Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

History

First Advisor

Martha Hanna

Abstract

The Poujadist Movement, which began as a protest of shopkeepers in southern France in 1953 and rose to national prominence in the elections of January, 1956, was, at the time of its political activity, accused by its critics of fascism. While analyses of the Poujadists have generally focused on the movement’s ideological characteristics to evaluate its possible fascism or its classification as a member of the French far right, I look at Pierre Poujade and the label of fascism in the context of the postwar political climate and the politicized memory of the French Resistance. In addition to analyzing charges of fascism originating on the left of the political spectrum, among the members of the French Communist Party, I evaluate similar accusations voiced by members of the Gaullist right. Noting that the myth of the Resistance served as a source of postwar legitimacy among both the followers of Charles de Gaulle and the Communists, I argue that, by accusing the Poujadists of fascism, the two extremes of the Fourth Republic’s parliament were seeking to tap into the anti-fascist narratives that informed their political lineages in order to attempt to regain governmental participation.

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