, but did not break. Maistre was returned to France to take part in the desperate fighting to hold back the German offensive. In June Maistre was appointed to command the Centre Army Group, which covered the front between Soissons and the Argonne. This put him directly in the line of the last of the five German offensives, the Champagne-Marne Offensive of 15-18 July 1918, which struck the French lines on both sides of Reims, and in the Allied counterattack that followed (Aisne-Marne Offensive, 18 July-6 August 1918).
The Centre Army Group was responsible for the Meuse River-Argonne Forest Offensive, 26 September-11 November 1918, the southern part of Foch’s great war-winning offensive. By the end of the war French troops had returned to Sedan and were back on the same ground that Maistre had fought over in the Ardennes four years earlier.
After the war Maistre served on the Supreme War Council and as inspector general of infantry. He died in 1922. Maistre is a good example of a capable general who rose to high command during the war, going from brigade command prior to 1914 to command an entire army group at the end of the war.
Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War
Paul André Marie Maistre, (20 June 1858 – 25 July 1922) was a highly decorated French general who fought in World War I.  He graduated from Saint Cyr in 1877, first in his class. He later returned as an instructor. He was promoted to captain in 1887, major in 1898, and general in 1912. In 1914 he was chief of staff a for the Fourth Army. When the war began he was promoted to general of division and took command of XXI Corps, fighting a numerous battles on the Western Front. In May 1917 Maistre was given command of the Sixth Army after the failure of the Nivelle Offensive. His combat troops, however, were mutinous, and let known their opposition to his planned offensive against the German line. He back down. By June 1917, there was serious unrest in 11 of his 17 divisions. By October 1917, however, he had restored discipline and went on the offensive. He was victorious at Battle of La Malmaison. 
Maistre briefly commanded French forces in Italy, but in Spring of 1918 he was given command of the Tenth Army on the Western Front, with orders to stop the Ludendorff German spring offensive. The Germans were finally stopped. Maistre played a major role in the Allied counter-offensive in July, where he commanded Army Group Center. He was the victor of the Second Battle of the Marne. After the war in 1920 he became General Inspector of Infantry, and died in that role. 
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
Paul André Marie Maistre, (20 June 1858 – 25 July 1922) was a highly decorated French general who fought in World War I. Ώ] He graduated from Saint Cyr in 1877, first in his class. He later returned as an instructor. He was promoted to captain in 1887, major in 1898, and general in 1912. In 1914 he was chief of staff a for the Fourth Army. When the war began he was promoted to general of division and took command of XXI Corps, fighting a numerous battles on the Western Front. In May 1917 Maistre was given command of the Sixth Army after the failure of the Nivelle Offensive. His combat troops, however, were mutinous, and let known their opposition to his planned offensive against the German line. He back down. By June 1917, there was serious unrest in 11 of his 17 divisions. By October 1917, however, he had restored discipline and went on the offensive. He was victorious at Battle of La Malmaison. ΐ]
Maistre briefly commanded French forces in Italy, but in Spring of 1918 he was given command of the Tenth Army on the Western Front, with orders to stop the Ludendorff German spring offensive. The Germans were finally stopped. Maistre played a major role in the Allied counter-offensive in July, where he commanded Army Group Center. He was the victor of the Second Battle of the Marne. After the war in 1920 he became General Inspector of Infantry, and died in that role. Α]
Paris is liberated after four years of Nazi occupation
After more than four years of Nazi occupation, Paris is liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. German resistance was light, and General Dietrich von Choltitz, commander of the German garrison, defied an order by Adolf Hitler to blow up Paris’ landmarks and burn the city to the ground before its liberation. Choltitz signed a formal surrender that afternoon, and on August 26, Free French General Charles de Gaulle led a joyous liberation march down the Champs d𠆞lysees.
Paris fell to Nazi Germany on June 14, 1940, one month after the German Wehrmacht stormed into France. Eight days later, France signed an armistice with the Germans, and a puppet French state was set up with its capital at Vichy. Elsewhere, however, General Charles de Gaulle and the Free French kept fighting, and the Resistance sprang up in occupied France to resist Nazi and Vichy rule.
The French 2nd Armored Division was formed in London in late 1943 with the express purpose of leading the liberation of Paris during the Allied invasion of France. In August 1944, the division arrived at Normandy under the command of General Jacques-Philippe Leclerc and was attached to General George S. Patton’s 3rd U.S. Army. By August 18, Allied forces were near Paris, and workers in the city went on strike as Resistance fighters emerged from hiding and began attacking German forces and fortifications.
At his headquarters two miles inland from the Normandy coast, Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower had a dilemma. Allied planners had concluded that the liberation of Paris should be delayed so as to not divert valuable resources away from important operations elsewhere. The city could be encircled and then liberated at a later date.
On August 21, Eisenhower met with de Gaulle and told him of his plans to bypass Paris. De Gaulle urged him to reconsider, assuring him that Paris could be reclaimed without difficulty. The French general also warned that the powerful communist faction of the Resistance might succeed in liberating Paris, thereby threatening the re-establishment of a democratic government. De Gaulle politely told Eisenhower that if his advance against Paris was not ordered, he would send Leclerc’s 2nd Armored Division into the city himself.
On August 22, Eisenhower agreed to proceed with the liberation of Paris. The next day, the 2nd Armored Division advanced on the city from the north and the 4th Infantry Division from the south. Meanwhile, in Paris, the forces of German General Dietrich von Choltitz were fighting the Resistance and completing their defenses around the city. Hitler had ordered Paris defended to the last man, and demanded that the city not fall into Allied hands except as 𠇊 field of ruins.” Choltitz dutifully began laying explosives under Paris’ bridges and many of its landmarks, but disobeyed an order to commence the destruction. He did not want to go down in history as the man who had destroyed the 𠇌ity of Light”𠅎urope’s most celebrated city.
The 2nd Armored Division ran into heavy German artillery, taking heavy casualties, but on August 24 managed to cross the Seine and reach the Paris suburbs. There, they were greeted by enthusiastic civilians who besieged them with flowers, kisses, and wine. Later that day, Leclerc learned that the 4th Infantry Division was poised to beat him into Paris proper, and he ordered his exhausted men forward in a final burst of energy. Just before midnight on August 24, the 2nd Armored Division reached the Hótel de Ville in the heart of Paris.
German resistance melted away during the night. Most of the 20,000 troops surrendered or fled, and those that fought were quickly overcome. On the morning of August 25, the 2nd Armored Division swept clear the western half of Paris while the 4th Infantry Division cleared the eastern part. Paris was liberated.
In the early afternoon, Choltitz was arrested in his headquarters by French troops. Shortly after, he signed a document formally surrendering Paris to de Gaulle’s provisional government. De Gaulle himself arrived in the city later that afternoon. On August 26, de Gaulle and Leclerc led a triumphant liberation march down the Champs d𠆞lysees. Scattered gunfire from a rooftop disrupted the parade, but the identity of the snipers was not determined.
