George Clemenceau – Biography of George Clemenceau

Georges Benjamin Clemenceau He was born on September 28, 1841 in Mouilleron-en-Pareds, in the Vendée, France. Following the family tradition, he studied medicine in Nantes and Paris. In 1865 she traveled to the United States, where she served as a Paris newspaper correspondent and taught horse riding and French at a women’s academy in Stamford, Connecticut. He married one of his pupils, Mary Plummer. They had two daughters and a son, but they separated after 7 years.

In 1869 Clemenceau returned to France; After the Revolution of 1870, he was appointed mayor of the 18th arrondissement of Paris, which included Montmartre. After being elected as a representative in the Paris National Assembly in February 1871, he voted against the Treaty of Frankfurt. When the communal revolt began in Montmartre on March 18, he tried unsuccessfully to prevent bloodshed. Later, Clemenceau tried to mediate between the Commune and the Versailles government. Failing again, he resigned his post in Paris and his seat in the Assembly. He was elected in July 1871 to the municipal council of Paris, where he remained until 1876, becoming president in 1875.

In 1876, Clemenceau he returned to national politics and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as a representative of the 18th arrondissement of Paris. At the time his gray hair was cut short, his bushy eyebrows protruded from his large black eyes, and his thick, drooping mustache was still black. His highly individual style of debate, marked by caustic wit, soon won him the undisputed leadership of the Radicals. While he was uncompromisingly atheist and anti-clerical, he advocated the separation of church and state, Clemenceau He believed in human perfectability through scientific knowledge and moral effort. He firmly maintained freedom and natural rights and was influenced by the ideas of Auguste Comte, JS Mill, and Charles Darwin.

Clemenceau he possessed a genius for destructive criticism and earned the nickname “Tiger“for his role in destroying the cabinets. Contrary to imperialism, he toppled the Ferry Cabinet on the Tunisian question in 1881, attacked the Freycinet Cabinet for his desire to intervene in Egypt the following year, and destroyed the Ferry Cabinet of 1885 during the Indochina crisis.

In 1886, Clemenceau he first supported General Boulanger as minister of war in Freycinet’s cabinet, but later actively opposed him. Clemenceau also played a prominent role in the Wilson scandal, which forced President Grévy to resign.

He later endorsed Sadi Carnot for the presidency against Jules Ferry and is credited with saying: “I will vote for the stupidest“This incident contributed to the tradition of a weak presidency that plagued the Third Republic. Clemenceau He was denounced as a friend and associate of Cornelius Hertz, a key figure in the Panama scandal, and was also accused of being in the pay of the English. He was greeted with campaign posters showing him juggling English coins, and failed to win reelection in 1893.

Between 1893 and 1903, Clemenceau built a new career in journalism. At first he wrote daily articles for La Justice, but in 1897 he began writing for L’Aurore, which had a larger circulation. The selections of his articles were published as Le Mêlée sociale (1895) and Le Grand Pan (1896). In 1898 he published a novel, Les Plus forts, and a volume of sketches on Jewish subjects, Au pied de Sinai. Another article book, Au fil des jours, appeared in 1900.

On January 13, 1898, Clemenceau gave its usual space in L’Aurore to Emile Zola’s inflammatory article on the Dreyfus case, which Clemenceau Title “J’accuse“. From now on, Clemenceau he became a dedicated supporter of the Dreyfus cause. In 1900 he began publishing a weekly, Le Bloc, most of which he wrote himself, but soon returned to L’Aurore as editor. Meanwhile, he published his articles on Dreyfusard in five volumes.

In 1902, Clemenceau he was elected senator for the Var and accepted the post of interior minister in Sarrien’s cabinet. He used troops to control a miners’ strike in Pas-de-Calais following a mine disaster in that district and hired military engineers to break a strike by electrical workers in Paris.

When Sarrien’s cabinet resigned in October 1906, Clemenceau became prime minister. He faced new attacks and used the army to control the most violent ones. When the Paris postmen attacked, Clemenceau denounced the strikes by public servants. Later he created a ministry of labor and negotiated the nationalization of the western railroad. In foreign affairs, he continued to cultivate close relations with Great Britain and strengthened the French alliance system. He refused to apologize to Germany for an incident in Morocco. He was removed from office in July 1909 in a dispute over naval policy.

After a speaking tour of Brazil and Argentina in 1910, he became a member of the senate commissions for foreign affairs and for the military. In 1913 he founded a newspaper, L’Homme Libre (The Free Man), to express his views on armaments and the German threat.

In September 1914, the role of Clemenceau was suppressed due to his criticism of the weaknesses of the government, but immediately reappeared with the title L’Homme Enchainé (The enchanted man). In this magazine, he strove to foster the French will to triumph and expose all forms of inefficiency in the war effort.

On November 17, 1917, when French morale was near its lowest point, President Poincaré asked Clemenceau to form a cabinet. He served as war minister and prime minister, and summarized his policy in “Je fais la guerre“(I wage war). Clemenceau restored France’s self-confidence. He welcomed the appointment of Marshal Ferdinand Foch as Commander-in-Chief of the Allied armies in April 1918 and gave him unconditional support. When the Germans advanced to Château Thierry, 18 miles from Paris, Clemenceau proclaimed: “The Germans can take Paris, but that won’t stop me from continuing the war. We will fight on the Loire, we will fight on the Garonne. We will fight even in the Pyrenees. And if they finally expel us from the Pyrenees, we will continue the war at sea. But as for asking for peace, never!“The confidence of Clemenceau in their military commanders it was justified, and in June, Foch and Philippe Pétain were able to take the offensive. On November 11, 1918, Germany signed the armistice.

As leader of the French delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, Clemenceau he played an important role in the drafting of the Treaty of Versailles and in determining the policies of the conference. He tried to obtain a strong League of Nations backed by military force, and when this failed, he proposed other measures to guarantee French security: Germany had to pay the full cost of the war; French annexation of the Saar basin; and the creation of a separate state from the Rhineland under the protection of the League of Nations.

The President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, and the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, offered as compensation an Anglo-American guarantee of the borders of France and forced to Clemenceau to compromise all these points. Consequently, the French legislators, who considered that the government of Clemenceau he was autocratic and they regretted being excluded from the peace negotiations, condemned the peace treaty as too lenient and debated 3 months before ratifying it. After the 1919 elections Clemenceau resigned as prime minister. In 1920 an attempt to elect him president failed.

Clemenceau he retired from parliamentary politics. In 1922 he made a tour of the United States in an attempt to remind that country of the fulfillment of its obligations after the American rejection of the Treaty of Versailles and the Anglo-American guarantee of French security. During the remaining years of his life, he divided his time between Paris and the Vendée and devoted himself to writing. In 1927 he had completed a two-volume philosophical testament, Au soir de la pensée (In the afternoon of my thought). His memoirs of the war and the peace agreement were published after his death as Grandeurs et misères d’une victoire in 1930. He died in Paris on November 24, 1929.