Charles Maurras

Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras (/məˈræs/; French: [ʃaʁl moʁas]; 20 April 1868 – 16 November 1952) was a French author, politician, poet, and critic. He was an organizer and principal philosopher of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-Semitic, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme intégral". A major tenet of integral nationalism was stated by Maurras as "a true nationalist places his country above everything". He was one of the few eminent and probably the most important of all French ethnic nationalists, being naturally opposed to republican universalism and liberalism. The common good was of higher value than popular will. A political theorist and a major intellectual influence in early 20th-century Europe, his views influenced several far-right ideologies; it also anticipated some of the ideas of fascism.[1]

Charles Maurras
Charles Maurras - photo Pierre Petit
Charles Maurras before 1909
Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras

20 April 1868
Died16 November 1952 (aged 84)
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Notable ideas


Before World War I

Maurras was born into a Provençal family, brought up by his mother and grandmother in a Catholic and monarchist environment. In his early teens he became deaf.[2] Like many other French politicians, he was affected greatly by France's defeat in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.[3] After the 1871 Commune of Paris and the 1879 defeat of Marshal MacMahon's Moral Order government, French society slowly found a consensus for the Republic, symbolized by the rallying of the monarchist Orleanists to the Republic. Maurras published his first article, at the age of 17 years, in the review Annales de philosophie chrétienne.[2] He then collaborated on various reviews, including L’Événement, La Revue bleue, La Gazette de France and La Revue encyclopédique, in which he praised Classicism and attacked Romanticism.[2]

At some point during his youth, Maurras lost his Catholic faith and became an agnostic. In 1887, at the age of seventeen, he came to Paris and began writing literary criticism in the Catholic and Orleanist Observateur.[3] At this time, Maurras was influenced by Orleanism, as well as German philosophy reviewed by Catholic thinker Léon Ollé-Laprune, an influence of Henri Bergson, and by the philosopher Maurice Blondel, one of the inspirations of Christian "modernists", who would later become his greatest opponents.[3] He became acquainted with the Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral in 1888 and shared the federalist thesis of Mistral's Félibrige movement (see Maurras and Félibrige).[3] The same year he met the nationalist writer Maurice Barrès.[4]

In 1890, Maurras approved Cardinal Lavigerie's call for the rallying of Catholics to the Republic, thus making his opposition not to the Republic in itself, but to "sectarian Republicanism".[3]

Beside this Orleanist affiliation, Maurras shared some traits with Bonapartism. In December 1887, he demonstrated to the cry of "Down with the robbers!" during the military decorations trafficking scandal, which had involved Daniel Wilson, the son-in-law of President Jules Grévy.[3] Despite this, he initially opposed the nationalist-populist Boulangist philosophy.[3] But in 1889, after a visit to Maurice Barrès, Barrès voted for the Boulangist candidate; despite his "anti-Semitism of the heart" ("anti-sémitisme de coeur"), he decided to vote for a Jew.[3]

During 1894–95 Maurras briefly worked for Barrès' newspaper La Cocarde (The Cockade), although he sometimes opposed Barrès' opinions concerning the French Revolution.[3] La Cocarde supported General Boulanger, who had become a threat to the parliamentary Republic in the late 1880s.

During a trip to Athens for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, Maurras came to criticize the Greek democratic system of the polis, which he considered doomed because of its internal divisions and its openness towards métèques (foreigners).[3]

Maurras became involved in politics at the time of the Dreyfus affair, becoming a well-known Anti-Dreyfusard. He endorsed Colonel Henry's forgery blaming Dreyfus, as he considered that defending Dreyfus weakened the Army and the justice system. According to Maurras, Dreyfus was to be sacrificed on the altar of national interest.[3] But while the Republican nationalist thinker Barrès accused Dreyfus of being guilty because of his Jewishness, Maurras went a step further, vilifying the "Jewish Republic".[3] While Barrès' anti-Semitism originated both in pseudo-scientific racist contemporary theories and Biblical exegesis, Maurras decried "scientific racism" in favor of a more radical "state anti-Semitism."[3] Maurras assisted with the foundation of the nationalist and anti-Dreyfusard Ligue de la patrie française at the end of 1898, along with Maurice Barrès, the geographer Marcel Dubois, the poet François Coppée and the critic and literature professor Jules Lemaître.[5]

In 1899 Maurras founded the review Action Française (AF), an offshoot of the newspaper created by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois the year preceding.[2] Maurras quickly became influential in the movement, and converted Pujo and Vaugeois to monarchism, which became the movement's principal cause. With Léon Daudet, he edited the movement's review, La Revue de l'Action Française, which during 1908 became a daily newspaper with the shorter title L'Action Française. The AF mixed integral nationalism with reactionary themes, shifting the nationalist ideology, previously supported by left-wing Republicans, to the political right.[6] It had a wide readership during the implementation of the 1905 law on the separation of Church and State. In 1899 he wrote a short notice in favour of monarchy, "Dictateur et roi" ("Dictator and King"), and then in 1900 his "Enquête sur la monarchie" (Investigations on Monarchy), published in the Legitimist mouthpiece La Gazette de France, which made him famous. Maurras also published thirteen articles in the newspaper Le Figaro during 1901 and 1902, as well as six articles between November 1902 and January 1903 in Edouard Drumont's anti-Semitic newspaper, La Libre Parole.[4]