De Gaulle headed two successive French provisional governments until 1946, when he resigned over constitutional disagreements. From 1958 to 1969, he served as French president under the Fifth Republic.
Xavier shared the political sympathies of his brother Joseph, and after a French revolutionary army annexed Savoy to France in 1792, he left the service, and eventually took a commission in the Russian army. He served under Alexander Suvorov in his victorious Austro-Russian campaign and accompanied the marshal to Russia in 1796. By then, Suvorov's patron Catherine II of Russia had died, and the new monarch Paul I dismissed the victorious general (partly on account of the massacre of 20,000 Poles after he conquered Warsaw). Xavier de Maistre shared the disgrace of his general, and supported himself for some time in St. Petersburg by miniature painting, particularly landscapes. In 1803, Joseph de Maistre was appointed as Piedmont-Sardinia's ambassador to the court of Alexander I, Tsar of Russia. On his brother's arrival in St. Petersburg, Xavier de Maistre was introduced to the Minister of the Navy, and was appointed to several posts including director of the Library, and of the Museum of Admiralty. He also joined active service, and was wounded in the Caucasus, attaining the rank of major-general. In 1812 he married a Russian lady, related to the Tsars, Mrs. Zagriatsky. He remained in Russia even after the overthrow of Napoleon and the consequent restoration of the Piedmontese dynasty.
Memorandum for General Pershing
June 3, 1924 Washington, D.C.
I have read through this translation. 1 It gives an inadequate idea of the American achievements in the war, especially in the Marne salient. The treatment of our operations in the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne is patronizing in tone, and certainly does not err on the side of over-statement of what we did.
In the description of the Meuse-Argonne operation in conjunction with Gouraud’s Fourth Army, it seems to me everything about the latter is stated so as most to impress the reader and is devoid of any criticism, while the description of the First Army’s operations is very moderate in regard to achievements and in several instances includes pointed criticisms. No mention is made of the services of American divisions with the Fourth Army, but there is no failure to mention the French divisions with the First American Army. The reader would be led to believe that Gouraud’s army acted throughout with great dash and success, while we lagged decidedly behind, but did very well considering the limited amount of training our troops and staffs had had. In the finale of this battle General Fayolle ignores the presence of any American troops between Mouzon and Sedan. He gives the impression that General Maistre controlled your operations as well as those of the Fourth French Army from November 1st to 7th. 2
I do not think there is anything to be said about this paper and I do not suppose they exaggerate their performances to our disadvantage much, if anymore than future American historians will exaggerate our performances to French disadvantage.
My own idea is that we should be scrupulously accurate in recording the achievements of the American army, leaving to the French their propaganda of astute depreciation. Then the historians of the future will take care of the matter.
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, Book File, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. The Army War College’s Historical Section had sent Pershing a copy of the translation of La Guerre Racontee par Nos Generaux.
2. Henri J. E. Gouraud commanded the French Fourth Army on Pershing’s right during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne operations. General Marie Emile Fayolle commanded the Armies of the Center. General Paul A.M. Maistre commanded the Group of Armies which included Gouraud’s Fourth Army.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1 , “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), p. 258.
Individualism and Modern Society
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries witnessed an emerging role for the individual that culminated in the appearance of the language of individualism. One strand in the intensified interest in the individual was the rise of capitalism as an economic system that emphasized the individual both as the holder of self-interest and as the foundation of all legal rights. Perhaps the most famous early advocate of economic individualism was Adam Smith (1723 – 1790). Although Smith is sometimes labeled the first great economist of capitalism, he preferred to describe his system in terms of "natural liberty," arguing that the welfare of society is best served when every individual seeks his or her own advantage without reference to any overarching scheme of goodness or justice. When individuals are left to their own devices, Smith held, the ensuing system possesses an inherently self-adjusting quality that will ensure the maximum satisfaction of individual desires.
The apotheosis of individualism may be found in the utilitarian doctrine, formulated most clearly by Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832), that social policy should promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. This idea rested on the principle that all individual estimations of utility deserve equal treatment and respect in comparison with all others. Hence, no person could claim that his or her calculation of happiness counted for any more or less than another's. A truly democratic society should treat the wishes and desires of each of its individual members with the same dignity, without regard for moral judgments concerning the content of those aims. Bentham elaborates the basic insight of Smith to cover the full range of political and social programs and institutions.
Although liberalism could seem to take individualism for granted, the extreme egalitarianism of the utilitarian position, coupled with the events of the French Revolution (1789 – 1799), made many thinkers (including those of a liberal stripe) nervous. Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) was concerned that the spread of democratic equality and the breakdown of the organic social order would lead to the fragmentation of persons into atomized individuals lacking any sense of identity or place. He scorned the individual's "private stock of reason" in comparison with the wisdom of history, fearing that the glorification of individuality presaged the crumbling of regard for the tradition-bearers of social authority, such as the monarchy, the nobility, and the church. Under such circumstances, Burke predicted (presciently, as it turns out) that authoritarian forms of government would step into the breach and provide an artificial identity for individuals as a remedy for their extreme alienation.
The French social commentator Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859) similarly believed that an excess of democratic equality bred individualistic isolation in which people retreat from public life into families and small groups of interested combines. The unavoidable results of individualism are egoism, the suppression of all virtues, and the concession of political deliberation to the "tyranny of the majority" — conclusions reached on the basis of his observations of American as well as French modes of democracy. In Tocqueville's view, America's avoidance of the corrosive effects of individualism (at least in the early nineteenth century) stemmed from its valorization of liberty over equality as the basis of social relations. Note that true liberty is not, for Tocqueville, individualistic.
Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) occupies an interesting position in the history of individualism. Although Marx is commonly regarded as a holistic social thinker, he in fact repeatedly asserted that individual self-realization was the standard against which social relations should be judged. In his early writings, he condemned capitalism for the alienating and dehumanizing impact that it exercised on individual workers, while in the Communist Manifesto (1848) he called for a system of equitable distribution of the fruits of labor on the grounds that the precondition of the liberty of each is the liberty of all. Like his predecessor Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) and his contemporaries, such as the anarchist Jean-Pierre Proudhon (1809 – 1865) and the utopian Charles Fourier (1772 – 1837), Marx believed that communal equality constituted the necessary prerequisite for the flourishing of free individuals.
John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873) shared some elements of nineteenth-century skepticism about mass democratic society, but his writings crystallized the understanding of individualism still widely shared in Western societies. According to Mill's important essay "On Liberty" (1859), the interests of humanity are "progressive," in the Enlightenment sense that human beings seek material and moral improvement. Mill holds that the societies that are most likely to promote this goal — societies that he terms "civilized" — share the common factor of defending and promoting individual liberty. Individualism — understood as experimentation with lifestyles and ideas — challenges uncritically received sureties and broadens the basis of human knowledge. Borrowing from Tocqueville, Mill admits that democratic society contains the potential to dampen or even forbid many expressions of personal liberty that stand at odds with mass tastes or beliefs. In contrast to Tocqueville, however, Mill maintains that individualism stands on the side of liberty, not equality. A free society supports individualism.
