Émile Henry (26 September 1872 in Barcelona – 21 May 1894 in Paris, France) was a French anarchist, who on 12 February 1894 detonated a bomb at the Café Terminus in the Parisian Gare Saint-Lazare killing one person and wounding twenty.
Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France.
Though his activity in the anarchist movement was limited, he garnered much attention as a result of his crimes and of his age. He was also seen as one of the first people of a growing group of revolutionaries (largely anarchist) who subscribed to the doctrine of the "propaganda of the deed", which would later take the life of many governmental figures.
Propaganda of the deed is specific political action meant to be exemplary to others and serve as a catalyst for revolution.
Henry grew up in a liberal, aristocratic family with anarchist sympathies. They were exiled to Spain for a time because his father, Fortune Henry, was a communard (a supporter of the 1871 Paris Commune). As a result, Henry was born in Barcelona and regaled from an early age with stories of state oppression. These anti-state attitudes were confirmed when the Spanish authorities confiscated the Henry family's property due to their political beliefs. Henry's father was forced to take a miserable factory job and died of mercury poisoning when Henry was only 10 years old. The family returned to France and Henry's brother, an anarchist, eventually helped him establish connections with French revolutionary circles. Henry passed the writing portion of the entrance exam for the prestigious École Polytechnique, but he failed his oral exams and went on to find work as a trainee for an engineering firm.
Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support civil rights, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free markets.
The aristocracy is a social class that a particular society considers its highest order. In many states, the aristocracy included the upper class of people (aristocrats) with hereditary rank and titles. In some—such as ancient Greece, Rome, and India—aristocratic status came from belonging to a military caste, although it has also been common, notably in African societies, for aristocrats to belong to priestly dynasties. Aristocratic status can involve feudal or legal privileges. They are usually below only the monarch of a country or nation in its social hierarchy. In modern European societies, the aristocracy has often coincided with the nobility, a specific class that arose in the Middle Ages, but the term "aristocracy" is sometimes also applied to other elites, and is used as a more generic term when describing earlier and non-European societies.
The Paris Commune was a radical socialist and revolutionary government that ruled Paris from 18 March to 28 May 1871. The Franco-Prussian War had led to the capture of Emperor Napoleon III in September 1870, the collapse of the Second French Empire, and the beginning of the Third Republic. Because Paris was under siege for four months, the Third Republic moved its capital to Tours. A hotbed of working-class radicalism, Paris was primarily defended during this time by the often politicised and radical troops of the National Guard rather than regular Army troops. Paris surrendered to the Prussians on 28 January 1871, and in February Adolphe Thiers, the new chief executive of the French national government, signed an armistice with Prussia that disarmed the Army but not the National Guard.
Henry was furious over the state execution of fellow anarchist Auguste Vaillant. Motivated by the French Third Republic's endemic political corruption, Vaillant carried out a bomb attack on the French Chamber of Deputies on 9 December 1893. Although there were no fatalities, twenty deputies were injured. Henry took it upon himself to avenge Vaillant's death.
Auguste Vaillant was a French anarchist, most famous for his bomb attack on the French Chamber of Deputies on 9 December 1893. The government's reaction to this attack was the passing of the infamous repressive Lois scélérates.
Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.
He saw the café as a representation of the bourgeoisie itself and his intent was to kill as many people as possible in the bombing. When brought to trial for these acts, he was asked by the courts why he had needlessly harmed so many innocent people, to which he replied, "…there are no innocent bourgeois", adding that his acts caused the "insolent triumphs" of the bourgeoisie to be shattered, and "its golden calf would shake violently on its pedestal, until the final blow knocks it into the gutter and pools of blood."
The bourgeoisie is a polysemous French term that can mean:
This was not Henry's first terrorist act; already on November 8, 1892, he had placed a time bomb at the offices of the Carmaux Mining Company, which had exploded when the police removed it, killing five officers in the commissariat on the rue des Bons-enfants. Indeed, after his arrest for the Terminus bombing, Henry took credit for a series of other bombings in Paris, and in his apartment was found material to make many more explosive devices.
Henry was executed by guillotine on 21 May 1894.His last words were reputed to be "Courage, camarades! Vive l'anarchie!"
