The Ministry presided over by the Moderate Socialist Hoffmann had, it is true, succeeded in quelling Bolshevism with the aid of Republican troops from Prussia and Wurttemberg.
But for this he would hardly have established so absolute an antithesis between industrial and military competition, and have shown himself readier to recognize that the law of the struggle for existence, just because it is universal and equally (though differently) operative in every form of society, cannot be appealed to for guidance in deciding between the respective merits of an industrial or military and of an individualist or socialist organization of society.
Com posed mainly of elements drawn from the Left, and dependent for a majority upon the support of the subversive groups of the Extreme Left, the formation of this cabinet gave the signal for a vast working-class movement, during which the Socialist party sought to extend its political influence by means of strikes and the organization of labor leagues among agricultural laborers and artisans.
Puttkammer was the chosen instrument of the Clerical Conservative policy initiated by Bismarck when the Socialist peril made it expedient to conciliate the Catholic Centre.
It was as chairman of the Independent Labour party - the section led by Mr. Keir Hardie - that he entered the House of Commons; and he explained at the congress of the party in April 1907 that its object was to mould society into the socialist State.
The Public Safety Bill for the reform of the police laws, taken over by him from the Rudini cabinet, and eventually promulgated by royal decree, was fiercely obstructed by the Socialist party, which, with the Left and Extreme Left, succeeded in forcing General Pelloux to dissolve the Chamber in May 1900, and to resign office after the general election in June.
Thence he went to Geneva, where he came into intercourse with Mazzini; but, unlike most of the German exiles, he was already an adherent of the socialist creed, which at that time was more strongly held in France.
He identified himself with the more moderate and opportunist section of the Socialist party, decisively dissociating himself from the doctrine of a sudden and violent overthrow of society, and urging his associates to co-operate in bringing about a gradual development towards the Socialistic state.
The perfect success of both was regarded, not unreasonably, as a popular ratification of the republic, and though continually harassed by the formation and dissolution of ephemeral ministries, by socialist outbreaks, and the beginnings of anti-Semitism, Carnot had but one serious crisis to surmount, the Panama scandals of 1892, which, if they greatly damaged the prestige of the state, increased the respect felt for its head, against whose integrity none could breathe a word.
He was, further, obnoxious to them on account of his revelations as to the origin of the war, and at an international Socialist conference at Berne he had urged the German delegates to make a clean breast of Germany's war guilt.