Rare, vindicative poster displaying the extent of French irredentism in the post-Franco-Prussian War era.
The work was produced in 1886 (or the earliest part of 1887) as an advertisement for the French magazine La Revanche, founded in that year. Published by Louis Peyramont, the magazine argued for efforts at French recapture of Alsace-Lorraine. The initial launch and sales of the magazine were advertised by sandwich boards with this present image.
The image shows a German octopus with its tentacles spread throughout Europe. Only two nations fight it, alluding to the Franco-Russian alliance that emerged after the war.
Irredentism Following the Franco-Prussian War
Irredentism, the belief in the right of a group to reclaim territory that they consider rightfully theirs, played a significant role in French society following the Franco-Prussian war. After the defeat in the war and the loss of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, many French people felt a strong sense of nationalistic pride and a desire to reclaim these lost territories. This desire manifested itself in various ways, such as the formation of irredentist political movements and the incorporation of irredentist rhetoric into the political discourse.
Irredentist sentiments were particularly strong in the regions of Alsace and Lorraine, where many people still considered themselves French despite being under German control. In these regions, irredentism was a rallying cry for those who sought to reclaim their lost territories and restore their French identity. This sentiment was also shared by many in other parts of France, who saw the loss of Alsace and Lorraine as a national humiliation and a call to action to reclaim these territories.
Irredentist movements played a significant role in shaping French politics and society in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war. These movements advocated for the reclaiming of Alsace and Lorraine through various means, such as diplomatic negotiations, economic sanctions, and even military force. While some of these movements were more moderate in their approach, others were more radical and advocated for more aggressive action to reclaim the lost territories.