Civic-Moral Teaching in French Secular Schools, Part I

Samuel Chester Parker
1920 The Elementary school journal  
AGAINST MONARCHISTS AND CLERICALS Sudden deaths of First and Second Republics explain civic-moral safety measures for the Third.-To appreciate the purpose and content of the civic-moral teaching instituted in the French elementary schools in 1882, it is essential to comprehend it as one of the chief weapons used by the great republican statesmen of France to safeguard the existence of the Third Republic which was organized during the years from 1870 to 1876. The necessity of such safety
more » ... readily becomes apparent when we recall the sudden deaths of the First and Second Republics which grew out of the Revolutions of 1789 and 1848. The system of civic-moral teaching is an outgrowth of the whole republican revolutionary history of France and of the easy defeat of the first two republics by monarchical plotters. To make this point clear, we shall review briefly the history of the Revolutions of 1789 and 1848 and then concentrate special attention on the battle of 1870-1907 between the Republicans, on the one hand, and their opponents, the Monarchists and Clericals, on the other. Bloody sacrifices of democratic Revolution of 1789 succeeded by Napoleonic monarchy.-In 1789, following generations of terrific monarchical and ecclesiastical abuses, paralleled for a time by democratic propaganda led by Montesquieu and Rousseau, the great French Revolution began. It ran its course of meetings, oratory, constitutions, reforms, and terrors. For a short time it experimented with a constitutional monarchy. In 1792 the First Republic was proclaimed, but in 1793, in the midst of civil, religious, and foreign wars, a tyrannical dictatorship was instituted which "ground to powder the fragile liberties" of the people that the Revolution had evolved. During the long reigns of terror which followed, the guillotine claimed nearly all the leaders of France who might have saved the Republic, thus leaving it an easy matter for the sallow-faced, young artillery officer, the Italian born genius, Napoleon Bonaparte, to gain military leadership and displace the Republic-as real ruler in 1799 and as ordained emperor in 1804. This content downloaded from 128.
doi:10.1086/454797 fatcat:j6hvknhirbheblq64snl4u6ahq