Republican Union (France)

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Republican Union
Union républicaine
Leaders Léon Gambetta,
Louis Blanc,
Charles Floquet,
Georges Clemenceau
Founded 1871 (1871)
Dissolved 1885 (1885)
Merged into Union of the Lefts
Headquarters Paris
Ideology Radicalism
Political position Left-wing

The Republican Union (French: Union républicaine, UR) was French parliamentary group, founded in 1871 as a heterogeneus alliance of moderate radicals, former Communards and opponents to the French-Prussian Treaty.


Formed in the early years of the French Third Republic, the Republican Union, led by Léon Gambetta, was strongly opposed to the Treaty of Versailles, as much understanding to the Paris Commune, repressed by the moderate Adolphe Thiers.

The party's electoral lists also included notable activists and intellectuals like Louis Blanc (elected with 216,000 votes),[1] Victor Hugo, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Edgar Quinet, Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau, Émile Littré, Charles Floquet, Georges Clemenceau, Arthur Ranc and Gustave Courbet.

Initially on the extreme left of the Parliament of France, in the late 1870s the group became close to the Opportunist Republicans of Jules Ferry, causing a split of the far-left radicals, led by Clemenceu. During the Gambetta government (1881–1882), René Goblet also broke away from the group to form the Radical Left.

After the 1885 election, the Republican Union's popularity decreased, while the "Opportunists" to their right increased their votes. In 1894, one of the last prominent members of the group, Gustave Isambert, renamed the Republican Union the Progressive Union (French: Union progressiste, UP) and with an handful of deputies and senators continued to pursue Gambetta's goals. However, changes in the political system led to a need for a big party of all liberals, and when the Democratic Republican Alliance was created in 1901, the "Opportunists" and the Progressive Union merged into it.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michel Winock (2007). Clemenceu. Perrin Editions. pp. 20–21.