6 February 1934 Crisis

The 6 February 1934 crisis refers to an anti-parliamentarist street demonstration in Paris organized by far-right leagues that culminated in a riot on the Place de la Concorde, near the seat of the French National Assembly. It was one of the major political crises during the Third Republic (1871–1940), and it entered the popular consciousness, especially that of the socialists, as an attempt to organize a fascist coup d'état.

As a result of the actions of that day, several anti-fascist organisations were created, such as the Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes, in an attempt to thwart the rise of fascism in France. After World War II (1939–1945), several historians, among them Serge Bernstein, argued that, while some leagues had been indisputably pushing for a coup d'état, François de La Rocque, the leader of the important Croix-de-Feu league, had, in fact, turned in a progressive direction, toward a respect for constitutional order. However, if the lack of coordination among the fascist leagues undermined the idea of a fascist conspiracy, the fascist actions on 6 February were a very real attempt to overthrow the Cartel des gauches ("Leftist Coalition") government that had been elected in the 1932 elections.

Édouard Daladier, the leader of the Radical-Socialists (which was a moderately left-wing party), who was president of the national Council, had replaced Camille Chautemps's (radical-socialist) government on 27 January 1934 because of accusations of corruption (the Stavisky Affair, etc.) He himself was forced to resign less than two weeks later, on 7 February. Daladier, who had been a popular figure, was replaced by the conservative, Gaston Doumergue, as head of the government; this was the first time during the tenure of the Third Republic that a government fell because of pressures from the street.

Read more about 6 February 1934 Crisis:  The 1930s Crisis and The Stavisky Affair

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