Le mouvement Poujade
De la défense professionnelle au populisme nationaliste (1953-1962)
Preface by Jean-Paul Brunet
The Poujadist Movement
From corporate defense to nationalist populism (1953-1962)
Before flourishing throughout France, the Union for Defense of Tradesmen and Artisans (L’Union de défense des commerçants et artisans or UDCA) was born in the French département of Lot in 1953. At first anti-fiscal, the Poujadist movement evolved rapidly, assuming a political character from March 1955 on, when parallel unions, aiming to bring together people of all social categories and classes in the name of major institutional transformation, also formed. Fifty-two Poujadist deputies entered the French National Assembly as a result of the legislative elections of January 2, 1956.
The history of Poujadism, from its birth in 1953 to its transformation under the Fifth Republic into a groupuscule fighting in favor of a French Algeria through legal means, to its complete marginalization at the time of the Secret Armed Organization, offers an opportunity to bring to light the function of certain mechanisms within the machine of the French state from 1953 to 1962. This history offers new perspectives on the political crisis leading to the end of the Fourth Republic, on the French war in Algeria, and on the antigaullism of the right at the beginning of the Fifth Republic.
Fortunately, more than fifty years after Stanley Hoffman, Romain Souillac fills in this missing piece of historiography with his etude on the Poujadist movement, now registering well in regard to renovations of the history of the French right.
Romain Souillac, former student of the ENS-Paris,agrégé in history, has devoted his doctoral thesis in history, the original context of this work, to the Poujadist movement from 1953 – 1962.