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Encyclopedia > Georges Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau, by Nadar.
Georges Clemenceau, by Nadar.

Georges Clemenceau[1] (Mouilleron-en-Pareds (Vendée), 28 September 184124 November 1929) was a French statesman, physician and journalist. He led France during World War I and was one of the major voices behind the Treaty of Versailles. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1185x1600, 485 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Georges Clemenceau Nadar (photographer) ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1185x1600, 485 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Georges Clemenceau Nadar (photographer) ... Nadar could mean: Nadar, the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon Nadar, a prominent Tamil caste of India and in the Tamil diaspora The Prix Nadar is awarded annually for a book of photographs edited in France. ... Mouilleron-en-Pareds is a village, located in France, where Jean de Lattre de Tassigny and Georges Clemenceau were born. ... Vendée is a département in west central France, on the Atlantics Bay of Biscay. ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1841 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... November 24 is the 328th day (329th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... “The Great War” redirects here. ... The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was the peace treaty which officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ...

Contents

Early life

Georges Clemenceau was born in a small village in the province of Vendée, France on 28 September 1841. He looked up to his father who fostered his strong republican political views, although he was the grandson of the noble seigneur du Colombier, who in turn descended nine times from King Jean de Brienne of Jerusalem, two from King Fernando III of Castile of Castile and one from King Edward I of England of England. With a group of students he began publishing a paper Le Travail ("Work"). This was considered radical by Napoleon III and when affixing posters convening a demonstration he was seized by French police. He spent 73 days in prison. When he was released he began another paper called Le Matin ("Morning"), but this again caused him trouble with the police. He eventually became a doctor of medicine May 13, 1865 with a thesis entitled De la génération des éléments atomiques (On the generation of the atomic elements). John of Brienne (c. ... Fernando III called El Santo (the Saint), (1198/1199 – May 30, 1252) was a king of Castile (1217–1252) and Leon (1230–1252). ... Edward I (17 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), popularly known as Longshanks[1], also as Edward the Lawgiver because of his legal reforms, and as Hammer of the Scots,[2] achieved fame as the monarch who conquered Wales and who tried to do the same to Scotland. ...


After studying medicine in Nantes he travelled to the United States and began living in New York. He was impressed by the freedom of speech and expression which he observed - something he had not witnessed in France under the reign of Napoleon III. He had a great admiration for the politicians who were forging American democracy and considered settling permanently in the country. He began teaching at an all girl’s school in Connecticut and eventually married one of his students, Mary Plummer, in 1869. They had three children together but divorced in 1876.


Clemenceau left New York and returned to France, settling in Paris. He established himself as a doctor, adopting medicine as his profession. He settled in Montmartre in 1869 and following the instauration of the Third Republic (1870-1940), was sufficiently well known to be nominated mayor of the 18th arrondissement of Paris (Montmartre) - an unruly district over which it was a difficult task to preside. medicines, see medication and pharmacology. ... Montmartre seen from the centre Georges Pompidou (1897), a painting by Camille Pissarro of the boulevard that led to Montmartre as seen from his hotel room. ... The French Third Republic, (in French, La Troisième République, sometimes written as La IIIe République) (1870/75-10 July 1940) was the governing body of France between the Second French Empire and the Vichy Regime. ... An arrondissement is an administrative division in some French- or Dutch-speaking countries: // Main article: Municipal arrondissement in France Main article: Arrondissements of Paris The city of Paris, in France is divided into 20 arrondissements. ...


During the Franco-Prussian War, Clemenceau remained in Paris and was resident throughout the siege of Paris. When the war ended on 28 January 1871 Clemenceau stood for election as mayor and on 8 February 1871 he was elected as a Radical to the National Assembly for the Seine département. As a Radical, he voted against the proposed peace treaty with newly-formed Germany. Combatants Second French Empire North German Confederation allied with south German states (later German Empire) Commanders Napoleon III Otto Von Bismarck, Helmuth von Moltke the Elder Strength 400,000 at the beginning of the war 1,200,000 Casualties 150,000 dead or wounded 284,000 captured 350,000 civilian... Combatants Prussia, Baden Bavaria, Württemberg (later German Empire) France Commanders Wilhelm I of Germany Helmuth von Moltke Louis Jules Trochu Joseph Vinoy Strength 240,000 regulars 200,000 regulars 200,000 militia and sailors Casualties 12,000 dead or wounded 24,000 dead or wounded 146,000 captured 47... January 28 is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... February 8 is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The term Radical (latin radix meaning root) has been used since the late 18th century as a label in political science for those favoring or trying to produce thoroughgoing political reforms which can include changes to the social order to a greater or lesser extent. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      The National Assembly is either a legislature, or the lower house of a bicameral legislature in some countries. ... The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties. ...


