A Short History of the Ligue de la Jeune République

[Taken and formatted from http://jeunerepublique.free.fr.]

– Before 1912

Paul Renaudin

In 1894, Paul Renaudin establishes the review “Le Sillon”.

Marc Sangnier succeeds him in directing the review and adopts the name “Sillon” for the movement which he created in 1899.

Le Sillon groups together the study circles and social action which numerous young Christians engaged in.

Pope Pius X, in his Apostolic Letter of August 25, 1910 [Notre charge apostolique], condemns the Sillon for, in the eyes of Rome, a supposed confusion between the religious and the political.

Marc Sangnier

Marc Sangnier submits to it and creates, in 1912, the “Ligue de la JEUNE-REPUBLIQUE”, which continues the principle ideas of the Sillon and attracts to this movement young socially engaged Christians, with a majority of employees and workers.

“Democracy is the social organisation which tends to raise to the maximum the civic consciousness and responsibility of each person.” Marc Sangnier

From 1912 to 1935

1912: Foundation of the “Ligue de la JEUNE-REPUBLIQUE”[.]

The JEUNE-REPUBLIQUE organises the international congress of Peace [congrès internationaux de la Paix] bringing together a great number of participants. 

The congress of 1926 brings together more than 5000 persons in Bierville (Essonne) including 3000 Germans. This action is the more remarkable especially since France was coming out of a very bloody war (14-18). During this period, the J.R. circulates in all of France an exposition entitled “Guerre et Paix”.

At the same time, a whole field action, notably in the North of France, permits numerous adherents of the J.R. to take an active part in the creation of syndicates and worker cooperatives.

This will open, subsequently, the JEUNE-REPUBLIQUE, to more political engagement.

In 1932, Georges Hoog, becomes general secretary of the [J.R.], replacing Marc Sangnier, who creates the Auberges de la Jeunesse and devotes himself from now on to pacifist movements and to a [weekly paper] “L’EVEIL DES PEUPLES”.

From 1936 to 1959

The J.R. participates in a Popular Front rally in 1936.

January 11, 1936, the Ligue de la JEUNE-REPUBLIQUE transforms into a political party and participates … in the Popular Front government of Leon Blum. Maruice Lacroix, one of the leaders of the J.R, participates in a meeting with the parties of the left. J.R. Deputies are elected: Paul Boulet in Montpellier, Jean Leroy in Mirecourt, Philippe Serre in Briey and Albert Blanchoin in Maine et Loire.

1940 – The deputies of J.R. say “no” to full powers for Pétain.

1940 – 1944: The J.R. is active in the resistance. Creation of the Valmy network [by Raymond Burgard].

1945 – At the liberation, the creation of the MRP (Mouvement Républicain Populaire). Numerous young republicans adhere to it.

1950 – Death of Marc Sangnier.

During the Algerian war, the J.R. takes the position for the independence of Algeria.

1958 – The J.R. says “non” to the appeal of General de Gaulle, fearing the establishment of a Gaulliste monocracy.

Departure of [members of the J.R.] to the U.G.S [Union de la gauche socialiste] then to the P.S.U. [Parti Socialiste Unifié] in 1959. This situation created a weakening of the party which will have the size and influence of a think-tank.

From 1960 to 1985

June 1, 1963

In 1960, Claude-Roland becomes the general secretary of the JEUNE-REPUBLIQUE, 

In 1962, meetings were held with the organizations of the non-communist left with the aim of the unification of the socialist left. The JEUNE-REPUBLIQUE proposes the creation of the General Confederation of the Forces of the Left [Confédération Générale des Forces de Gauche] without success. 

In June 1966, the 51st Congress votes for the new preamble to the statutes: a preamble which from now on gives total importance to PERSONALIST SOCIALISM.

[In] 1972, practicing for numerous years, a policy of union of popular forces, the J.R. is a signatory of the Common Program of the Left [Programme Commun de la Gauche].

In 1975, the publication of the manifesto of Bierville, the objective is to assemble into a founding document the great ideas which underpinned the activity of the party.

In 1981, the meeting of François [Mitterrand] with the leaders of the J.R. with the aim of the entrance of the JEUNE REPUBLIQUE into the P.S. — refusal of the J.R. who desire to “remain themselves”. This period knew, once again, the departure of members to the P.S. hoping to find greater efficacy in their activity.

In 1985, the last publication of the “Jeune république” review [is produced]. The party is put into dormancy.