Circle Club, of the National
Guard and the National Assembly
Want to join the Club Movement?
all of the interesting information you have learned about the
revolutionary working class, you probably want to be just like
to be an official member, you must have an official membership
card, so take one. Oh, wait, you must know about the amazingly
intense club you are about to join. So read on, and then fill
out your the Club card of your choice.
- Club of the French Republicans
found in Amann, 59)
Club Movement developed at a rapid pace after the February insurrection
of the Revolution of 1848.
- On March 1, there were 5 clubs
- On March 10, 36 clubs
- On March 15, 59 clubs
- At the club movement's peak, in April,
there were 203 club societies, 149 of them from
the same club federation.
- Reasons for Club Movement
the revolution of 1848, workers needed an outlet for political
discussion and organization, and the club movement provided them
with that. After the Revolution of 1830,
and even before, labour organization was continuially and strenuously
repressed by the French Penal Code. Though work organizations
did provide support, their focus was on the craft. Worker's councils
lacked the economics needed to establish a large political and
club movement had a traditional base: "in the Paris of the 1790s, it took the sans-culottes two years to 'invent' popular
societies; in 1848 'the people' needed less than two weeks to
rediscover them" (Amann,
- In fact one of the most important clubs
in the movement, the Society of the Rights of Man, is practically
an exact replica of its 1830 namesake: the leadership, organizational
structure, and ideology.
- This club wished to revive the secret
societies of the 1830s
- Why The Revolutionaries Founed Clubs
- The clubs appealled to unity and fraternity
- Some clubs believed that "the
words 'people,' 'bourgeois,' 'army,' 'workers,' must no longer
be used to divide citizens into rival or hostile categories" (Amann, 53)
- The clubs provided a civic education,
and not just in the political process of the representative democracy.
- Social reform, especially that benefiting
the working man, was focus on highly in the clubs.
- Of course, the practical politics and
forthcoming political campaign was a large reason to join and
start a club. For "the
clubs promised personal political involvment to prospective members" (Amann, 53).
- This was important to the working class,
who had been kept out of the political process for centuries.
Suffrage had just been granted to working class men, and they
meant to use their votes.
- Dissatisfaction with the Provisional Government
is a another cause for club involvment. This government that
had been "proclaimed by the people-in-arms," did not
work as the Republic it claimed to be, and continuiosly restricted
working class rights.
- Political Leadership within the Clubs
table illustrates the large role that the workers played in the
club movement. They had the largest percentage of presidential
leadership within the clubs surveyed.
(Table information from
Club Presidents According to
Percentage of Presidents
that society, politics, and even political parties were dominated
by professionals and the elite, the club movement was a great
oppurtunity for the working class. In the political realm of
France, a great emphasis was placed on oratory, leagal skills,
and the ability to organize beyond the local level. These skills
were easily accessible to well-educated, high income professionals.
workers, though playing a large role in their own politics since
1830, did so under the supervision and guidance of the middle
or upper classes. The club movement gave the workers a chance
to lead and gain the political skills necassary to participate
on the same level as those above them.
- Now that you have learned about
wonders of the Club Movement be sure to sign up for membership