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the reactionary monarchist political organization which arose in France in 1899 under the leadership of C. Maurras. It took shape organizationally in 1905 and existed under this name until 1944, basing itself on reactionary nationalist circles of the militarist clique and aristocracy.
In the 1930’s, Action Française assumed a clearly fascist character. Under its leadership, armed detachments—Les Camelots du Roi (The King’s Hawkers)—were created; they participated in the fascist putsch of Feb. 6, 1934. During the German fascist occupation of France (1940–44), the organization existed legally and gave active support to the Pétain government’s policy of collaboration with the occupiers. After the liberation of France in 1944, Action Française was liquidated. However, by 1947 it was in effect reestablished. Monarchist elements are grouped around its newspaper Aspects de la France.