The trend toward the foregrounding of the individual continued in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900). Nietzsche reviled the "herd mentality" of modern mass society, which espouses conformity and mediocrity as the highest aspirations of humanity. He proposed, instead, that an individual might attain the "transvaluation of values," by which he meant that one could generate authentically for one's self the unique principles that would guide oneself and oneself alone. Principles of this higher sort cannot be imposed or taught by one to another. Rather, the authentic individual must discover in a radically individualized way those precepts that realize his or her own valuation. Nietzsche drew no explicit political theory from this because politics, as the realm of imposition of coercive authority over others (the "will to power"), was incompatible with the deep individualism that he advocated.
The French Right: From De Maistre To Maurras
As with Lyttelton’s Italian Fascisms: From Pareto to Gentile, this is a survey of a number of rightwing writers, here, from France, post-Revolution to Post-Vichy. It’s part of Steiner’s cool ‘Roots of the Right’ series, which also includes Gobineau Selected Political Writings. They’re all deplorable, but we need to learn their ideas anyway, to wit:
The original post-1793 rightwing MF, monarchism with a pope above the monarchs. FFS. FFS. It is fairly sickening that Baudelaire and Poe w As with Lyttelton’s Italian Fascisms: From Pareto to Gentile, this is a survey of a number of rightwing writers, here, from France, post-Revolution to Post-Vichy. It’s part of Steiner’s cool ‘Roots of the Right’ series, which also includes Gobineau Selected Political Writings. They’re all deplorable, but we need to learn their ideas anyway, to wit:
The original post-1793 rightwing MF, monarchism with a pope above the monarchs. FFS. FFS. It is fairly sickening that Baudelaire and Poe were adherents of this guy who found in the French Revolution only horror. His manner of argumentation is about as effective as every other rightwinger: “and in place of the quite simple solutions that naturally present themselves to the mind, all sorts of metaphysical theories have been put forward to support airy hypotheses rejected by common sense and experience” (39). It seems that de Maistre is somehow a historical immaterialist:
Yeah, I’m WTFing, too. Pretty much the opposite of Marxism in the insistence that “society is not the work of man, but the immediate result of the will of the Creator” (41), which is supergross. It is said that Thomas Paine wrote an “evil book” (44) contra liberalism, “every particular form of government is a divine construction” (id.), which would suggest, contrary to author’s beliefs, that a liberal constitution or a communist state is ordained by Jesus? (Obviously dude has not thought this through very carefully.)
Irrationalist insofar as “human reason left to its own resources is completely incapable not only of creating but also of conserving any religious or political association, because it can only give rise to disputes and because, to conduct himself well, man needs beliefs” (45) “Nothing is more vital to him than prejudices” (id.), which “are the real basis of his happiness and the palladium of empires [NB the gross conjunction]” (id.). Like any far rightest, he desires a “general or national mind sufficiently strong to repress the aberrations of the individual reason which is, of its nature, the mortal enemy of any association whatever because it gives birth only to divergent opinions” (46) OH NOS! “What is patriotism? It is the national mind of which I am speaking it is individual abnegation” (id.). So, yeah, fuck de Maistre?
A second piece by the same author in this volume is a dialogue, regarding belligerence, wherein for the warrior, “amid the blood he spills, he is humane, just as the wife is chaste in the transports of love” (49). Eww? The warrior has “enthusiasm for carnage” (id.). He asserts, via dialogue, “this law of war, terrible in itself, is yet only a clause in the general law that hangs over the world” (50).
FFS. Just in case there’s any ambiguity: “The whole earth, continually steeped in blood, is nothing but an immense altar on which every living thing must be sacrificed without end, without restraint, without respite, until the consummation of the world, the extinction of evil, the death of death” (52). Why the Jacobins didn’t make it a special mission to track this fucker down in Savoy is beyond me. “War is thus divine in itself” (53): thank you kindly for your astute contributions. Some shades of the RSB here, however, when dialogue proclaims that “opinion is so powerful in war that it can alter the nature of the same event” (58) (‘unconquerable belief, indomitable conviction,’ &c. recall).
Introduction notes that Taine assessed Rousseau and the revolution as “the idea that the state is something men choose can lead, paradoxically, only to despotism and anarchy” (61), a formulation muddled beyond measure. The only social contract for Taine, apparently, is “an agreement of their ancestors about how the polity should be run” (id.), a “democracy of the dead.” Gross. Taine himself comes across as a complete elitist: “According to the new ideology all minds are within reach of all truths” (66). He fears ochlocracy, apparently, the “crowd of dangerous maniacs” (69).
He believes that “man is an imbecile” (id.): “not only is reason crippled in man, but it is rare in humanity” (70), whatever the hell that might mean.
A true humanitarian! But also: “Too soon will this be apparent when, in the name of popular sovereignty, each commune, each mob, shall regard itself as the nation and act accordingly” (71). We are apparently undecidably “a remote blood cousin of the monkey” (72), or perhaps rather “closely related” to same. “The dogma of the sovereignty of the people, interpreted by the mass, is to produce a perfect anarchy, up to the moment when, interpreted by its chiefs, it produces a perfect despotism” (76). Am yawning at the strawpersons and bad generalizations.
When he states “revolt is simply just defence” (64), we recall the echo in Ayn Rand 100 years later: first time as tragedy, second as farce, no? He proclaims that “I enjoy my property only through tolerance and at second-hand for, according to the social contract, I have surrendered it” (79). Duh? Overall, lotsa silly carping here. Taine strikes me as fairly second rate among rightwing greasers.
Introduction describes this asshole’s anti-semitism as “coarse and plebeian” (85). Concerned with ‘revanche,’ Drumont regarded the 1870 war as “engendered by Jewish high finance” (id.). So, here’s one old source for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the NSDAP, the assholes described in Lowenthal’s Prophets of Deceit, and David fucking Icke.
Review of his writings reveals silly statements such as how “the Semite and the Aryan […] represent two distinct races which are irredeemably hostile to each other” (88). Purportedly semitic societies such as Carthage and Arabia are “ephemeral,” whereas (destroyed) Greece and Rome are “durable” (90). Gotta love the Beyond Stupid. “The Aryan or Indo-European race is the only one to uphold the principles of justice, to experience freedom, and to value beauty” (90). Barf. Stalin was quite correct to summarily execute these sort of fuckers.
