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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a chauvinistic movement in France led by General G. E. Boulanger. Boulangism arose at the end of the 1880’s during a time of political and economic crisis in the Third Republic. Boulanger’s goal was the establishment of a military dictatorship, and to this end he made use of the dissatisfaction of the masses and the petite bourgeoisie with the policies of the dominant big bourgeoisie. At first the movement had the support of the radicals, although its main strength came from the monarchists (with whom Boulanger maintained secret ties), extreme nationalists who hoped for a revanchist war against Germany, and the clergy.

Boulanger made a number of militaristic speeches, at the same time making demagogic demands for a review of the constitution and the dissolution of parliament. The representative of a bloc of socially and politically diverse opposition elements, Boulanger reached the height of his career at the end of 1888 and the beginning of 1889, when he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. After Boulanger fled to Belgium in 1889, however, the movement quickly fell apart.


Barlatier, P. L’aventure tragicomique de grand général Boulanger. Paris, 1949.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.