Between 1905 and 1908, when the Camelots du Roi monarchist league was initiated, Maurras introduced the concept of political activism through extra-parliamentary leagues, theorizing the possibility of a coup d'état.[3] Maurras also founded the Ligue d'Action Française in 1905, whose mission was to recruit members for the Action Française. Members pledged to fight the republican regime and to support restoration of the monarchy under Prince Philippe, Duke of Orléans (1869–1926).[7]

Many early members of the Action Française were practicing Catholics, including Bernard de Vésins, the art historian Louis Dimier and the essayist Léon de Montesquiou. They helped Maurras develop the royalist league's pro-Catholic policies.[8]

From World War I to the end of the 1930s

Maurras then endorsed France's entry into World War I (even to the extent of supporting the thoroughly republican Georges Clemenceau) against the German Empire. During the war, the Jewish businessman Emile Ullman was forced to resign from the board of directors of the Comptoir d'Escompte bank after Maurras accused him of being a German agent. He then criticized the Treaty of Versailles for not being harsh enough on the Germans and condemned Aristide Briand's policy of cooperation with Germany.[2]

Charles Maurras - photo Frédéric Boissonnas
Maurras in 1925

In 1925 he called for the murder of Abraham Schrameck, the Interior Minister of Paul Painlevé's Cartel des Gauches's (left-wing coalition) government, who had ordered the disarming of the far-right leagues.[4] For this death threat, he was sentenced to a fine and a year in jail (suspended).[4] He also voiced death threats against the President of the Council Léon Blum, organizer of the Popular Front, in the Action Française of 15 May 1936, emphasizing his Jewish origins (he once called him an "old semitic camel"[4]). This other death threat earned him eight months in prison, from 29 October 1936 to 6 July 1937.[4] Fearing communism, he joined the pacifists and praised the Munich Agreement of 1938, which the President of the Council Édouard Daladier had signed without any illusions. He also wrote in Action Française:

There are certain conservatives in France who fill us with disgust. Why? Because of their stupidity. What kind of stupidity? Hitlerism. These French "conservatives" crawl on their bellies before Hitler. These former nationalists cringe before him. A few zealots wallow in dirt, in their own dirt, with endless Heils. The wealthier they are, the more they own, the more important it is to make them understand that if Hitler invaded us he would skin them much more thoroughly than Blum, Thorez and Stalin combined. This "conservative" error is suicidal. We must appeal to our friends not to let themselves be befogged. We must tell them: Be on your guard! What is now at stake is not anti-democracy or anti-Semitism. France above all![9]

During the 1930s – especially after the 6 February 1934 crisis[10]—many of Action Française members turned to fascism, such as Robert Brasillach, Lucien Rebatet, Abel Bonnard, Paul Chack, and Claude Jeantet. Most of them belonged to the staff of the fascist newspaper Je suis partout (I am everywhere).

Influencing António de Oliveira Salazar's Estado Novo regime in Portugal, Maurras also supported Francisco Franco and, until spring 1939, Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime. Opposing Adolf Hitler because of his germanophobia, Maurras himself criticized the racist policies of Nazism in 1936, and requested a complete translation of Mein Kampf – some of its passages had been censored in the French edition.

After his failure against Charles Jonnart in 1924 to be elected to the Académie française, he succeeded in entering the ranks of the "Immortals" on 9 June 1938, replacing Henri-Robert, winning by 20 votes against 12 to Fernand Gregh. He was received in the Academy on 8 June 1939 by Catholic writer Henry Bordeaux.

Vichy regime, arrest and death

Although in June 1940 articles in Action Française signed by Maurras, Léon Daudet and Maurice Pujo praised General Charles de Gaulle,[11] Maurras quickly came to acclaim the end of the Third Republic, replaced by Marshal Philippe Pétain's Vichy France, as a "divine surprise".[12] Vichy's reactionary program of a Révolution Nationale (National Revolution) was fully approved of by Maurras, who inspired large parts of it.[2] The monarchist newspaper was forbidden in the Occupied Zone and under Vichy censorship in the Southern Zone from November 1942.[13] In La Seule France (1941) Maurras argued for a policy of France d'abord ("France First"), whereby France would restore itself politically and morally under Pétain, resolving the causes in his eyes of France's defeat in 1940, before dealing with the issue of the foreign occupation. This position was contrasted to the attitude of the Gaullists, who fled France and continued the military struggle. Maurras savaged the pre-war French governments for taking an increasingly bellicose position vis-à-vis Germany at precisely the same time that these governments were weakening France, militarily, socially and politically, thereby making France's defeat during 1940 all but inevitable. Maurras also criticized the 1940 Statute on Jews for being too moderate.[3] At the same time he continued to express elements of his longstanding germanophobia by arguing in La Seule France that Frenchmen must not be drawn to the German model and by hosting anti-German conferences,[14] and he opposed both the "dissidents" in London and the collaborators in Paris and Vichy (such as Lucien Rebatet,[15] Robert Brasillach, Pierre Laval, or Marcel Déat[16]). In 1943, the Germans planned to arrest Maurras.[17]

A pre-war admirer of Charles de Gaulle, who himself had been influenced by Maurras' integralism, Maurras then harshly criticized the General in exile. He later claimed he believed that Pétain was playing a "double game", working for an Allied victory in secret.