We learn that “the Semite is mercantile, covetous, scheming, subtle, and cunning” (92). “He can live only at the common expense” (93), and is “by nature an oppressor” (94). “The Jew’s right to oppress other people is rooted in his religion for him it is an article of faith it is proclaimed in every line [sic] [no, really, sic] of the Bible and the Talmud” (98)—i.e., this is completely embarrassing. The gold standard of the rightwing, apparently. Lots more, pages & pages of idiocy, up to and including PEZ ideas such as “With Hertzen in Russia, Karl Marx and Lassalle in Germany, everywhere [!] one looks, there is, as in France, a Jew preaching communism or socialism” (109).
Introduction notes that he began as a marxist, but became a Spenglerian insofar as he believed that liberal democracy is ‘decadent’ (117) Sorel became an editor of L’Independence when Maurras (q.v.) was also on the board. Ugh.
Sorel himself argues in the Reflections on Violence that “all that is necessary to know is whether the general strike contains everything that the socialist doctrine expects of the revolutionary proletariat” (130). As “there is no process by which the future can be predicted scientifically” (127), opponents of the liberal order must “return to the old methods of the Utopists” (id.). Eww?
This is the “psychology of Boulangism and Caesarism” (133), and dude’s “theory is the psychological corollary of Barres’ notion of the deracine” (id.). We are in the era of the crowd, the introduction continues, and “the only way in which the crowd can be kept under control is through the agency of the strong man who can dominate the mass as the hypnotizer dominates the hypnotized or the seducer the seduced” (id.). This is the “classic sociological theory of totalitarianism as the mobilization of the uncommitted who are searching for a leader and a goal” (id.).
The actual text of The Psychology of Crowds, which fears “the entry of the popular classes into political life” (134). “The divine right of the masses is about to replace the divine right of kings” (135)—FFS.
Intro argues that “Barres made his intellectual reputation with the idea of the deracine--the rootless cosmopolitan metic—and harnessed it to a mystical nationalism” (143).
Barres actually likes Proudhon: “what lies at the heart of Proudhonism is its native French quality, the heritage of the Rousseaus, the Saint-Simons, the Fouriers” (154). Weird, no? Otherwise, “nationalism is the acceptance of a particular kind of determinism” (159), whatever that might mean.
Quite a charmer: “The sovereign individual with his intelligence and his ability to seize on the laws of the universe! This idea must be destroyed. We are not in control of our thinking” (162). Rather, “the individual is bound to all his dead ancestors by the efforts and sacrifices of individuals in the past” (163). So, yeah, supergross.
More or less totally defective when he describes the Dreyfusards as “the camp which supports Dreyfus as symbol, would put into power those men whose intention is to remake France in the image of their own prejudice” whereas “I want to preserve France” (167). So, yaknow, fuck off Barres. Sadly, it is not difficult to imagine persons more loserish than this (NSDAP, teabaggers, Trump voters, et al.).
Weird fetish for “the land of our dead” (181), as though the soil mattered somehow, or the fact that the dead were rotting thereunder were somehow significant. What a worthless waste of space. Dude wants to know “the cause of our decadence” (183). The “serious disease” is apparently “a thousand separate wills and a thousand separate individualistic imaginations” OH NOS. 1 (183).
Dude complains a lot about Kantianism as the state philosophy (176 ff), and therefore appear to be the source of Ayn Rand’s similarly asinine complaints about same. We always did see her coming as a fascist fuckwit. Totally precursor to Rand when he barfs out denunciations of “our Kantian intellectuals” who wish “to destroy society rather than endorse justice” (179). Whatever. Fuck this guy, fuck anti-semitism, and fuck Ayn Rand.
He also conflates all sorts of dumb, such as the notion that the Germans “dream of destruction” and are “more cruel than orientals” (191) it is “a holy war” wherein the Germans “campaign for the destruction of our tongue and our thought” (id.) (Lemkin will of course confirm the cultural genocide in WW2). Lotsa vitriol directed toward Germania, though these writings tend to be in the neighborhood of WW1, so that may be understandable, even if still as yet plainly erroneous. That said, “the French make war as a religious duty” (208), the “first to formulate the idea of a holy war.” This is a boast, NB, so, yeah.
Approximately one-third of the volume on this clown. From the intro:
Actual writings here are abject. First excerpt is monarchist agitation to “bring freedoms downstairs to the people and restore authority at the top” (216), a reversal of alleged republican doctrine. The republic “inflicts upon [the citizen] some very insidious comforts” apparently (217), returning the citizen “to the individualist condition of the primitive savage” (218). It is “irretrievable decadence” (id.) (if so, how is this screed to retrieve France? The instabilities in the argument are comical). Liberal institutions are filled with “a class of citizens, heartily despised by the entire country, that makes its living by a trade in influence and intrigue” (221)—standard illiberal topos—“parliament, composed by some chance of enlightened men, would of necessity be very quickly replaced, like the Assembly of 1871, by a horde of agitators, catchers of the popular vote” OH NOS (id.).
Republicanism “is synonymous with the absence of a master will and continuity of thought at the centre of power” (224)--but you just fucking said “Great provincial councils, under the ultimate but distant control of the state, will collaborate in the reawakening and renewal [NB standard fascist bullshit] of the whole body of the nation now shriveled by a Jacobin policy of centralization” (220).
Monarchism allows “central power” to be “freed from the rivalry of parties, assemblies, and electoral caprice: the state will have a free rein” (227), which was kinda the objection to republicanism. Republican rights “are entirely theoretical” whereas “monarchist theory [sic] confers upon the citizen practical guarantees, guarantees of fact” (231). “Liberty is a right under the republic—but only a right” (id.)—standard illiberal topos there. Royalist policy recommendations: Catholicism (232), large professional army (id.), economic producerism contra “parasites” (233).
Other essays follow. One disputes Taine’s thesis that revolutions arise out of the classical tradition, imputing them instead to romanticism (239 ff), which is of course identified with Judaism (241). We see that “Paris of 1750 was nothing like an Asiatic shanty-town full of grubby Jews” (245). Text is filled with comments such as “the level of indeterminate freedom is pitched so low that men bear no other label but that which they share with every plant and animal: individuality” (250), which is pregnant talk for an agambenian reading. Regardless, the “revolutionary library” contains only Plutarch and Plato from the classics, because Rousseau ‘borrowed’ from them (261): “Plutarch was well aware of semitic ideas […] As for Plato, he is, of all the Greek sages, the one who brought back from Asia the most Asian ideas” (id.).
Some notable instability in the argument that "Reason foresees that the quality of life will decline when the unbridled individual is granted, under the direction of the state, his dreary freedom to think only of himself and to live only for himself” (251) in comparison with how the republican state “helps [the citizen] in situations where he ought to help himself. It weans him from the habit of thought or personal initiative” (217).
Republican doctrine is “squaring the circle” (253), as libertarianism destroys respect for law and egalitarianism gives authority to “the most numerous, that is to say the most inferior elements” (254), and fraternity is just cosmopolitanism. Ewwww say the rightwingers.
Thereafter follows totally philistine essays on the propriety of inegalitarianism (264 ff) and some nimrod ruminations on the purported rebirth of nationalism after WW2 (295 ff). Whatever.