On 20 March 1871 he introduced a bill in the National Assembly at Versailles, on behalf of his Radical colleagues, proposing the establishment of a Paris municipal council of eighty members; but he was not re-elected at the elections of 26 March. Clemenceau played an important role in the Paris Commune. On 18 March 1871 he witnessed first-hand the murder of General Lecomte and General Thomas by communard members of the National Guard. In his memoirs, he claims that he tried to prevent the murder of the generals and the murder of several army officers and policemen he saw being incarcerated by the National Guard, but this claim has neither been confirmed nor denied. His suspected anti-communard sympathies led to him being placed under surveillance by the Central Committee at the Hôtel de Ville, the main Communard body responsible for running Paris during the Commune. The Central Committee ordered his arrest, but within a day he had been cleared and was released. During April and May, Clemenceau was one of several Parisian mayors who tried unsuccessfully to mediate between the Communard government in Paris and the Republican National Assembly at Versailles. When the loyalist Versaillais army broke into Paris on 21 May to end the commune and place Paris back under the jurisdiction of the French government, Clemenceau refused to give any help to the Communard government. After the ending of the Commune, Clemenceau was accused by various witnesses of not having intervened to save Generals Lecomte and Thomas when he might have done so. Although he was cleared of this charge, it led to a duel, for which he was prosecuted and sentenced to a fine and a fortnight's imprisonment. March 20 is the 79th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (80th in leap years). ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Versailles (pronounced in French), formerly de facto capital of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important administrative and judicial center. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (86th in leap years). ... Le Père Duchesne looking at the statue of Napoleon I on top of the Vendome column: Eh ben ! bougre de canaille, on va donc te foutre en bas comme ta crapule de neveu !… (Well now! buggering rascal, we will knock you the fuck off just like your crook of... March 18 is the 77th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (78th in leap years). ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Communards were also an 80s Britpop group Communard is an archaic term that is a synonym of communist. With respect to the history of France, the Communards were the supporters/members of the short-lived Paris Commune formed in the disturbed period immediately after the Franco-Prussian War. ... Founded in Paris after the fall of the Bastille in July 1789, the National Guard passed from the historical stage in the wake of the destruction of the Paris Commune in May 1871. ... The Hôtel de Ville houses the office of the Mayor of Paris. ... May 21 is the 141st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (142nd in leap years). ...


He was elected to the Paris municipal council on 23 July 1871 for the Clignancourt quartier, and retained his seat till 1876, passing through the offices of secretary and vice-president, and becoming president in 1875. July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


In 1876 he stood again for the Chamber of Deputies, and was elected for the 18th arrondissement. He joined the far left, and his energy and mordant eloquence speedily made him the leader of the Radical section. In 1877, after the Seize Mai crisis, he was one of the republican majority who denounced the de Broglie ministry, and he took a leading part in resisting the anti-republican policy of which the Seize Mai incident was a manifestation. His demand in 1879 for the indictment of the de Broglie ministry brought him into particular prominence. Chamber of Deputies is the name given to a legislative body, which may either be the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or the name of a unicameral one. ... The term far left refers to the relative position a person or group occupies within the political spectrum. ... The May 16, 1877 crisis (French: Crise du Seize mai) is one of the main political crises of the French Third Republic (1870-1940), with two defining traits: it concerned both the contested supremacy of counterrevolutionary monarchists on the new Republic, and the role and power of the president. ... Albert, duc de Broglie, French politician Jacques-Victor-Albert, 4th duc de Broglie (June 13, 1821–January 19, 1901), was a French monarchist politician. ...

Georges Clemenceau by Cecilia Beaux (1920).
Georges Clemenceau by Cecilia Beaux (1920).

In 1880 he started his newspaper, La Justice, which became the principal organ of Parisian Radicalism. From this time onwards, throughout Jules Grévy's presidency, his reputation as a political critic and destroyer of ministries who yet would not take office himself grew rapidly. He led the Extreme Left in the Chamber. He was an active opponent of Jules Ferry's colonial policy and of the Opportunist party, and in 1885 it was his use of the Tonkin disaster which principally determined the fall of the Ferry cabinet. Image File history File links Clemenceau_by_Beaux_1920. ... Image File history File links Clemenceau_by_Beaux_1920. ... Cecilia Beaux is an American society portraitist, in the nature of John Singer Sargent. ... ... Jules Grévy, painted by Léon Bonnat François Paul Jules Grévy (August 15, 1813 - September 9, 1891) was a President of the French Third Republic. ... Jules Ferry, French statesman Jules François Camille Ferry (April 5, 1832 – March 17, 1893) was a French statesman. ... Combatants France Qing Dynasty Black Flag Army Annam Strength 15,000 to 20,000 soldiers (including Spanish and Filipino volunteers) 25,000 to 35,000 soldiers (from the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang and Yunnan) Casualties 2,100 killed or wounded 10,000 killed or wounded The 1884 Battle...