After the liberation of France, Maurras was arrested in September 1944 together with his right hand man Maurice Pujo, and indicted by High Court of Lyon for "complicity with the enemy" on the basis of the articles he published since the start of war. At the issue of the trial, during which there were many irregularities in the proceedings (such as false dating or truncated quotations),[18] Maurras was sentenced to life imprisonment and deprivation of civil liberties. He was automatically dismissed from the Académie française (a measure included in the 26 December 1944 ordinance[2]). His response to his conviction was to exclaim "C'est la revanche de Dreyfus!" (It's Dreyfus's revenge!)[3] Meanwhile the Académie française declared his seat vacant, as it had done for Pétain, instead of expelling him completely as it did for Abel Hermant and Abel Bonnard.[2] The academy waited until his death to elect his successor, and chose Antoine de Lévis-Mirepoix who was himself influenced by the Action Française and collaborated with Pierre Boutang's La Nation Française monarchist review.

Imprisoned in Riom and then Clairvaux, Maurras was released in March 1952 to enter a hospital, assisted by Henry Bordeaux, who repeatedly asked President of the Republic Vincent Auriol to pardon Maurras. Although weakened, Maurras collaborated with Aspects de la France, which had replaced the outlawed review Action Française in 1947. He was transferred to a clinic in Tours, where he soon died. In his last days, he readopted the Catholic faith of his childhood and received the last rites.[19]

Maurras' work

Maurras and Félibrige

A Provence-born author, Maurras joined Félibrige (from félibre, Provençal for pupil or follower), a literary and cultural association founded by Frédéric Mistral and other Provençal writers to defend and promote Occitan languages and literature.

Maurras' political thought

Maurras' political ideas were based on intense nationalism (what he described as "integral nationalism") and a belief in an ordered society based on strong government. These were the bases of his endorsement for both a French monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church. Yet he had no personal loyalty to the house of Bourbon-Orléans, and was a convinced agnostic for nearly all of his adult life.

He formulated an aggressive political strategy, which contrasted with the Legitimists' apathy for political action.[3] He managed to combine the paradox of a reactionary thought which would actively change history, a form of Counter-revolution opposed to simple conservatism.[3] His "integral nationalism" rejected all democratic principles which he judged contrary to "natural inequality", criticizing all evolution since the 1789 French Revolution, and advocated the return to a hereditary monarchy.[2]

Like many people in Europe at the time, he was haunted by the idea of "decadence", partly inspired by his reading of the publications of Hippolyte Taine and Ernest Renan, and admired classicism. He felt that France had lost its grandeur during the Revolution of 1789, a grandeur inherited from its origins as a province of the Roman Empire and forged by, as he put it, "forty kings who in a thousand years made France." The French Revolution, he wrote in the Observateur Français, was negative and destructive.

He traced this decline further back, to the Enlightenment and the Reformation; he described the source of the evil as "Swiss ideas", a reference to the adopted nation of Calvin and the birth nation of Rousseau. Maurras further blamed France's decline on "Anti-France", which he defined as the "four confederate states of Protestants, Jews, Freemasons and foreigners" (his actual word for the latter being the xenophobic term métèques). Indeed, to him the first three were all "internal foreigners."[20]

Antisemitism and anti-Protestantism were common themes in his writings. He believed that the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the eventual outcome of the French Revolution had all contributed to individuals valuing themselves more than the nation, with consequent negative effects on the latter, and that democracy and liberalism were only making matters worse.

Although Maurras advocated the revival of monarchy, in many ways Maurras did not typify the French monarchist tradition. His endorsement of the monarchy and for Catholicism was explicitly pragmatic, as he alleged that a state religion was the only way of maintaining public order. By contrast with Maurice Barrès, a theorist of a kind of Romantic nationalism based on the Ego, Maurras claimed to base his opinions on reason rather than on sentiment, loyalty and faith.

Paradoxically, he admired the positivist philosopher Auguste Comte, like many of the Third Republic politicians he detested, with which he opposed German idealism. Whereas the Legitimist monarchists refused to engage in political action, retreating into an intransigently conservative Catholicism and a relative indifference to a modern world they believed was irredeemably wicked and apostate, Maurras was prepared to engage in political action, both orthodox and unorthodox (the Action Française's Camelots du Roi league frequently engaged in street violence with left-wing opponents, as well as Marc Sangnier's socialist Catholic Le Sillon). Maurras was twice convicted of inciting violence against Jewish politicians, and Léon Blum, the first Jewish French prime minister, nearly died from the injuries inflicted by associates of Maurras.[21]His slogan was the phrase "La politique d'abord!" ("Politics first!"). Other influences included Frédéric Le Play; English empiricists, who allowed him to reconcile Cartesian rationalism with empiricism,[3] and René de La Tour du Pin.

Maurras' religious views were likewise less than orthodox. He supported the political Catholic Church both because it was intimately involved with French history and because its hierarchical structure and clerical elite mirrored his image of an ideal society. He considered the Church to be the mortar which held France together, and the association linking all Frenchmen together. However, he distrusted the Gospels, written, as he put it, "by four obscure Jews",[22] but admired the Catholic Church for having allegedly concealed much of the Bible's "dangerous teachings". Maurras' interpretation of the Gospels and his integralist teachings were fiercely criticised by many Catholic clergy. However, towards the end of his life Maurras eventually converted from agnosticism to Catholicism.