Numbnut Vichy loser tacked on almost as a coda, with weak verses in praise of Petain.
FFS. Fuck these guys. Useful introduction by an unsympathetic scholar. Series (‘Roots of the Right: Readings in Fascist, Racist, and Elitist Ideology’) is very much premised upon preserving dreadful political ideas in a museum of sorts, so as to avoid repeating &c &c &c. Looks like we need a Plan B? (Is the Trump Regime incidentally a pure reiteration, or just ‘second time as farce’?). I could've used perhaps more balanced selections, such as less proportionally of Barres and Maurras and more on the others.
This book should be reviewed properly, by someone capable of actually making cogent points without descending into a 6-year old tantrum. If you don&apost enjoy reading controversial right wing thought, then you would only read this to torture yourself, as the other reviewer clearly did (in fact despite responding to &aposfascism&apos and &aposantisemitism&apos with such award-winning insights as "ewww!" "gross!" and even "supergross!" he apparently devotes a huge amount of his life reading &aposfascist&apos literature).
Any This book should be reviewed properly, by someone capable of actually making cogent points without descending into a 6-year old tantrum. If you don't enjoy reading controversial right wing thought, then you would only read this to torture yourself, as the other reviewer clearly did (in fact despite responding to 'fascism' and 'antisemitism' with such award-winning insights as "ewww!" "gross!" and even "supergross!" he apparently devotes a huge amount of his life reading 'fascist' literature).
Anyway, to the book itself. 'The French Right: from De Miastre to Maurras' is not a good book in terms of achieving what it ought to set out to do, to present French right wing thought to the audience and give them a sense of its contours. The introduction in fact betrays the book's real intention as McClelland is as biased as they come and intends to present the works herein in the worst possible light. You're better off skipping this.
Now, to the texts themselves. I should say that about half this book is relatively useless due to the fact that it consists of extracts which in no way develop the author's thoughts. Among those authors who have 'extracts' included are the post-revolutionary monarchist Savoyard Joseph de Maistre, a historian who commented negatively on the French Revolution Hippolyte Tain, the somewhat vulgar anti-semite Edouard Drumont, the anarcho-syndicalist philosopher of political violence Georges Sorel, and the father of crowd psychology Gustave Lebon. All of these thinkers are interesting (with perhaps the exception of Drumont who was merely a crude demagogue), though Sorel is only included here because Benito Mussolini took inspiration from him, in fact he was an unorthodox Marxist. As mentioned above the problem is the extracts don't really do any of them justice, and some are so fleeting as to only be a few pages. Maistre is undoubtedly the best thinker of the group, but his works are worth buying by themselves, rather than trying to get a sense of his thought through this pitiful cut-and-paste scrapbook of musings. Sorel and Lebon's books (I believe) are available in English, so again, this collection proves unnecessary. The first half of the book has very poor value in only the paltry extracts from Drumont and Tain.
Now, what you do pay for the book is made up for in the second half, with most of the space dedicated to the works of Maurice Barres and Charles Maurras. In their case, full essays and articles are included and a nice range of topics is covered. It's not as much as one might like, but you get a better sense of these thinkers due to the space afforded. These appear nowhere else in English, so this is really what you will be buying this for if you chose to pick it up, and in my opinion the essays are worth it. As an addendum, Paul Claudel's poem about Vichy France is included in full, a nice touch, even if it gives little insight into Catholic thinker's politics.
All in all, its a big miss for the editor. He does bring to light some important and enjoyable-to-read essays for the first time in English (Maurras on royalty and dictatorship is particularly strong), but the other authors are either poorly chosen or poorly represented. If he had wanted to produce a truly valuable tome, he would have dropped Drumont, Sorel, and Lebon, the former for being too crude and the latter for being superfluous, while expanding on Tain and Claudel's contributions, along with selecting untranslated passages from Maistre rather than ones which are accessible in their full context already. To conclude, if you want seven essays from Barres and Maurras, and you can find it at a reasonable price (don't pay over $10 for it), then pick it up. If not, there are other places to go for better insights into French right wing thought. . more
Who's Who - France
This page of the Who's Who section of the site lists biographical entries by country - in this case, France.
Here you'll find details on the life of the numerous French wartime premiers, including Briand and Clemenceau, along with the sole wartime President, Raymond Poincare.
There are also biographies of the many French field commanders and chiefs of staff.
In addition to the biographies presented below, click here to view contemporary photographs within the Vintage Photographs section of the site.
|Jean Paul Elzeard Ambrogi||Fighter Pilot|
|Jean Augagneur||Minister of Marine|
|Henri Berthelot||Chief of Staff|
|Maurice Bizot||Fighter Pilot|
|Leon Bourjade||Fighter Pilot|
|Maurice Boyau||Fighter Pilot|
|Aristide Briand||Prime Minister|
|Joseph Caillaux||Prime Minister|
|Paul Cambon||Foreign Minister|
|Jean Casale||Fighter Pilot|
|Noel de Castelnau||General|
|Georges Clemenceau||Prime Minister|
|Michel Coiffard||Fighter Pilot|
|Augustin Boue de Lapeyrere||Naval C-in-C|
|Theophile Delcasse||Minister for Foreign Affairs|
|Albert Louis Deullin||Fighter Pilot|
|Denis Auguste Duchene||General|
|Jacques Ehrlich||Fighter Pilot|
|Ferdinand Foch||Supreme Allied Commander|
|Rene Fonck||Fighter Pilot|
|Hector Garaud||Fighter Pilot|
|Roland Garros||Fighter Pilot|
|Paul Gastin||Fighter Pilot|
|Dominique-Marie Gauchet||C-in-C, Mediterranean|
|Gabriel Guerin||Fighter Pilot|
|Georges Guynemer||Fighter Pilot|
|Jean Jaures||Socialist Party Leader|
|Auguste Lahoulle||Fighter Pilot|
|Marie-Jean-Lucien Lacaze||Minister of Marine|
|Fernand de Langle de Cary||General|
|Maxime Lenoir||Fighter Pilot|
|Adrien Leps||Fighter Pilot|
|Hubert Lyautey||War Minister|
|Louis Malvy||Minister of the Interior|
|Charles Mace||Fighter Pilot|
|Georges Madon||Fighter Pilot|
|Pierre Marinovitch||Fighter Pilot|
|Joseph Alfred Micheler||General|
|Alexandre Millerand||Minister of War|
|Jean Navarre||Fighter Pilot|
|Marcel Nogues||Fighter Pilot|
|Charles Nungesser||Fighter Pilot|
|Paul Painleve||Prime Minister|
|Armand Pinsard||Fighter Pilot|
|Alexandre Ribot||Prime Minister|
|Albert Thomas||Under-Secretary for Munitions|
|Rene Viviani||Prime Minister|
|Maxime Weygand||Chief of Staff|
Saturday, 22 August, 2009 Michael Duffy
"Plugstreet" was British slang to describe the Belgian village of Ploegsteert.