At the elections of 1885 he advocated a strong Radical programme, and was returned both for his old seat in Paris and for the Var, selecting the latter. Refusing to form a ministry to replace the one he had overthrown, he supported the Right in keeping Freycinet in power in 1886, and was responsible for the inclusion of General Boulanger in the Freycinet cabinet as war minister. When Boulanger showed himself as an ambitious pretender, Clemenceau withdrew his support and became a vigorous opponent of the Boulangist movement, though the Radical press and a section of the party continued to patronize the general. Var is a département of southern France. ... Charles de Freycinet, Prime Minister of France Charles Louis de Saulces de Freycinet (November 14, 1828 - May 14, 1923) was a French statesman and prime minister. ... -1...


By his exposure of the Wilson scandal, and by his personal plain speaking, Clemenceau contributed largely to Jules Grévy's resignation of the presidency in 1887, having himself declined Grévy's request to form a cabinet on the downfall of Maurice Rouvier's Cabinet. He was also primarily responsible, by advising his followers to vote for neither Floquet, Ferry, or Freycinet, for the election of an "outsider" (Carnot) as president. Jules Grévy, painted by Léon Bonnat François Paul Jules Grévy (August 15, 1813 - September 9, 1891) was a President of the French Third Republic. ... Maurice Rouvier, French statesman Maurice Rouvier (April 17, 1842 - June 7, 1911) was a French statesman. ... Charles Floquet, French politician Charles Thomas Floquet (October 2, 1828 - January 18, 1896) was a French statesman. ... Marie François Sadi-Carnot, President of France Marie François Sadi Carnot (August 11, 1837 - June 24, 1894) was a French statesman, the fourth president of the third French Republic. ...


The split in the Radical party over Boulangism weakened his hands, and its collapse made his help unnecessary to the moderate republicans. A further misfortune occurred in the Panama affair, as Clemenceau's relations with Cornelius here led to his being included in the general suspicion. Although he remained the leading spokesman of French Radicalism, his hostility to the Russian alliance so increased his unpopularity that in the 1893 election he was defeated for his Chamber seat, having held it continuously since 1876. Portrait of General Georges Boulanger Georges Ernest Jean-Marie Boulanger (April 29, 1837 – September 30, 1891) was a French general and reactionary politician. ... The Panama scandals also known as Panama Canal Scandal was a corruption affair in France in the late 19th century, linked to the building of the Panama Canal. ...


After his 1893 defeat, Clemenceau confined his political activities to journalism. His career was further overclouded by the long-drawn-out Dreyfus case, in which he took an active part as a supporter of Emile Zola and an opponent of the anti-Semitic and Nationalist campaigns. The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal which divided France during the 1890s and early 1900s. ... mile Zola (April 2, 1840 - September 29, 1902) was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France. ...


On 13 January 1898 Clemenceau, as owner and editor of the Paris daily L'Aurore, published Emile Zola's "J'accuse" on the front page of his paper. Clemenceau decided that the controversial story that would become a famous part of the Dreyfus Affair would be in the form of an open letter to the President, Félix Faure. January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... LAurores front page on 13 January 1898 features Emile Zolas open letter to to the French President Félix Faure regarding the Dreyfus Affair. ... The introduction of this article does not provide enough context for readers unfamiliar with the subject. ... The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal which divided France during the 1890s and early 1900s. ... French statesman Félix Faure. ...


In 1900 he withdrew from La Justice to found a weekly review, Le Bloc, which lasted until March 1902. On 6 April 1902 he was elected senator for the Var, although he had previously continually demanded the suppression of the Senate. He sat with the Radical-Socialist Party , and vigorously supported the Combes ministry. In June 1903 he undertook the direction of the journal L'Aurore, which he had founded. In it he led the campaign for the revision of the Dreyfus affair, and for the separation of Church and State. April 6 is the 96th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (97th in leap years). ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Radical Party (Parti Radical or Républicains Radicaux et Radicaux-Socialistes, Radical Republicans and Radical Socialists), was a major French political party of the early to mid 20th century, originally considered radical due to its anti-clericalism. ... Émile Combes, French politician Émile Combes (1835 - 1921) was a French statesman. ... Constantines Conversion, depicting the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity, by Peter Paul Rubens. ...