Notwithstanding his religious unorthodoxy, Maurras gained a large following among French monarchists and Catholics, including the Assumptionists and the Orleanist pretender to the French throne, the comte de Paris, Philippe. Nonetheless, his agnosticism worried parts of the Catholic hierarchy, and in 1926 Pope Pius XI placed some of Maurras's writings on the Index of Forbidden Books and condemned the Action Française philosophy as a whole. Seven of Maurras' books had already been placed on this list in 1914 and a dossier on Maurras had been submitted to Pius X.

It was not just his agnosticism which worried the Catholic hierarchy but that by insisting upon politiques d'abord he questioned the primacy of the spiritual and thus the teaching authority of the Church and the authority of the Pope himself. That this was the basis of the matter is shown by Jacques Maritain's book Primauté du Spirituel. Maritain was associated with L’Action Française and knew Maurras. While his unease with the movement pre-dates the 1926 crisis, it was this which occasioned his alienation from Maurras and L’Action Française. This papal condemnation was a great surprise to many of his devotees, who included a considerable number of French clergy, and caused great damage to the movement. It was ended however in 1939, a year after Maurras was elected to the Académie française.


Maurras is a major intellectual influence of national Catholicism, far-right movements, Latin conservatism, and integral nationalism.[23] He and the Action Française influenced many people and movements including General Francisco Franco, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, António Sardinha, Leon Degrelle, and autonomist movements in Europe. The Christian Democrat Jacques Maritain was also close to Maurras before the papal condemnation of the AF in 1927,[23] and criticized democracy in one of his early writings, Une opinion sur Charles Maurras ou le devoir des catholiques.[23] Furthermore, Maurrassism also influenced many writings from members of the Organisation armée secrète who theorized "counter-revolutionary warfare".[23] In Spain, the Acción Española adopted not only its far right monarchism but also its name from Maurras's movement.[24]

The influence extended to Latin America, as in Mexico where Jesús Guiza y Acevedo[23] was nicknamed "the little Maurras", as well as the historian Carlos Pereyra or the Venezuelan author Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, who wrote a book titled Cesarismo democratico (Democratic Caesarism).[23] Other figures influenced include the Brazilian Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Maurras' thought also influenced Catholic fundamentalist supporters of the Brazilian dictatorship[23] (1964–85) as well as the Cursillos de la Cristiandad (Christendom Courses), similar to the Cité Catholique group, which were initiated during 1950 by the bishop of Ciudad Real, Mgr. Hervé.[23] The Argentine militarist Juan Carlos Onganía, who overthrew Arturo Illia in a military putsch in 1969, as well as Alejandro Agustín Lanusse, who succeeded Onganía after another coup, had participated in the Cursillos de la Cristiandad,[23] as did also the Dominican militarists Antonio Imbert Barrera and Elías Wessin y Wessin, chief of staff of the military and an opponent of the restoration of the 1963 Constitution after Rafael Trujillo was deposed.[23] In Argentina he also influenced the nationalist writers of the 1920s and 1930s such as Rodolfo Irazusta and Juan Carulla.[25]

In 2017, Michael Crowley wrote that Steve Bannon, then chief strategist to President Donald Trump, "... has also expressed admiration for the reactionary French philosopher Charles Maurras, according to French media reports confirmed by Politico."[26]


