Policing and Repression: Military Involvement in the Policing of French and German Industrial Areas, 1889-1914

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    Interpretations of protest policing in France generally see the extensive military involvement before the First World War as resulting from particularly serious challenges to the Republican regime and from successive governments seeking to repress strikes and demonstrations with unrestricted force. This article observes that these interpretations are strangely at odds with the situation in Imperial Germany where the army was rarely mobilized against strikers and demonstrators. However, in Germany major strikes and political protests involved many more people than in France. Moreover, German public authorities were generally much less concerned than their French counterparts about public opinion and about the political consequences of bloody confrontations between troops and protestors. By linking the use of troops in France to the introduction of preventive policing measures, this article proposes a reconsideration of the connection between the extent of military involvement in protest policing and the degree of violent policing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-98
    Number of pages30
    JournalEuropean History Quarterly
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004



    • French Third Republic
    • German Empire
    • Policing
    • Popular protest
    • Military involvement
    • Violence

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