In March 1906 the fall of the Rouvier ministry, owing to the riots provoked by the inventories of church property, at last brought Clemenceau to power as Minister of the Interior in the Sarrien cabinet. The miners' strike in the Pas de Calais after the disaster at Courrieres, leading to the threat of disorder on the 1st of May 1906, obliged him to employ the military; and his attitude in the matter alienated the Socialist party, from which he definitively broke in his notable reply in the Chamber to Jean Jaurès in June 1906. Maurice Rouvier, French statesman Maurice Rouvier (April 17, 1842 - June 7, 1911) was a French statesman. ... Ferdinand Sarrien, French politician Jean Marie Ferdinand Sarrien (1840-1915) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... Pas-de-Calais is a département in northern France named after the strait which it borders. ... Courrières is a commune and the chief-town of a canton of northern France, in the Pas-de-Calais département, arrondissement of Lens, now the agglomeration of Hénin-Carvin which gathers 14 communes, and has a population of 125 000 inhabitants. ... Jean Jaurès. ...


This speech marked him out as the strong man of the day in French politics; and when the Sarrien ministry resigned in October, he became premier. During 1907 and 1908 his premiership was notable for the way in which the new entente with England was cemented, and for the successful part which France played in European politics, in spite of difficulties with Germany and attacks by the Socialist party in connection with Morocco.


On 20 July 1909, however, he was defeated in a discussion in the Chamber on the state of the navy, in which bitter words were exchanged between him and Delcassé. He resigned at once, and was succeeded as premier by Aristide Briand, with a reconstructed cabinet. July 20 is the 201st day (202nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 164 days remaining. ... 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Théophile Delcassé, French diplomat and statesman Théophile Delcassé (March 1, 1852 - February 22, 1923) was a French statesman. ... Aristide Briand (March 28, 1862 – March 7, 1932) was a French statesman who served several terms as Prime Minister of France and won the Nobel Peace Prize. ...


World War I

When World War I broke out in 1914 Clemenceau refused to act as justice minister under the French Prime Minister René Viviani. René Viviani René Raphaël Viviani (November 8, 1863 – September 7, 1925) was a French politician of the Third Republic, who served as Prime Minister for the first year of World War I. Beginning his political career as a Socialist, Viviani, like fellow Socialist Aristide Briand, was expelled from the...


In November 1917 Clemenceau was appointed prime minister. Unlike his predecessors, he immediately halted disagreement and called for peace among senior politicians.


When Clemenceau became Prime Minister in 1917 victory seemed to be a long way off. There was little activity on the Western Front because it was believed that there should be limited attacks until the American support arrived in 1919. At this time, Italy was on the defensive, Russia had virtually stopped fighting – and it was believed they would be making a separate peace with Germany. At home the government had to combat defeatism, treason and espionage. They also had to handle increasing demonstrations against the war, scarcity of resources and air raids – which were causing huge physical damage to Paris as well as damaging the morale of its citizens. It was also believed that many politicians secretly wanted peace. It was a challenging situation for Clemenceau, because after years of criticising other men during the war, he suddenly found himself in a position of supreme power. He was also isolated politically. He did not have close links with any parliamentary leaders (especially after years of criticism) and so had to rely on himself and his own circle of friends.


Clemenceau’s ascension to power meant little to the men in the trenches at first. They thought of him as ‘Just another Politician’, and the monthly assessment of troop morale found that only a minority found comfort in his appointment. Slowly, however, as time passed, the confidence he inspired in a few began to grow throughout all the fighting men. They were encouraged by his many visits to the trenches. This confidence began to spread from the trenches to the home front and it was said “We believed in Clemenceau rather in the way that our ancestors believed in Joan of Arc.”


Clemenceau was also well received by the media because they felt that France was in need for strong leadership. It was widely recognised that throughout the war he was never discouraged and he never stopped believing that France could achieve total victory. There were sceptics, however, that believed that Clemenceau, like other war time leaders, would have a short time in office. It was said that “Like everyone else … Clemenceau will not last long- only long enough to clean up [the war].”


He supported the policy of total war – “We present ourselves before you with the single thought of total war” – and the policy of guerre jusqu'au bout (war until the end). One of his speeches advocating these policies was so effective it left a vivid impression on Winston Churchill, (see Appendix 1.0). These policies promised victory with justice, loyalty to the fighting men and immediate and severe punishment of crimes against France. Joseph Caillaux, a German appeaser and former French prime minister, adamantly disagreed with Clemenceau’s policies. Caillaux was an avid believer in negotiated peace – which could only be achieved by surrendering to Germany. Clemenceau believed that Caillaux was a threat to national security and that if France were to be victorious, his challenge had to be overcome. Unlike previous ministers, Clemenceau was not afraid to act against Caillaux. It was decided by the parliamentary committee that he would be arrested and imprisoned for three years. Clemenceau believed, in the words of Jean Ybarnégaray, that Caillaux’s crime “was not to have believed in victory [and] to have gambled on his nations defeat”.