  • 1889 : Théodore Aubanel
  • 1891 : Jean Moréas
  • 1894 : Le Chemin du Paradis, mythes et fabliaux
  • 1896–1899 : Le voyage d'Athènes
  • 1898 : L'idée de décentralisation
  • 1899 : Trois idées politiques : Chateaubriand, Michelet, Sainte-Beuve
  • 1900 : Enquête sur la monarchie
  • 1901 : Anthinéa : d'Athènes à Florence
  • 1902 : Les Amants de Venise, George Sand et Musset
  • 1905 : L'Avenir de l'intelligence
  • 1906 : Le Dilemme de Marc Sangnier
  • 1910 : Kiel et Tanger
  • 1912 : La Politique religieuse
  • 1914 : L'Action Française et la Religion Catholique
  • 1915 : L'Étang de Berre
  • 1916 : Quand les Français ne s'aimaient pas
  • 1916–1918 : Les Conditions de la victoire, 4 volumes
  • 1921 : Tombeaux
  • 1922 : Inscriptions
  • 1923 : Poètes
  • 1924 : L'Allée des philosophes
  • 1925 : La Musique intérieure
  • 1925 : Barbarie et poésie
  • 1927 : Lorsque Hugo eut les cent ans
  • 1928 : Le prince des nuées
  • 1928 : Un débat sur le romantisme
  • 1928 : Vers un art intellectuel
  • 1928 : L'Anglais qui a connu la France
  • 1929 : Corps glorieux ou Vertu de la perfection
  • 1929 : Promenade italienne
  • 1929 : Napoléon pour ou contre la France
  • 1930 : De Démos à César
  • 1930 : Corse et Provence
  • 1930 : Quatre nuits de Provence
  • 1931 : Triptyque de Paul Bourget
  • 1931 : Le Quadrilatère
  • 1931 : Au signe de Flore
  • 1932 : Heures immortelles
  • 1932–1933 : Dictionnaire politique et critique, 5 volumes
  • 1935 : Prologue d'un essai sur la critique
  • 1937 : Quatre poèmes d'Eurydice
  • 1937 : L'amitié de Platon
  • 1937 : Jacques Bainville et Paul Bourget
  • 1937 : Les vergers sur la mer
  • 1937 : Jeanne d'Arc, Louis XIV, Napoléon
  • 1937 : Devant l'Allemagne éternelle
  • 1937 : Mes idées politiques
  • 1937 : La Dentelle du Rempart
  • 1940 : Pages africaines
  • 1941 : Sous la muraille des cyprès
  • 1941 : Mistral
  • 1941 : La seule France
  • 1942 : De la colère à la justice
  • 1943 : Pour un réveil français
  • 1944 : Poésie et vérité
  • 1944 : Paysages mistraliens
  • 1944 : Le Pain et le Vin
  • 1945 : Au-devant de la nuit
  • 1945 : L'Allemagne et nous
  • 1947 : Les Deux Justices ou Notre J'accuse
  • 1948 : L'Ordre et le Désordre
  • 1948 : Maurice Barrès
  • 1948 : Une promotion de Judas
  • 1948 : Réponse à André Gide
  • 1949 : Au Grand Juge de France
  • 1949 : Le Cintre de Riom
  • 1950 : Mon jardin qui s'est souvenu
  • 1951 : Tragi-comédie de ma surdité
  • 1951 : Vérité, justice, patrie (with Maurice Pujo)
  • 1952 : À mes vieux oliviers
  • 1952 : La Balance intérieure
  • 1952 : Le Beau Jeu des reviviscences
  • 1952 : Le Bienheureux Pie X, sauveur de la France
  • 1953 : Pascal puni (published posthumously)
  • 1958: Lettres de prison (1944–1952) (published posthumously)
  • 1966: Lettres passe-murailles, correspondance échangée avec Xavier Vallat (1950–1952) (published posthumously)


  1. ^ "Charles Maurras | French writer and political theorist". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Biographical notice Archived 14 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine on Maurras on the Académie française's website ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Alain-Gérard Slama, "Maurras (1858 (sic)-1952): ou le mythe d'une droite révolutionnaire" Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, article first published in L'Histoire in 2002 ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  4. ^ a b c d e f Biographical notice on Maurras on the Action Française's website ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  5. ^ Pierrard, Pierre (1998), Les Chrétiens et l'affaire Dreyfus, Editions de l'Atelier, p. 180, ISBN 978-2-7082-3390-4, retrieved 7 March 2016
  6. ^ Winock, Michel (dir.), Histoire de l'extrême droite en France (1993)
  7. ^ Joly, Laurent (2006), "Les débuts de l'Action française (1899-1914) ou l'élaboration d'un nationalisme antisémite", Revue Historique, 308 (3 (639)): 695–718, JSTOR 40957800
  8. ^ Arnal, Oscar L. (15 April 1985), Ambivalent Alliance: The Catholic Church and the Action Française, 1899–1939, University of Pittsburgh Pre, p. 17, ISBN 978-0-8229-7705-6, retrieved 27 July 2017
  9. ^ Action Française, 25 March 1938. Quoted in Leopold Schwarzschild, World in Trance (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1943), p. 268.
  10. ^ Bruno Goyet, Charles Maurras, Presses de Sciences Po, 1999, p.73
  11. ^ François-Marin Fleutot, Des Royalistes dans la Résistance (Flammarion, 2000)
  12. ^ Le Petit Marseillais, February 9, 1941. Quoted by Bruno Goyet, op.cit., p.84
  13. ^ Jean Sévillia, Historiquement correct, Tempus, 2006, p.365
  14. ^ Jean Madiran, Maurras toujours là, Consep, 2004, p.71–72
  15. ^ In 1942, Rebatet published "Les Décombres" ("The Ruins"), a pamphlet in which he strongly opposed the "en-jewed" Action Française.
  16. ^ See for example Henri Amouroux, La Vie des Français sous l'Occupation. T2: Les Années noires, Livre de Poche, 1961, p.342;
    Bruno Goyet, op.cit., p.82;
    Jean Sévillia, op.cit., p.365
  17. ^ Robert Paxton, La France de Vichy, Seuil, 1973, p.246
  18. ^ Robert Aron, Histoire de l'épuration (second volume), Fayard, 1969, p.365, 366, 367.
    Listing these irregularities, Robert Aron describes Maurras' trial as "one of the most pathetic and most characteristic of the épuration" (page 362).
  19. ^ Lettre de l’abbé Giraud à Charles Forot, 4 July 1958, archives départementales de Privas, dossier 24J25
  20. ^ See, for example, this extract from his Dictionnaire politique et critique.
  21. ^ "Two Parisian bookstores, side by side, are waging a culture war". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  22. ^ Le Chemin du Paradis, 1894
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Miguel Rojas-Mix, "Maurras en Amérique latine", Le Monde diplomatique, November 1980 (republished in Manières de voir n°95, "Les droites au pouvoir", October–November 2007)
  24. ^ Stanley G. Payne, Spain's First Democracy: The Second Republic, 1931–1936, 1993, p. 171
  25. ^ Sandra McGee Deutsch, Las Derechas, 1999, p. 197
  26. ^ Michael, Crowley (March 2017). "The Man Who Wants to Unmake the West". Politco. Retrieved 6 June 2018.

