"La loi de 1905 n'aura pas lieu"

Political history of the separation of Church and State

Volume 2 : Myths and realities

While the debates on secularism are numerous and lively, it is essential to return to the process that led to the law of 1905, separating the Churches and the State. This "law of freedom" (A. Briand) should never have been implemented because "two France" - the "eldest daughter of the Church" and the one born from the Revolution - were fighting each other, leading the country to a "civil war". However, a reversal of the situation occurred. The most important law of the Third Republic was elaborated with varying majorities from the two antagonistic camps. This result stems from the superposition of two conflicts; indeed, to this age-old "war" of two France's was added a very unexpected "war" of the lefts, significantly forgotten, which pitted Jaurès against Clemenceau. In the end, a "balance of frustrations" was achieved, based on numerous paradoxes.

Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris

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23 August 2021
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