It was believed by some in Paris that the arrest of Caillaux and others was a sign that Clemenceau had begun a Reign of Terror in the style adopted by Robespierre. This was only really believed by the enemies of Clemenceau, but the many trials and arrests aroused great public excitement, one newspaper ironically reported “The war must be over, for no one is talking about it anymore”. These trials, far from making the public fear the government, inspired confidence as the they felt that for the first time in the war, action was being taken and they were being firmly governed. Although there were accusations that Clemenceau’s ‘firm government’ was actually a dictatorship, the claims were not supported. Clemenceau was still held accountable to the people and media and he relaxed censorship on political views as he believed that newspapers had the right to criticize political figures - “The right to insult members of the government is inviolable”. The only powers that Clemenceau assumed were those that he thought necessary to win the war. The Reign of Terror (5 September 1793 – 28 July 1794) or simply The Terror (French: la Terreur) was a period of about eleven months during the French Revolution when struggles between rival factions lead to mutual radicalization which took on a violent character with mass executions by guillotine. ... Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, (May 6, 1758–July 28, 1794), known also to his contemporaries as the Incorruptible, is one of the best known of the leaders of the French Revolution. ...


In 1918, Clemenceau thought that France should adopt Woodrow Wilson’s fourteen points, despite believing that some were utopian, mainly because one of the points called for the return of the disputed territory of Alsace-Lorraine to France. This meant that victory would fulfil one war aim that was very close to the hearts of the French people. Clemenceau was also very sceptical about the League of Nations, believing that it could succeed only in a utopian society. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924), was the 28th President of the United States. ... Imperial Province of Elsaß-Lothringen Alsace-Lorraine (German: , generally Elsass-Lothringen) was a territorial entity created by the German Empire in 1871 after the annexation of most of Alsace and parts of Lorraine in the Franco-Prussian War. ... The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920. ...


As war minister Clemenceau was also in close contact with his generals. Although it was necessary for these meetings to take place, they were not always beneficial as he did not always make the most effective decisions concerning military issues. He did, however, mostly heed the advice of the more experienced generals. As well as talking strategy with the generals he also went to the trenches to see the Poilu , the French infantrymen. He wanted to talk to them and assure them that their government was actually looking after them. The Poilu had great respect for Clemenceau and his disregard for danger as he often visited soldiers only yards away from German frontlines. These visits to the trenches contributed to Clemenceau’s title Le Père de la Victoire (Father of Victory). Poilu is a warmly informal term for a French infantryman, meaning, literally, hairy one. ...


On 21 March the Germans began their great spring offensive. The Allies were caught off guard as they were waiting for the majority of the American troops to arrive. As the Germans advanced on the 24th of March, the British Fifth army retreated and a gap was created in the British/French lines - giving them access to Paris. This defeat cemented Clemenceau’s belief, and that of the other allies, that a coordinated, unified command was the best option. It was decided that Foch would be appointed to the supreme command. The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advance by either side since 1914. ...


The German line continued to advance and Clemenceau believed that they could not rule out the fall of Paris (see appendix 2.0). It was believed that if ‘the tiger’ as well as Foch and Pétain stayed in power, for even another week, France would be lost. It was thought that a government headed by Briand would be beneficial to France because he would make peace with Germany on advantageous terms. Clemenceau adamantly opposed these opinions and he gave an inspirational speech to parliament and ‘the chamber’ voted their confidence in him 377 votes to 110.


Post-WWI

As Allied counteroffensives began to push the Germans back, with the help of American reinforcements, it became clear that the Germans could no longer win the war. Although they still occupied allied territory, they did not have sufficient resources and manpower to continue the attack. As countries allied to Germany began to ask for an armistice, it was obvious that Germany would soon follow. On 11 November an armistice with Germany was signed – Clemenceau saw this as an admission of defeat. Clemenceau was embraced in the streets by and attracted admiring crowds. He was a strong, energetic, positive leader who was key to the allied victory of 1918.


It was decided that a peace conference would be held in France, officially Versailles. On 14 December Woodrow Wilson visited Paris and received an enormous welcome. His 14 points and the concept of a league of nations had made a big impact on the war weary French. Clemenceau realised at their first meeting that he was a man of principle and conscience but narrow minded. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924), was the 28th President of the United States. ...


