State Bureaucrats and Local Influence on the Use of Military Troops for Maintenance of Public Order in French and Prussian Industrial Areas, 1889-1914

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    Abstract

    The article compares the diverging policies in imperial Germany and in France under the Third Republic, between 1889 and 1914, of calling upon the army to police protest and labour conflicts. It asks whether the increasing use of military troops in France during this period reflects the inability of the French central government and departemental administration to control municipal authorities’use of their right to call upon the army. The article presents an analysis of the decision-making process concerning the requisition of troops as well as the relationship between the leaders of the state administration with local pressure groups and industrial elites in the two most turbulent industrial areas : the Prussian province of Westphalia and the French region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The article concludes that the French prefects were just as capable and willing as their Westphalian counterparts of keeping municipal authorities under strict control when it came to using the army as a force of internal order. The extremely frequent use of troops in France can therefore not be attributed to the weakness of the position of central government and its administration in relation to local forces.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-73
    Number of pages21
    JournalCrime, History & Societies
    Volume5
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Keywords

    • Public order
    • De-militarisation
    • Military intervention
    • France
    • Germany

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