- Did you know?
Paul Maistre, 1858-1922, French General - History
By Dorothy Schwieder, professor of history, Iowa State University
Marquette and Joliet Find Iowa Lush and Green
In the summer of 1673, French explorers Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette traveled down the Mississippi River past the land that was to become the state of Iowa. The two explorers, along with their five crewmen, stepped ashore near where the Iowa river flowed into the Mississippi. It is believed that the 1673 voyage marked the first time that white people visited the region of Iowa. After surveying the surrounding area, the Frenchmen recorded in their journals that Iowa appeared lush, green, and fertile. For the next 300 years, thousands of white settlers would agree with these early visitors: Iowa was indeed lush and green moreover, its soil was highly productive. In fact, much of the history of the Hawkeye State is inseparably intertwined with its agricultural productivity. Iowa stands today as one of the leading agricultural states in the nation, a fact foreshadowed by the observation of the early French explorers.
Before 1673, however, the region had long been home to many Native Americans. Approximately 17 different Indian tribes had resided here at various times including the Ioway, Sauk, Mesquaki, Sioux, Potawatomi, Oto, and Missouri. The Potawatomi, Oto, and Missouri Indians had sold their land to the federal government by 1830 while the Sauk and Mesquaki remained in the Iowa region until 1845. The Santee Band of the Sioux was the last to negotiate a treaty with the federal government in 1851.
The Sauk and Mesquaki constituted the largest and most powerful tribes in the Upper Mississippi Valley. They had earlier moved from the Michigan region into Wisconsin and by the 1730s, they had relocated in western Illinois. There they established their villages along the Rock and Mississippi Rivers. They lived in their main villages only for a few months each year. At other times, they traveled throughout western Illinois and eastern Iowa hunting, fishing, and gathering food and materials with which to make domestic articles. Every spring, the two tribes traveled northward into Minnesota where they tapped maple trees and made syrup.
In 1829, the federal government informed the two tribes that they must leave their villages in western Illinois and move across the Mississippi River into the Iowa region. The federal government claimed ownership of the Illinois land as a result of the Treaty of 1804. The move was made but not without violence. Chief Black hawk, a highly-respected Sauk leader, protested the move and in 1832 returned to reclaim the Illinois village of Saukenauk. For the next three months, the Illinois militia pursued Black Hawk and his band of approximately 400 Indians northward along the eastern side of the Mississippi River. The Indians surrendered at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin, their numbers having dwindled to about 200. This encounter is known as the Black Hawk War. As punishment for their resistance, the federal government required the Sauk and Mesquaki to relinquish some of their land in eastern Iowa. This land, known as the Black Hawk Purchase, constituted a strip 50 miles wide lying along the Mississippi River, stretching from the Missouri border to approximately Fayette and Clayton Counties in Northeastern Iowa.
Today, Iowa is still home to one Indian group, the Mesquaki, who reside on the Mesquaki Settlement in Tama County. After most Sauk and Mesquaki members had been removed from the state, some Mesquaki tribal members, along with a few Sauk, returned to hunt and fish in eastern Iowa. The Indians then approached Governor James Grimes with the request that they be allowed to purchase back some of their original land. They collected $735 for their first land purchase and eventually they bought back approximately 3,200 acres.
Iowa's First White Settlers
The first official white settlement in Iowa began in June 1833, in the Black Hawk Purchase. Most of Iowa's first white settlers came from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. The great majority of newcomers came in family units. Most families had resided in at least one additional state between the time they left their state of birth and the time they arrived in Iowa. Sometimes families had relocated three or four times before they reached Iowa. At the same time, not all settlers remained here many soon moved on to the Dakotas or other areas in the Great Plains.
Iowa's earliest white settlers soon discovered an environment different from that which they had known back East. Most northeastern and southeastern states were heavily timbered settlers there had material for building homes, outbuildings, and fences. Moreover, wood also provided ample fuel. Once past the extreme eastern portion of Iowa, settlers quickly discovered that the state was primarily a prairie or tall grass region. Trees grew abundantly in the extreme eastern and southeastern portions, and along rivers and streams, but elsewhere timber was limited.
In most portions of eastern and central Iowa, settlers could find sufficient timber for construction of log cabins, but substitute materials had to be found for fuel and fencing. For fuel, they turned to dried prairie hay, corn cobs, and dried animal droppings. In southern Iowa, early settlers found coal outcroppings along rivers and streams. People moving into northwest Iowa, an area also devoid of trees, constructed sod houses. Some of the early sod house residents wrote in glowing terms about their new quarters, insisting that "soddies" were not only cheap to build but were warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Settlers experimented endlessly with substitute fencing materials. Some residents built stone fences some constructed dirt ridges others dug ditches. The most successful fencing material was the osage orange hedge until the 1870s when the invention of barbed wire provided farmers with satisfactory fencing material.
Early settlers recognized other disadvantages of prairie living. Many people complained that the prairie looked bleak and desolate. One woman, newly arrived from New York State, told her husband that she thought she would die without any trees. Emigrants from Europe, particularly the Scandinavian countries, reacted in similar fashion. These newcomers also discovered that the prairies held another disadvantage - one that could be deadly. Prairie fires were common in the tall grass country, often occurring yearly. Diaries of pioneer families provide dramatic accounts of the reactions of early Iowans to prairie fires, often a mixture of fear and awe. When a prairie fire approached, all family members were called out to help keep the flames away. One nineteenth century Iowan wrote that in the fall, people slept "with one eye open" until the first snow fell, indicating that the threat of fire had passed.
Pioneer families faced additional hardships in their early years in Iowa. Constructing a farmstead was hard work in itself. Families not only had to build their homes, but often they had to construct the furniture used. Newcomers were often lonely for friends and relatives. Pioneers frequently contracted communicable diseases such as scarlet fever. Fever and ague, which consisted of alternating fevers and chills, was a constant complaint. Later generations would learn that fever and ague was a form of malaria, but pioneers thought that it was caused by gas emitted from the newly turned sod. Moreover, pioneers had few ways to relieve even common colds or toothaches.
Early life on the Iowa prairie was sometimes made more difficult by the death of family members. Some pioneer women wrote of the heartache caused by the death of a child. One women, Kitturah Belknap, had lost one baby to lung fever. When a second child died, she confided in her diary:
"I have had to pass thru another season of sorrow. Death has again entered our home. This time it claimed our dear little John for its victim. It was hard for me to give him up but dropsy on the brain ended its work in four short days. We are left again with one baby and I feel that my health is giving way."
But for the pioneers who remained on the land 1, and most did, the rewards were substantial. These early settlers soon discovered that prairie land, although requiring some adjustments, was some of the richest land to be found anywhere in the world. Moreover, by the late 1860s, most of the state had been settled and the isolation and loneliness associated with pioneer living had quickly vanished.