It was decided that since the conference was being held in France, Clemenceau would be the most appropriate president – ‘Clemenceau was one of the best chairmen I have ever known – firm to the point of ‘tigerishness’ when necessary, understanding, conciliatory, witty and a tremendous driver. His leadership never failed from first to last, and was never questioned.’ He also spoke both English and French, the official languages of the conference.


The Conference progress was much slower than anticipated and decisions were being constantly adjourned. It was this slow pace that induced Clemenceau to give an interview showing his irritation to an America journalist. He said he believed that Germany had won the war industrially and commercially as their factories were intact and its debts would soon be overcome through ‘manipulation’. In a short time, he believed, the German economy would be much stronger than the French.


Clemenceau was shot by an anarchist ‘assassin’ on 19 February 1919. Seven shots were fired through the back panel of his car – one striking him in the chest. It was discovered that if the bullet had entered only millimeter to the left or right, it would have been fatal.


When Clemenceau returned to the council of ten on 1 March he found that little had changed. One that issue had not changed was a dispute over the long running Eastern Frontier and control of the German province Rhineland. Clemenceau believed that Germany’s possession of the territory left France without a natural frontier in the East and so simplified invasion into France for an attacking army. The issue was finally resolved when Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson guaranteed immediate military assistance if Germany attacked without provocation. It was also decided that the Allies would occupy the territory for 15 years, and that Germany could never rearm the area.


There was increasing discontent among Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson about slow progress and information leaks surrounding the Council of Ten. They began to meet in a smaller group, called the Council of Four. This offered greater privacy and security and increased the efficiency of the decision making process. Another major issue which the Council of Four discussed was the future of the German Saar province. Clemenceau believed that France was entitled to the province and its coal mines after Germany deliberately damaged the coal mines in Northern France. Wilson, however, resisted the French claim so firmly that Clemenceau accused him of being ‘pro German’. Lloyd George came to a compromise and the coal mines were given to France and the territory placed under French administration for 15 years, after which a vote would determine whether the province would rejoin Germany.


Although Clemenceau had little knowledge of the Austrian-Hungarian empire, he supported the causes of its smaller ethnic groups and his adamancy lead to the stringent terms in the Treaty of Trianon which dismantled Hungary. Rather than recognizing territories of the Austrian-Hungarian empire solely within the principles of self-determination, Clemenceau sought to weaken Hungary just as Germany and remove the threat of such a large power within Central Europe. The entire Czechoslovakian state was seen a potential buffer from Communism and this encompassed majority Hungarian territories.


Clemenceau did not have experience or knowledge in economics or finance but was under strong public and parliamentary pressure to make Germany’s reparation bill as big as possible. It was generally agreed that Germany should not pay more than it could afford, but the estimates of what it could afford varied greatly. Figures ranged between £2000 million which was quite modest compared to another estimate of £20,000 million. Clemenceau realised that any compromise would anger both the French and British citizens and that the only option was to establish a reparations commission which would examine Germany’s capacity for reparations. This meant that the French government was not directly involved in the issue of reparations.


Clemenceau's retirement and death

In the eyes of the French people, Clemenceau failed to achieve all of their demands through the Treaty of Versailles. This resulted in his loss in the French electorate in January 1920. Ironically, Clemenceau always opposed leniency toward Germany and it is believed by some that the effects of his decisions post-war, contributed to the events that lead to World War II. Clemenceau's historical reputation in the eyes of some was tainted as a result. Clemenceau is especially vilified in John Maynard Keynes "The Economic Consequences of the Peace," where it is stated that "Clemenceau had one illusion, France, and one disillusion, mankind."


After retiring from politics Clemenceau began to write his own memoirs, Grandeur et Misère d'une victoire (The Grandeur and Misery of a Victory). Clemenceau wrote about the high possibility of further conflict with Germany and predicted that 1940 would be the year of the gravest danger. George Clemenceau died in Paris on 24 November 1929 of natural causes.


