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Peter Robinson Account for the survival of the Third French Republic When the 3rd French Republic came into being on the 4th September 1870 France was in the middle of the Franco- Prussian war which they were to eventually lose When France signed the treaty of Frankfurt in May 1871 Germany imposed 5 billion francs worth of reparations and the Alsace and Lorraine regions of France were ceded to them France was also to be occupied by Germany until all the reparations had been paid off Obviously the French were not happy with this but they were in no situation to negotiate and they realised that it could have been far worse This was not the best start that the new republic could have hoped for but with hindsight it was probably one of the reasons why it survived the first few years In just two years the French had paid off all of the reparations and the German army of occupation had left This was quite a remarkable achievement and was only achieved through a co-ordinated program of borrowing from the many wealthy individuals that lived in France Even more remarkable was the balancing of the budget in 1875 and the budget surplus of 1876 These feats undoubtedly made the republicans more popular and more respected than they had been when they first came to power These increases in popularity only added to the growing optimism towards the Republic that had already been created by the defeat of the Paris Commune The newly elected French Assembly was largely made up of Monarchists that saw the republic as a temporary measure they were therefore keen to recoup the huge losses made by France during the war and restore the monarchy Parisians which were largely Republican resented being charged taxes and rent from the war period and were further angered when the Assembly tried to withdraw artillery from the city
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