Transportation: Railroad Fever
As thousands of settlers poured into Iowa in the mid-1800s, all shared a common concern for the development of adequate transportation. The earliest settlers shipped their agricultural goods down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, but by the 1850s, Iowans had caught the nation's railroad fever. The nation's first railroad had been built near Baltimore in 1831, and by 1860, Chicago was served by almost a dozen lines. Iowans, like other Midwesterners, were anxious to start railroad building in their state.
In the early 1850s, city officials in the river communities of Dubuque, Clinton, Davenport, and Burlington began to organize local railroad companies. City officials knew that railroads building west from Chicago would soon reach the Mississippi River opposite the four Iowa cities. With the 1850s, railroad planning took place which eventually resulted in the development of the Illinois Central, the Chicago and North Western, reaching Council Bluffs in 1867. Council Bluffs had been designated as the eastern terminus for the Union Pacific, the railroad that would eventually extend across the western half of the nation and along with the Central Pacific, provide the nation's first transcontinental railroad. A short time later a fifth railroad, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific, also completed its line across the state.
The completion of five railroads across Iowa brought major economic changes. Of primary importance, Iowans could travel every month of the year. During the latter ninetieth and early twentieth centuries, even small Iowa towns had six passenger trains a day. Steamboats and stagecoaches had previously provided transportation, but both were highly dependent on the weather, and steam boats could not travel at all once the rivers had frozen over. Railroads also provided year-round transportation for Iowa's farmers. With Chicago's pre-eminence as a railroad center, the corn, wheat, beef, and pork raised by Iowa's farmers could be shipped through Chicago, across the nation to eastern seaports, and from there, anywhere in the world.
Railroads also brought major changes in Iowa's industrial sector. Before 1870, Iowa contained some manufacturing firms in the eastern portion of the state, particularly all made possible by year-around railroad transportation. Many of the new industries were related to agriculture. In Cedar Rapid, John and Robert Stuart, along with their cousin, George Douglas, started an oats processing plant. In time, this firm took the name Quaker Oats. Meat packing plants also appeared in the 1870s in different parts of the state: Sinclair Meat Packing opened in Cedar Rapids and John Morrell and Company set up operations in Ottumwa.
As Iowa's population and economy continued to grow, education and religious institutions also began to take shape. Americans had long considered education important and Iowans did not deviate from that belief. Early in any neighborhood, residents began to organize schools. The first step was to set up township elementary schools, aided financially by the sale or lease of section 16 in each of the state's many townships. The first high school was established in the 1850s, but in general, high schools did not become widespread until after 1900. Private and public colleges also soon appeared. By 1900, the Congregationalists had established Grinnell College. The Catholics and Methodists were most visible in private higher education, however. As of 1900, they had each created five colleges: Iowa Wesleyan, Simpson, Cornell, Morningside, and Upper Iowa University by the Methodists and Marycrest, St. Ambrose, Briar Cliff, Loras, and Clarke by the Catholics. Other church colleges present in Iowa by 1900 were Coe and Dubuque (Presbyterian) Wartburg and Luther (Lutheran) Central (Baptist) and Drake (Disciples of Christ).
The establishment of private colleges coincided with the establishment of state educational institutions. In the mid-1800s, state officials organized three state institutions of higher learning, each with a different mission. The University of Iowa, established in 1855, was to provide classical and professional education for Iowa's young people Iowa State College of Science and Technology (now Iowa State University), established in 1858 was to offer agricultural and technical training. Iowa State Teachers' College (now University of Northern Iowa), founded in 1876 was to train teachers for the state's public schools.
Iowans were also quick to organize churches. Beginning in the 1840s, the Methodist Church sent out circuit riders to travel throughout the settled portion of the state. Each circuit rider typically had a two-week circuit in which he visited individual families and conducted sermons for local Methodist congregations. Because the circuit riders' sermons tended to be emotional and simply stated, Iowa's frontiers-people could readily identify with them. The Methodists profited greatly from their "floating ministry," attracting hundreds of converts in Iowa's early years. As more settled communities appeared, the Methodist Church assigned ministers to these stationary charges.
Catholics also moved into Iowa soon after white settlement began. Dubuque served as the center for Iowa Catholicism as Catholics established their first diocese in that city. The leading Catholic figure was Bishop Mathias Loras, a Frenchman, who came to Dubuque in the late 1830s. Bishop Loras helped establish Catholic churches in the area and worked hard to attract priests and nuns from foreign countries. Before the Civil War, most of Iowa's Catholic clergy were from France, Ireland, and Germany. After the Civil War, more and more of that group tended to be native-born. Bishop Loras also helped establish two Catholic educational institutions in Dubuque, Clarke College and Loras College.
Congregationalists were the third group to play an important role in Iowa before the Civil War. The first group of Congregationalist ministers here were known as the Iowa Band. This was a group of 11 ministers, all trained at Andover Theological Seminary, who agreed to carry the gospel into a frontier region. The group arrived in 1843, and each minister selected a different town in which to establish a congregation. The Iowa Band's motto was "each a church all a college." After a number of years when each minister worked independently, the ministers collectively helped to establish Iowa College in Davenport. Later church officials move the college to Grinnell and changed its name to Grinnell College. The letters and journal of William Salter, a member of the Iowa Band, depict the commitment and philosophy of this small group. At one point, Salter wrote the following to his fiancee back East:
Throughout the nineteenth century, many other denominations also established churches within the state. Quakers established meeting houses in the communities of West Branch, Springdale, and Salem. Presbyterians were also well represented in Iowa communities. Baptists often followed the practice of hiring local farmers to preach on Sunday mornings. And as early as the 1840s, Mennonite Churches began to appear in eastern Iowa. The work of the different denominations meant that during the first three decades of settlement, Iowans had quickly established their basic religious institutions.
By 1860, Iowa had achieved statehood (December 28, 1846), and the state continued to attract many settlers, both native and foreign-born. Only the extreme northwestern part of the state remained a frontier area. But after almost 30 years of peaceful development, Iowans found their lives greatly altered with the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. While Iowans had no battles fought on their soil, the state paid dearly through the contributions of its fighting men. Iowa males responded enthusiastically to the call for Union volunteers and more than 75,000 Iowa men served with distinction in campaigns fought in the East and in the South. Of that number, 13,001 died in the war, many of disease rather than from battle wounds. Some men died in the Confederate prison camps, particularly Andersonville, Georgia. A total of 8,500 Iowa men were wounded.
Many Iowans served with distinction in the Union Army. Probably the best known was Grenville Dodge, who became a general during the war. Dodge fulfilled two important functions: he supervised the rebuilding of many southern railroad lines to enable Union troops to move more quickly through the South and he directed the counter intelligence operation for the union Army, locating Northern sympathizers in the South who, in turn, would relay information on Southern troop movements and military plans to military men in the North.