I became an anarchist only recently. It was no longer ago than around mid-1891 that I threw myself into the revolutionary movement. Previously, I had lived in Social circle|circles wholly permeated with the established morality. I had been accustomed to respecting and even cherishing the principles of the nation, family, authority and property.
But those educating the present generation all too often forget one thing – that life, indiscreet with its struggles and setbacks, its injustices and iniquities, sees to it that the scales are removed from the eyes of the ignorant and that they are opened to reality. Which was the case with me, as it is with everyone. I had been told that this life was easy and largely open to intelligent, vagarious people, and experience showed me that only cynics and lackeys can get a good seat at the banquet.
I had been told that society’s institutions were founded on justice and equality, and all around me I could see nothing but lies and treachery. Everyday I was disabused further. Everywhere I went, I witnessed the same pain in some, the same delights in others. It did not take me long to realize that the same great words that I had been raised to venerate: honor, devotion, duty were merely a mask hiding the most shameful turpitude.
The factory-owner amassing a huge fortune on the back of the labor of his workers who lacked everything was an upright gentleman. The deputy, the minister whose hands were forever outstretched for bribes were committed to the public good. The officer testing his new model rifle on seven-year-old children had done his duty well, and in open parliament the premier offered him his congratulation. Everything I could see turned my stomach and my mind fastened on criticism of social organization. The criticism has been voiced too often to need rehearsing by me. Suffice it say that I turned into an enemy of a society which I held to be criminal.
Momentarily attracted by socialism, I wasted no time in distancing myself from that party. My love of liberty was too great, my regard for individual initiative too great, my repudiation for feathering one’s nest too definite for me to enlist in the numbered army of the fourth estate. Also, I saw that, essentially, socialism changes the established order not one jot. It retains the authoritarian principle, and this principle, despite what supposed free-thinkers may say about it, is nothing but an ancient relic of the belief in a higher power.
(...)In the merciless war that we have declared on the bourgeoisie, we ask no mercy. We mete out death and we must face it. For that reason I await your verdict with indifference. I know that mine will not be the last head you will sever (...) You will add more names to the bloody roll call of our dead.
Hanged in Chicago, beheaded in Germany, garroted in Xerez, shot in Barcelona, guillotined in Montbrison and in Paris, our dead are many; but you have not been able to destroy anarchy. Its roots go deep: its spouts from the bosom of a rotten society that is falling apart; it is a violent backlash against the established order; it stands for the aspirations to equality and liberty which have entered the lists against the current authoritarianism. It is everywhere. That is what makes it indomitable, and it will end by defeating you and killing you.
Sante Geronimo Caserio was an Italian anarchist and the assassin of Marie François Sadi Carnot, President of the French Third Republic. Caserio was born in Motta Visconti, Lombardy. On 24 June 1894, he fatally stabbed President Carnot after a banquet, to avenge Auguste Vaillant and Émile Henry.
Émile Armand was an influential French individualist anarchist at the beginning of the 20th century and also a dedicated free love/polyamory, intentional community, and pacifist/antimilitarist writer, propagandist and activist. He wrote for and edited the anarchist publications L’Ère nouvelle (1901–1911), L’Anarchie, L'EnDehors (1922–1939) and L’Unique (1945–1953).
Fernand-Gustave-Gaston Labori was a French attorney. He was born in Reims. In his professional life, he defended the accused in some of the most prominent political cases of his day. Among his noted clients was Alfred Dreyfus, who was eventually acquitted of treason. During the Dreyfus trial, Labori was the victim of an assassination attempt which hospitalized him for a week. The attacker was never identified.
François Claudius Koenigstein, also known as Ravachol (1859–1892), was a French anarchist. He was born on 14 October 1859, at Saint-Chamond, Loire and died by being guillotined on 11 July 1892, at Montbrison after being twice found guilty of complicity in bombings.
The lois scélérates – a pejorative name – were a set of French laws restricting the 1881 freedom of the press laws passed under the Third Republic (1870–1940), after several bombings and assassination attempts carried out by anarchist proponents of "propaganda of the deed".
