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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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The Mob and the Mass: Demonstrations, Parades and Riots

The Mob and the Mass: Demonstrations, Parades and Riots

(p.74) 3 The Mob and the Mass: Demonstrations, Parades and Riots
Fighting for France

Chris Millington

British Academy

This chapter investigates the practice of demonstrating. Political groups frequently called their members and sympathisers into the street. On the right, ordered marches and parades on days of patriotic significance were intended to demonstrate the discipline and order of nationalists. On the left, demonstrations took place on workers’ holidays such as 1 May; they were used to evidence the solidarity of the French proletariat with their internationalist brothers. Both right and left used such mass gatherings as shows of symbolic and numerical strength, to impress onlookers and intimidate rivals. The authorities had a raft of laws at their disposal to control mass action and limit the potential for confrontation between rival groups. However, it was impossible to predict confrontation and clashes were frequent.

Keywords:   demonstration, parade, riot, mass action

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