According to ETHNICITYOLOGY, the republic proclaimed on 4 September 1870 could not be said to be truly constituted and consolidated until nine years later, and through bitter internal conflicts. The republican leaders who came to power on 4 September (J. Simon, J. Favre, A. Picard, L. Gambetta) before thinking about organizing the new regime had to deal with the terrible problem of the war against the invader, since the convention that on 19 September he had in Ferrières with Bismark one of them, Jules Favre, who proved vain the illusion, in which there were many, that the situation of spring 1814 could be reproduced at the time of the fall of the first empire, that is, that the foreigner, paid of having overthrown the threatening Empire, withdraw without demanding indemnity and territories. Bismarck immediately posed the question of the cession of territory clearly to the new government, which made the decision to fight to the bitter end, of which Gambetta was the animator, triumph in the provisional government. The struggle continued, heroic but in vain, until the end of January, supported by the besieged capital and by armies organized in the province to attack the invaders from behind, who also saw the old Garibaldi confronted in the Vosges, generously rushed with his volunteers. in defense of the republic (Dijon, January 1871). The capitulation of Paris and an armistice that was to allow the convocation of an assembly to negotiate peace, put an end to the war when already in the besieged Paris, in the sumptuous palace of Versailles, the victors had proceeded to the constitution of the Germanic Empire under i Hohenzollern (January 18, 1871), crowning of the German unitary policy and at the same time revelation of the new Germanic force that emerged from the victorious wars. The National Assembly, elected on February 8 and convened in Bordeaux, after having proclaimed the decadence of the Bonapartes and placed the most authoritative man of the moment, Adolfo Thiers, at the head of the executive power, had to bend to accept and ratify (February 26- March 10) the peace preliminaries imposed by Bismarck, involving the indemnity of 5 billion, the temporary occupation of a part of the territory, the cession of Alsace and a part of Lorraine and also the parade of a part of the victorious troops in Paris, on the avenues of the Champs-Elysees. These pacts, which then had to materialize in a definitive form in the Treaty of Frankfurt (May 10, 1871), common, and who followed the horrors of the external war with those of the civil war (March 18-May 28, 1871); since it was necessary for part of the government and the assembly that moved to Versailles a real war action to tame the capital, where extremist elements, taking advantage of the excitement of the armed working masses during the siege for the defense against the foreigner, had constituted a revolutionary government agitating confused programs of social transformation and organization of France on a federative basis. The crushing of the movement meant, as well as the victory of the order over the revolution, the revival of the French province against the impulses of the capital. The cycle was closed, which began with the storming of the Bastille, of the movements and political upheavals in which Paris had dictated the law to France. The speed with which the country then recovered from the double weight of the defeat and the civil war and the most sensational manifestation of which was the payment of the five billion, acquitted in two years instead of five, with the consequent early evacuation of the foreign occupation which had ceased in the 1873, revealed to the world the inexhaustible vitality of France and at the same time the increase in well-being and the strengthening of the economic forces that had come about during the second empire.
Cleared of the storms of war, the French atmosphere continued to be agitated by the political struggles for the organization of the new regime; and this because of the conflict between the government, in which the republican tendencies were affirmed, and the assembly, in which there was a large monarchical majority, even if divided between legitimists, Orleanists and Bonapartists. It was a bit of a return to the situation of 1849-51. But this time the situation, rather than under dynastic restoration (Bourbons, Orleans, Bonaparte), had to lead to a purely republican regime; both for the inability of the monarchical currents, which moreover had no bold and capable exponent of the type of Louis Napoleon, and for the attitude of Thiers, then at the height of his political strength and authority, who, convinced that the republic was “the regime that would least divide the French” it evolved decisively from Oreanism to republicanism. The path that led to the republican outcome had these phases: failure of the monarchical restoration plan in October 1873, because the count of Chambord, nephew of Charles X, at the last moment refused to accept the tricolor flag, considered irreplaceable by a large part of the partisans of the monarchy themselves, including Marshal Mac-Mahon, who in May 1873 had been taken to the presidency in place of Thiers, precisely so that he would constitute the screen behind which the restoration would be prepared; new contrasts between monarchists, especially between Orleanists and Bonapartists, which benefited the republicans who in the meantime with a fierce propaganda in the country (Gambetta) gained more and more ground, as the results of the partial elections showed; drafting of the Constitution promulgated in January 1875, which, while establishing the formation of two assemblies (chamber of deputies and senate) for the legislative power, kept a president of the republic at the head of the executive power; general elections of 1876., which if they created a small prevalence of monarchical elements in the senate, gave the chamber a decisive republican physiognomy, so much so as to induce Mac-Mahon to form a republican ministry; Mac-Mahon’s attempt to strengthen the monarchical currents by firing the republican ministry and dissolving the chamber (May 1877), which failed due to the energetic reaction of the country, which in the new elections of the October strengthened the Republican majority in the chamber and forced Mac-Mahon to recall the Republicans to government; shift in the republican sense also of the majority of the senate, followed by the resignation of Mac-Mahon, who was given as successor in the presidency of the republic an outspoken republican, Jules Grévy (January 1879).