Further reading

External links

Action Française

Action française (French pronunciation: ​[aksjɔ̃ fʁɑ̃sɛːz], AF; English: French Action) is a French right-wing political movement. The name was also given to a journal associated with the movement.

The movement and the journal were founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois in 1899, as a nationalist reaction against the intervention of left-wing intellectuals on the behalf of Alfred Dreyfus. Charles Maurras quickly joined Action française and became its principal ideologist. Under the influence of Maurras, Action française became royalist, counter-revolutionary (objecting to the legacy of the French Revolution), anti-parliamentary and pro-decentralization, and supported Integralism and Catholicism.

Shortly after it was created, Action Française tried to influence public opinion by turning its journal to a daily newspaper and by setting up various organizations. By 1914, it had become the best structured and the most vital nationalist movement in France. In the inter-war period, the movement enjoyed prestige and influence, but its popularity gradually declined as a result of the rise of fascism and of a rupture in the relations with the Catholic Church. During the Second World War, Action française supported the Vichy Regime and Marshal Philippe Pétain. After the fall of Vichy, its newspaper was banned and Maurras was sentenced to life imprisonment. The movement nevertheless continued to exist due to new publications and political movements. Although Action française is not a major force in the right as it used to be, its ideas have remained influential.


The term Alfonsism refers to the movement in Spanish monarchism that supported the restoration of Alfonso XIII of Spain as King of Spain after the foundation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. The Alfonsists competed with the rival monarchists, the Carlists, for the throne of Spain.Politically, before 1923, Alfonso XIII and his supporters had generally supported liberal democracy alongside Catholic traditionalism with a minority authoritarian wing as well, including support of Charles Maurras' conception of monarchy. After the overthrow of the monarchy, Alfonsists began to adapt authoritarian elements from Italian Fascism, Action Française, and Portuguese Integralism into their cause.After the overthrow of the monarchy of Alfonso XIII, Alfonsist supporters formed the Renovación Española, a monarchist political party, which held considerable economic influence and had close supporters in the Spanish army. Renovación Española did not, however, manage to become a mass political movement. Alfonso XIII had alienated the Union Monárquica Nacional political party by deposing Miguel Primo de Rivera as Prime Minister. The Alfonsists received little support outside of their clique of well-established supporters, while their rivals, the Carlists, soared to become a mass movement in Spain. Renovación Española cooperated with the fascist Falange party led by José Antonio Primo de Rivera, hoping to coopt it as a tool for the party's objectives. In 1937, the Alfonsists of Renovación Española joined alongside the Falange, the Carlist traditionalists, and CEDA under Francisco Franco's directive to form a united National Movement in the Spanish Civil War, which was known as the Spanish Traditionalist Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive (FET-JONS).

Ambrose Bebb

William Ambrose Bebb (4 July 1894 – 27 April 1955) was a Welsh language critic, author and politician.

Ambrose Bebb was the son of diarist Edward Hughes Bebb, and the father of noted Welsh rugby international Dewi Bebb. The family came from Cardiganshire.

A co-founder of Plaid Cymru, Bebb took a keen interest in politics and was inclined towards fascism, influenced by Charles Maurras of the Action Française movement. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Bebb became a vocal proponent of the War Effort against Nazi Germany, and considered Germany's total defeat "essential". In the 1945 General Election Mr Bebb stood for the Plaid Cymru in the seat of Caernarvonshire, and came in third place.

Ambrose Bebb was the grandfather of Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Aberconwy, Guto Bebb.

Charles Lescat

Charles Lescat (19 February 1887 – 1948) was an Argentine citizen, who studied in France and wrote in Je suis partout, the ultra-Collaborationist review headed by Robert Brasillach.

Born as Carlos Hipólito Saralegui Lesca in Buenos Aires, he was a volunteer during World War I in France. There, Lescat became a personal friend of Charles Maurras, leader of the Action française (AF) monarchist movement. Part of the AF, he presided over the administration council of Je suis partout, and was editor in chief of this review for a time. In 1941 he published an anti-Semitic book titled Quand Israël se venge (When Israel takes revenge), through the Éditions Grasset publishing house.

At the Liberation of Paris, he took refuge in Germany before travelling to Francoist Spain. He arrived in Uruguay in 1946, and later established himself in Juan Peron's Argentina. There, he organized one of the ratlines used by collaborators and Nazi fugitives. Lescat helped Pierre Daye find refuge in Argentina.

Lescat was sentenced to death in May 1947 by the High Court in Paris, but, despite extradition requests from France, was never extradited. He died in Argentina in 1948.

Charles Silvestre

Charles Silvestre (2 February 1889 – 31 March 1948) was a French regionally inspired novel writer. A friend of Charles Maurras, he would collaborate with the Action française.

The settings of his novels are usually the borders of Limousin and Poitou. He won the literary Prix Femina in 1926 with his novel Prodige du cœur.

Gonzague Truc

Gonzague Truc (15 November 1877 – 1 June 1972) was a French literary critic, essayist, and biographer.

Truc was born at Flayosc, Var. A frequent contributor to the Revue Philosophique, he was a Thomist who sympathised with Charles Maurras and the Action Française. He latterly lived in Paris.