Clemenceau's First Ministry, 25 October, 1906 - 24 July, 1909

  • Georges Clemenceau - President of the Council and Minister of the Interior
  • Stéphen Pichon - Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Georges Picquart - Minister of War
  • Joseph Caillaux - Minister of Finance
  • René Viviani - Minister of Labour and Social Security Provisions
  • Edmond Guyot-Dessaigne - Minister of Justice
  • Gaston Thomson - Minister of Marine
  • Aristide Briand - Minister of Public Instruction, Fine Arts, and Worship
  • Joseph Ruau - Minister of Agriculture
  • Raphaël Milliès-Lacroix - Minister of Colonies
  • Louis Barthou - Minister of Public Works, Posts, and Telegraphs
  • Gaston Doumergue - Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Changes Stéphen Pichon (1857-1933) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... Marie Georges Picquart (Strasbourg September 6, 1854 – Amiens January 18, 1914), French general and Minister of War. ... French politician Joseph Caillaux Joseph-Marie-Auguste Caillaux (March 30, 1863 - November 21/22, 1944) was a major French politician of the Third Republic. ... René Viviani René Raphaël Viviani (November 8, 1863 – September 7, 1925) was a French politician of the Third Republic, who served as Prime Minister for the first year of World War I. Beginning his political career as a Socialist, Viviani, like fellow Socialist Aristide Briand, was expelled from the... Aristide Briand (March 28, 1862 – March 7, 1932) was a French statesman who served several terms as Prime Minister of France and won the Nobel Peace Prize. ... French politician Louis Barthou Jean Louis Barthou (August 25, 1862 – October 9, 1934) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... Gaston Doumergue, French statesman Pierre-Paul-Henri-Gaston Doumergue (August 11, 1863 at Aigues-Vives, France-June 18, 1937 at Aigues-Vives, France) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ...

January 4 is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Aristide Briand (March 28, 1862 – March 7, 1932) was a French statesman who served several terms as Prime Minister of France and won the Nobel Peace Prize. ... Gaston Doumergue, French statesman Pierre-Paul-Henri-Gaston Doumergue (August 11, 1863 at Aigues-Vives, France-June 18, 1937 at Aigues-Vives, France) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... Jean Cruppi (1855-1933) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... October 22 is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 70 days remaining. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ...

Clemenceau's Second Ministry, 16 November, 1917 - 20 January, 1920

  • Georges Clemenceau - President of the Council and Minister of War
  • Stéphen Pichon - Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Louis Loucheur - Minister of Armaments and War Manufacturing
  • Jules Pams - Minister of the Interior
  • Louis Lucien Klotz - Minister of Finance
  • Pierre Colliard - Minister of Labour and Social Security Provisions
  • Louis Nail - Minister of Justice
  • Georges Leygues - Minister of Marine
  • Louis Lafferre - Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
  • Victor Boret - Minister of Agriculture and Supply
  • Henry Simon - Minister of Colonies
  • Albert Claveille - Minister of Public Works and Transport
  • Étienne Clémentel - Minister of Commerce, Industry, Maritime Transports, Merchant Marine, Posts, and Telegraphs
  • Charles Jonnart - Minister of Liberated Regions and Blockade.

Changes Stéphen Pichon (1857-1933) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... Louis Loucheur (born August 12, 1872 in Roubaix; died November 22, 1931 in Paris) was a French politician in the Third Republic. ... Louis-Lucien Klotz was the French Minister of Finance during World War I. Infamous for seducing French statesman Leon Gambetta when both were young teens. ... French politician Georges Leygues Georges Leygues (1857-1933) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... Charles Jonnart (1857-1927) was a French politician. ...

  • 23 November 1917 - Albert Lebrun succeeds Jonnart as Minister of Liberated Regions and Blockade.
  • 26 November 1918 - Louis Loucheur becomes Minister of Industrial Reconstitution. His office of Minister of Armaments and War Manufacturing is abolished.
  • 24 December 1918 - The office of Minister of Blockade is abolished. Lebrun remains Minister of Liberated Regions.
  • 5 May 1919 - Albert Claveille succeeds Clémentel as Minister of Merchant Marine. He remains Minister of Public Works and Transport, while Clémentel remains Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts, and Telegraphs
  • 20 July 1919 - Joseph Noullens succeeds Boret as Minister of Agriculture and Supply.
  • 6 November 1919 - André Tardieu succeeds Lebrun as Minister of Liberated Regions.
  • 27 November 1919 - Léon Bérard succeeds Lafferre as Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts. Louis Dubois succeeds Clémentel as Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts, and Telegraphs.
  • 2 December 1919 - Paul Jourdain succeeds Colliard as Minister of Labour and Social Security Provisions.

November 23 is the 327th day of the year (328th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 38 days remaining. ... Year 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Albert Lebrun (August 29, 1871 - March 6, 1950) was a French politician, President of France from 1932 to 1940, and as such was the last president of the Third Republic. ... November 26 is the 330th day (331st in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Louis Loucheur (born August 12, 1872 in Roubaix; died November 22, 1931 in Paris) was a French politician in the Third Republic. ... December 24 is the 358th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (359th in leap years). ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (126th in leap years). ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... July 20 is the 201st day (202nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 164 days remaining. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 55 days remaining. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... French politician André Tardieu André Tardieu (September 22, 1876 at Paris, France - September 15, 1945 at Menton) was three-time Prime Minister of France (November 3, 1929 - February 17, 1930; March 2 - December 4, 1930; February 20 - May 10, 1932) and a dominant figure of French political life from 1929... November 27 is the 331st day (332nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Léon Bérard, de lAcadémie française (January 6, 1876 - February 24, 1960 in Saint-Étienne) - French politician and lawyer. ... Louis Dubois was a Huguenot colonist to New Netherland, who founded, with his son and 10 other refugees known as the duzine, the village of New Paltz. ... December 2 is the 336th day (337th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ...

