Facts about France: Formation of the Popular Front
After Hitler took power in Germany in 1934, the Communist International began to change its strategy. It began to advocate for the first time the cooperation of Communist parties with any group willing to unite in an anti-Fascist front.
The Socialists and Communists Join Together
France was the breeding ground for one of the first such fronts. Between the traditional fear of Germany on the one hand and the growing rightist leagues on the other, the French Left was forced to united in order to achieve its goals. So, in July 1934, the Socialists and Communists agreed to act together against Fascism. Though in the past, these two parties had been knifing each other, now they agreed to lend mutual support. The first test of this pact were municipal elections in the spring of 1935.
The Radical Party Joins Too
The success of the Left in those elections inspired the Radical Party to join the Communist-Socialist coalition. The resulting tripartite agreement--Communist, Socialist, and Radical--launched on of the most famous political experiments in modern France: the Popular Front.
The Success of the Popular Front
By April of 1936, the Popular Front was able to apply its success to national elections. The national elections of April 1936 count as the only major national victory the Popular Front ever enjoyed.
Experience the Annex
In the 1930s
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