Integral nationalism

Integral nationalism (French: nationalisme intégral) is a type of nationalism that originated in 19th-century France, was theorized by Charles Maurras and mainly expressed in the ultra-royalist circles of Action Française. The doctrine is also called Maurrassism.

Jean Ousset

Jean Ousset (28 July 1914 – 20 April 1994) was a French ideologist of National Catholicism born in Porto, Portugal. He was an activist of the Action française monarchist movement in the 1930s, and personal secretary of its leader, Charles Maurras. Under the Vichy regime during World War II, Ousset became the chief of the research bureau of Jeune légion, a structure dependent of the Légion française des combattants, the veterans' association created in 1940 and headed by Xavier Vallat.

Following the Liberation, Jean Ousset became one of the leader of Cité catholique, an integral Catholic group. The Cité catholique also included Marcel Lefebvre, who later founded the priestly Society of St. Pius X, free from neo-modernist and indifferentist currents. As the Cagoule had done before the war, the Cité catholique had as aim to infiltrate the Republic's elites in order to form a National Catholic state, on the model of Francoist Spain.Close to Lefebvriste's contacts, Jean Ousset published in 1949 Pour qu'Il règne, a title which was chosen by the Belgian section of the Society of St. Pius X as title of its newspaper. The preface of the book was signed by Marcel Lefebvre.

Ousset also wrote Le Marxisme-Léninisme in which he developed the new concept of "subversion" and argued that Marxists could only be combatted by "a profound faith, an unlimited obedience to the Holy Father, and a thorough knowledge of the Church's doctrines.". Its Spanish translation was prefaced by Antonio Caggiano, the archbishop of Buenos Aires and military chaplain, who would theorize counter-revolutionary warfare in Argentina (theories which were implemented by the military during the so-called "Dirty War").

Kléber Haedens

Kléber Haedens (11 December 1913 in Équeurdreville – 13 August 1976), was a French novelist and journalist. He was a monarchist and a member of the Action Française in the 1930s. During World War II he worked as a secretary for Charles Maurras. He was a friend of Antoine Blondin, Michel Déon and Roger Nimier, and closely linked to the Hussards movement in post-war France. He received the Prix Interallié in 1966 for L'été finit sous les tilleuls and the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1974 for Adios.

La Nation française

La Nation française ("The French Nation") was a French monarchist weekly magazine influenced by Charles Maurras, the founder of the Action française movement. It was founded in 1955 as an offshoot of Aspects de la France, another monarchist review founded in June 1947 by Maurice Pujo and Georges Calzant, former members of the Action Française who continued to support the nationalist monarchist current. Directed by journalist Pierre Boutang, others writers include: Jean de La Varende, Antoine Blondin, Roger Nimier, Philippe Ariès or Gabriel Matzneff. La Nation française supported Henri of Orléans, "count of Paris." After having defended "French Algeria" during the Algerian War (1954–62), it dissolved itself, on disagreements in particular concerning Boutang's "compromission" with Charles de Gaulle. The magazine ceased publication in 1967.

Le Pays Réel

Le Pays Réel (French; literally "The Real Country") was a Catholic-Fascist newspaper published by the Rexist Party in Belgium. Its first issue appeared on 3 May 1936 and it continued to be published during the Second World War. It was briefly edited by Victor Matthys. While the Pays Réel remained the main paper of Rex, it remained just one of several published by the group, or subsumed under Rexist control, during the war.

The newspaper's title derives from the writings of Charles Maurras, a French nationalist, who distinguished between a pays réel, rooted in the realities of life such as locality, work, trades, the parish and the family, and a pays légal ("legal country") of law, constitutionalism, and liberal political ideals which he cast as artificially imposed on the "real".

Louis Dimier

Louis Dimier (11 February 1865 – 21 November 1943) was a French art historian and royalist.Dimier was among the many early members of the Action Française who were practising Catholics (along with Bernard de Vésins and Léon de Montesquiou). They helped Charles Maurras (1868–1952) develop the royalist league's pro-Catholic policies.In 1915, during the First World War, Dimier published Les troncons du serpent: idée d'une dislocation de l'empire allemnd at d'une reconstitution des Allemagnes in which he advocated partitioning Germany into around one hundred free cities and allocating German lands to Poland and Sweden, with the Rhineland and the Ruhr to constitute a workers' state entrusted to the trade unions.

Maurice Barrès

Auguste-Maurice Barrès (French: [baʁɛs]; 19 August 1862 – 4 December 1923) was a French novelist, journalist and politician. Spending some time in Italy, he became a figure in French literature with the release of his work The Cult of the Self in 1888. In politics, he was first elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1889 as a Boulangist and would play a prominent political role for the rest of his life.

Barrès was associated in his literary works with Symbolism, a movement which had equivalence with British Aestheticism and Italian Decadentism; indeed he was a close associate of Gabriele d'Annunzio representing the latter. As the name of his trilogy suggests, his works glorified a humanistic love of the self and he also flirted with occult mysticisms in his youth. The Dreyfus affair saw an ideological shift from a liberal individualism rooted in the French Revolution to a more collectivist and organicist concept of the nation and he was a leading anti-Dreyfusard, popularising the term nationalisme to describe his views. He stood on a platform of "Nationalism and Protectionism.". He also advocated for a more social aspect of nationalism. He was one of the first French ethnic nationalists, reinterpreting the nation as "the soil and the dead", making a distinction between "L'enraciné" (the deep-rooted) and the cosmopolitans. The capitalist cosmopolitans used the parliamentary system to their benefit against the national worker.

