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Fighting for FranceViolence in Interwar French Politics$
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Chris Millington

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266274

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266274.001.0001

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Duelling in the Meeting Hall

Duelling in the Meeting Hall

(p.39) 2 Duelling in the Meeting Hall
Fighting for France

Chris Millington

British Academy

This chapter concerns the confrontations that occurred in an around the meeting halls of interwar France. Meetings were an essential part of an essential part of a political group’s associational life. Private meetings were reserved for members while public meetings took the form of debates between opponents. Both types of meeting often witnessed scuffles in the audience and in some cases the stage could be invaded and the meeting venue trashed. Armed stewards were increasingly employed to ensure that meetings were not disrupted. Meanwhile, on the stage, much stock was placed in the behaviour of the orator. Good speakers were said to display the masculine qualities of calmness and self-control, able to dominate the enemy and the audience. Poor speakers lacked such qualities; they were condemned for giving in to their feminine passions and inciting the mob to violence.

Keywords:   political meeting, oratory, violence, security

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