The French third republic, lasting between 1870 and 1940, was the governing board of France between the 2nd empire and the 4th republic.  It was a republican whose leadership was based on parliamentary democracy. It was established as a result of the collapse of the Napoleon III Empire during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 (Price 59). The third republic survived until in 1940 when France was attacked by the German third Reich.   However, this republic was formed accidentally and it was not loved by many; it stumbled from one crisis to another before it finally collapsed in 1940, though it was never intended to last for this long.

The French third republic was formed in 1870 following the fall of the Napoleon III Empire. With the rise of the Germany Empire which was meant to distress the stability of power in Europe as well as to set off the world war one, France felt that it could not tolerate such a strong empire on its boarders (Price 33-69). As a result the second empire was manipulated and was forced into war, Franco-Prussian war, which eventually led to the fall of the empire. It was after this defeat that the third republic was established so as to rule France.

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The fall of the third republic was evident immediately it was established. Despite the fact that France was republican, its populace did not love the third republic. Governments rarely lasted for months with socialists, radicals, liberals, republicans, monarchists, and conservatives all fighting for control. The government also experienced a sequence of crises, the common one being the claim that an officer with Jewish origin in the French army was spying for German (Jewish 79). This boiled up fights between the right wing and the monarchists and finally Dreyfus was put to exile despite the fact that he was innocent. Its fall was thus attributed to the fact that it was faced by a determined enemy with sophisticated technology, yet its leaders were not determined to fight back since they were not united.

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