Another Iowan, Cyrus Carpenter, was 31 years old when he entered the army in 1861. Living in Ft. Dodge, Carpenter requested a commission from the army rather than enlisting. He was given the rank of captain and was installed as quartermaster. Carpenter had never served in that capacity before, but with the aid of an army clerk, he proceeded to carry out his duties. Most of the time, Carpenter was responsible for feeding 40,000 men. Not only was it difficult to have sufficient food for the men, but Carpenter constantly had to keep his supplies and staff on the move. Carpenter found it an immensely frustrating task, but most of the time, he managed to have the food and other necessities at the right place at the right time.
Iowa women also served their nation during the war. Hundreds of women knitted sweaters, sewed uniforms, rolled bandages, and collected money for military supplies. Women formed soldiers' relief societies throughout the state. Annie Wittenmyer particularly distinguished herself through volunteer work. She spent much time during the war raising money and needed supplies for Iowa soldiers. At one point, Mrs. Wittenmyer visited her brother in a Union army hospital. She objected to the food served to the patients, contending that no one could get well on greasy bacon and cold coffee. She suggested to hospital authorities that they establish diet kitchens so that the patients would receive proper nutrition. Eventually, some diet kitchens were established in military hospitals. Mrs. Wittenmyer also was responsible for the establishment of several homes for soldiers' orphans.
The Civil War era brought considerable change to Iowa and perhaps one of the most visible changes came in the political arena. During the 1840's, most Iowans voted Democratic although the state also contained some Whigs. Iowa's first two United States Senators were Democrats as were most state officials. During the 1850s, however, the state's Democratic Party developed serious internal problems as well as being unsuccessful in getting the national Democratic Party to respond to their needs. Iowans soon turned to the newly emerging Republican Party the political career of James Grimes illustrates this change. In 1854, Iowans elected Grimes governor on the Whig ticket. Two years later, Iowans elected Grimes governor on the Republican ticket. Grimes would later serve as a Republican United States Senator from Iowa. Republicans took over state politics in the 1850s and quickly instigated several changes. They moved the state capital from Iowa City to Des Moines, they established the University of Iowa and they wrote a new state constitution. From the late 1850s until well into the twentieth century, Iowans remained strongly Republican. Iowans sent many highly capable Republicans to Washington, particularly William Boyd Allison of Dubuque, Jonathan P. Dolliver of Ft. Dodge, and Albert Baird Cummins of Des Moines. These men served their state and their nation with distinction.
Another political issue facing Iowans in the 1860s was the issue of women's suffrage. From the 1860s on, Iowa contained a large number of women, and some men, who strongly supported the measure and who worked endlessly for its adoption. In keeping with the general reform mood of the latter 1860s and 1870s, the issue first received serious consideration when both houses of the General Assembly passed a women's suffrage amendment in 1870. Two years later, however, when the legislature had to consider the amendment again before it could be submitted to the general electorate, interest had waned, opposition had developed, and the amendment was defeated.
For the next 47 years, Iowa women worked continually to secure passage of a women's suffrage amendment to Iowa's state constitution. During that time, the issue was considered in almost every session of the state legislature, but an amendment was offered (having passed both houses of the state legislature in two consecutive sessions) to the general electorate only once, in 1916. In that election, voters defeated the amendment by about 10,000 votes.
The arguments against women's suffrage ranged from the charge that women were not interested in the vote to the charge that women's suffrage would bring the downfall of the family and would cause delinquency in children. Regarding the defeat of the 1916 state referendum on the female vote, Iowa-born Carrie Chapman Catt, a leader for the women's suffrage cause, argued that the liquor interests in the state should accept responsibility as they had worked hard to defeat the measure. During the long campaign to secure the vote, however, the women themselves were not always in agreement as to the best approach to secure a victory. Catt herself led the final victorious assault in 1918 and 1919 in Washington with her "winning plan." This called for women to work for both state (state constitutions) and national (national constitution) amendments. Finally, in 1920, after both houses of the United States Congress passed the measure and it had been approved by the proper number of states, woman's suffrage became a reality for American women everywhere.
Iowa: Home for Immigrants
Iowans were not alone in their efforts to attract more northern and western Europeans. Throughout the nation, Americans regarded these new comers as "good stock" and welcomed them enthusiastically. Most immigrants from these countries came in family units. Germans constituted the largest group, settling in every county within the state. The great majority became farmers, but many also became craftsmen and shopkeepers. Moreover, many German-Americans edited newspapers, taught school, and headed banking establishments. In Iowa, Germans exhibited the greatest diversity in occupations, religion, and geographical settlement.
The Marx Goettsch family of Davenport serves well as an example of German immigrants. At the time of his emigration in 1871, Goettsch was 24 years old, married and the father of a young son. During a two-year term in the German Army, Goettsch had learned the trade of shoemaking. Goettsch and his family chose to settle in Davenport, among Germans from the Schleswig-Holstein area. By working hard as a shoemaker, Goettsch managed not only to purchase a building for his home and shop, but also to purchased five additional town lots. Later, Goettsch had homes built on the lots which he rented out. He had then become both a small business man and a landlord.
During the next 25 years, Goettsch and his wife, Anna, raised six children and enjoyed considerable prosperity. For Marx and Anna, life in America, surrounded by fellow German-Americans, did not differ greatly from life in the old country. For their children, however, life was quite different. The lives of the Goettsch children - or the second generation - best illustrate the social and economic opportunities available to immigrants in the United States. If the family had remained in Germany, probably all five sons would have followed their father's occupation of shoemaker. In the United States, all five pursued higher education. Two sons received Ph.D.s, two sons received M.D.s, and one son became a professional engineer. With the third generation, education was also a crucial factor. Of seven grandchildren, all became professionals. Moreover, five of the seven were female. As the Goettsch experience indicates, opportunities abounded for immigrants settling in Iowa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The newcomers and their children could take up land, go into business, or pursue higher education. For most immigrants, these areas offered a better, more prosperous life than their parents had known in the old country.
Iowa also attracted many other people from Europe, including Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Hollanders, and many emigrants from the British Isles as shown by the following table. After 1900, people also emigrated from southern and eastern Europe. In many instances, immigrant groups were identified with particular occupations. The Scandinavians, including Norwegians, who settled in Winneshiek and Story Counties Swedes, who settled in Boone County and Danes, who settled in southwestern Iowa were largely associated with farming. Many Swedes also became coal miners. The Hollanders made two major settlements in Iowa, the first in Marion County, and the second in northwest Iowa.
Proportionately far more southern and eastern immigrants, particularly Italians and Croatians, went into coal mining than did western and northern Europeans. Arriving in Iowa with little money and few skills, these groups gravitated toward work that required little or no training and provided them with immediate employment. In Iowa around the turn of the century, that work happened to be coal mining.
Watch the video: The Verdict Of Paris 1922 (January 2022).