Politically, he became involved with various groups such as the Ligue des Patriotes of Paul Déroulède, which he became the leader of in 1914. Barrès was close to Charles Maurras, the founder of Action Française, a monarchist party. Despite the fact that he remained a republican, Barrès would have a strong influence on various following French monarchists, as well as various other figures. During the First World War, he was a strong supporter of the Union Sacrée political truce. In later life, Barrès returned to the Catholic faith and was involved in a campaign to restore French church buildings and helped establish 24 June as a national day of remembrance for St. Joan of Arc.

Maurice Pujo

Maurice Pujo (French: [moʁis pyʒo]; 26 January 1872 – 6 September 1955) was a French journalist and co-founder of the nationalist and monarchist Action Française movement. He became the leader of the Camelots du Roi, the youth organization of the Action Française which took part in many right-wing demonstrations in the years before World War II (1939–45). After World War II he was imprisoned for collaborationist activity.


Maurrassisme is a political doctrine originated by Charles Maurras (1868–1952), most closely associated with the Action française movement. Maurassisme advocates absolute integral nationalism, monarchism, corporatism, alliance with revolutionary syndicalism, and opposition to democracy, liberalism, and capitalism.

National Idea

National Idea (Czech: Národní myšlenka) is a nationalist group in the Czech Republic that promotes Catholic integralist ideas by way of its journal National Idea: an Independent Journal of Conservative Nationalism. It was established in 2001 in Prague and is currently based in the town of Hodkovice nad Mohelkou. It is associated with Mladá pravice, a right-wing political party led by the Eurosceptic activist Lukáš Petřík which has a strong Internet presence.

The journal features political and economic essays and translations, interviews with right-wing groups and music and literary reviews. The journal has explored contemporary and historic strains of nationalist thought including the patriotic ideology of Czech philosopher František Mareš, the integralism of Charles Maurras and the revolutionary conservatism of Carl Schmitt and Ernst Jünger on the one hand; and the clerical fascism of Léon Degrelle, the paleoconservatism of Pat Buchanan and the antiliberalism of the European New Right on the other.


Proto-fascism refers to the direct predecessor ideologies and cultural movements that influenced and formed the basis of fascism. A prominent proto-fascist figure is Gabriele d'Annunzio, the Italian nationalist whose politics influenced Benito Mussolini and Italian Fascism. Proto-fascist political movements include the Italian Nationalist Association (Associazione Nazionalista Italiana, ANI), the German National Association of Commercial Employees (Deutschnationaler Handlungsgehilfen-Verband, DHV) and the German National People's Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, DNVP).Precedence to modern fascism can be seen in the culture and government of older nations based heavily on law and order, such as the Roman Empire and the anciens régimes of Europe.

Other people that have been labeled proto-fascist are Edgar Julius Jung, Patrick Pearse, Charles Maurras and Ion Dragoumis (by John Mazis in his book A Man For All Seasons: The Uncompromising Life of Ion Dragoumis).

Revue politique et littéraire

The Revue politique et littéraire, commonly known as the Revue bleue, was a French centre-left political magazine published from 1871 to 1939. It was founded by Eugène Yung (1827-1887). The in-house nickname "revue bleue" was a reference to La Revue scientifique from the same publishers, a scientific magazine which was established 8 years earlier, known from its pink cover as the "revue rose". The headquarters was in Paris. The magazine was published bi-monthly and then monthly.Émile Faguet was literary critic for the Revue bleue from 1892. Joseph Reinach wrote articles on Balkan politics. Other contributors included René Doumic, Ferdinand Brunetière, Charles Maurras, Léon Cahun, Louis Léger, René Guénon, Robert de Bonnières (Mémoires d’aujourd’hui, 1880), and Paul Eugène Louis Deschanel (La question du Tonkin, 1883).

Révolution nationale

The Révolution nationale (French pronunciation: ​[ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ nasjɔnal], National Revolution) was the official ideological program promoted by the Vichy regime (the “French State”) which had been established in July 1940 and led by Marshal Philippe Pétain. Pétain's regime was characterized by anti-parliamentarism, rejection of the constitutional separation of powers, personality cultism, xenophobia, state-sponsored anti-Semitism, promotion of traditional values, rejection of modernity, corporatism and opposition to the theory of class conflict. Despite its name, the ideological project was more reactionary than revolutionary as it opposed most changes introduced to French society by the French Revolution.As soon as it was established, Pétain’s government took measures against the “undesirables”, namely Jews, métèques (immigrants), Freemasons, and Communists. The persecution of these four groups was inspired by Charles Maurras’ concept of the “Anti-France”, or “internal foreigners”, which he defined as the “four confederate states of Protestants, Jews, Freemasons and foreigners”. The regime also persecuted Gypsies, homosexuals, and left-wing activists in general. Vichy imitated the racial policies of the Third Reich and also engaged in natalist policies aimed at reviving the “French race” (including a sports policy), although these policies never went as far as the eugenics program implemented by the Nazis.

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