Anarchism in France can trace its roots to thinker Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who grew up during the Restoration and was the first self-described anarchist. French anarchists fought in the Spanish Civil War as volunteers in the International Brigades. According to journalist Brian Doherty, "The number of people who subscribed to the anarchist movement's many publications was in the tens of thousands in France alone."
The 1893 general election was held on 20 August and 3 September 1893.
Théodule Meunier was a French anarchist who, along with Emile Henry and Auguste Vaillant, was responsible for a series of bombings in Paris, France during early 1892. The three specifically targeted both civilian and government buildings which included boulevard cafes, the homes of magistrates, police stations and the Chamber of Deputies.
The Trial of the Thirty was a trial in 1894 in Paris, France, aimed at legitimizing the lois scélérates passed in 1893–94 against the anarchist movement and restricting press freedom by proving the existence of an effective association between anarchists.
Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and his or her will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems. European individualist anarchism proceeded from the roots laid by William Godwin, Individualist anarchism expanded and diversified through Europe, incorporating influences from American individualist anarchism.
The relation between anarchism and Friedrich Nietzsche has been ambiguous. Even though Nietzsche criticized anarchism, his thought proved influential for many thinkers within what can be characterized as the anarchist movement. As such "[t]here were many things that drew anarchists to Nietzsche: his hatred of the state; his disgust for the mindless social behavior of 'herds'; his anti-Christianity; his distrust of the effect of both the market and the State on cultural production; his desire for an 'übermensch'—that is, for a new human who was to be neither master nor slave".
Major male anarchist thinkers generally supported women's equality. Free love advocates sometimes traced their roots back to Josiah Warren and to experimental communities, viewing sexual freedom as an expression of an individual's self-ownership. Free love particularly stressed women's rights. In New York's Greenwich Village, "bohemian" feminists and socialists advocated self-realisation and pleasure for both men and women. In Europe and North America, the free love movement combined ideas revived from utopian socialism with anarchism and feminism to attack the "hypocritical" sexual morality of the Victorian era.
Queer anarchism is an anarchist school of thought that advocates anarchism and social revolution as a means of queer liberation and abolition of homophobia, lesbophobia, transmisogyny, biphobia, transphobia, heteronormativity, heterosexism, patriarchy, and the gender binary. People who campaigned for LGBT rights both outside and inside the anarchist and LGBT movements include John Henry Mackay, Adolf Brand and Daniel Guérin. Individualist anarchist Adolf Brand published Der Eigene from 1896 to 1932 in Berlin, the first sustained journal dedicated to gay issues.
Some observers believe existentialism forms a philosophical ground for anarchism. Anarchist historian Peter Marshall claims, "there is a close link between the existentialists' stress on the individual, free choice, and moral responsibility and the main tenets of anarchism".
Paul Lafargue was a French revolutionary Marxist socialist journalist, literary critic, political writer and activist; he was Karl Marx's son-in-law having married his second daughter, Laura. His best known work is The Right To Be Lazy. Born in Cuba to French and Creole parents, Lafargue spent most of his life in France, with periods in England and Spain. At the age of 69, he and 66-year-old Laura died together by a suicide pact.
The Left in France was represented at the beginning of the 20th century by two main political parties: the Republican, Radical and Radical-Socialist Party and the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), created in 1905 as a merger of various Marxist parties. But in 1914, after the assassination of the leader of the SFIO, Jean Jaurès, who had upheld an internationalist and anti-militarist line, the SFIO accepted to join the Union sacrée national front. In the aftermaths of the Russian Revolution and the Spartacist uprising in Germany, the French Left divided itself in reformists and revolutionaries during the 1920 Tours Congress, which saw the majority of the SFIO spin-out to form the French Section of the Communist International (SFIC). The early French Left was often alienated into the Republican movements.
Classless society refers to a society in which no one is born into a social class. Such distinctions of wealth, income, education, culture, or social network might arise and would only be determined by individual experience and achievement in such a society.
Collectivist anarchism is a revolutionary anarchist doctrine that advocates the abolition of both the state and private ownership of the means of production as it instead envisions the means of production being owned collectively and controlled and managed by the producers themselves.
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