After the Affair: the Congrès de la Jeunesse and intellectual reconciliation in 1900

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The Congrès de la Jeunesse of December 1900 was an audacious project in intellectual reconciliation following the Dreyfus Affair. Drawing together Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards, poets and political activists, it attempted a double reconciliation, between different political factions and between the worlds of literature and politics. This study of the congress suggests new lines of reflection for a rereading of the intellectual battles of the turn of the century in France. The heated nature of discussions meant that the project would not easily bear fruit. Nevertheless, it needs to be studied more closely, as it attempted to adjust the politics of confrontation, too often seen as the root of all French political argument in the early twentieth century. It did this by advancing practical programmes on which opponents could find agreement. Understanding how these specific programmes connected with the quest for reconciliation casts a new light on ideas that animated the central years of the Third Republic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-516
Number of pages26
JournalFrench History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


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