Trivia

  • On February 20, 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference, he was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by an anarchist. Clemenceau oftened joked about the "assassin's" bad marksmanship – “We have just won the most terrible war in history, yet here is a Frenchman who misses his target 6 out of 7 times at point-blank range. Of course this fellow must be punished for the careless use of a dangerous weapon and for poor marksmanship. I suggest that he be locked up for eight years, with intensive training in a shooting gallery.
  • Clemenceau is largely attributed with originating the phrase, "Any man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart. Any man who is still a socialist at age 40 has no head." Variations on this theme were later attributed to Disraeli, Shaw, Churchill, and Bertrand Russell. [2]
  • After relaxing censorship laws he was asked by the chief censor if he would abolish all censorship. Clemenceau replied acidly, "I am not a complete idiot".
  • Clemenceau led a simple personal life, and preferred to make his own meals whenever possible. He reportedly ate gruel for breakfast, boiled eggs for lunch, and milk and bread for supper during his entire life.
  • During the Paris Peace Conference, he woke each day at 3 a.m. and was capable of working through until 11 at night.
  • Clemenceau suffered from acute eczema on his hands, which by 1916 was so bad he had to wear gloves to cover up his skin
  • France's diplomatic position at the Paris Peace Conference was repeatedly jeopardized by Clemenceau's mistrust of David Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, and his intense dislike of French President Raymond Poincaré. When negotiations reached a stalemate, Clemenceau had a habit of shouting at the other heads of state and storming out of the room rather than participating in further discussion
  • The French aircraft carrier Clemenceau was named after Georges Clemenceau.
  • Several of Clemenceau's descendants live in the United States especially in the greater Washington, DC area and in Stamford, CT.
  • He was so angry like many Allied military and political leaders over what he perceived as General John J. Pershing's refusal to allow the US troops to be used as replacements for depleted Allied divisions that he attempted to have Pershing relieved of command.
  • Clemenceau was a friend and sometime correspondent of the Impressionist artist Claude Monet; each admired the other and together they were instrumental in having one of Monet's most ambitious "Waterlilies" canvasses exhibited as a part of the French WW1 victory celebrations. When facing the need for treatment for cataracts later in life, Monet sought Clemenceau's medical opinion in their correspondence.
  • One of Beirut's streets is named in honor of Georges Clemenceau. See Rue Clémenceau

The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 was a conference organized by the victors of World War I to negotiate the peace treaties between the Allied and Associated Powers and the defeated Central Powers. ... Porridge (also known in American English as hot cereal), is a simple dish made by boiling oats (normally crushed oats, occasionally oatmeal) or another meal in water and/or milk. ... An egg is an ovum produced by a female animal for reproduction, often prepared as food. ... A glass of cows milk. ... Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. ... Eczema is a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the upper layers of the skin. ... David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor, OM, PC (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was a British statesman who guided Britain and the British Empire through World War I and the postwar settlement as the Liberal Party Prime Minister, 1916-1922. ... Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924), was the 28th President of the United States. ... Raymond Poincaré, President of the French Republic during the Great War. ... Mount Clemenceau is the fourth highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. ... Ringrose Peak, Lake OHara, British Columbia, Canada The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. ... Built at: Arsenal de Brest Ordered: 1954 Laid down: November 1955 Launched: 21 December 1957 Commissioned: 22 November 1961 Decommissioned: 1 October 1997 Fate: park at Toulon to remove asbestos Struck: General Characteristics Displacement: 24,200 tonnes (32,500 full load) Length: 265 m Width: 51. ... Romeo y Julieta is the name of two brands of premium cigar, one produced on the island of Cuba for Habanos SA, the Cuban state-owned tobacco company, and the other produced in the Dominican Republic for Altadis SA. The Romeo y Julieta logo // The Romeo y Julieta marque was... Four cigars of different brands (from top: H. Upmann, Montecristo, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta) An airtight cigar storage tube and a double guillotine-style cutter A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco, one end of which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn... Motto Dios, Patria, Libertad(Spanish) God, Homeland, Liberty Anthem Quisqueyanos valientes Capital (and largest city) Santo Domingo Official languages Spanish Government Presidential Republic  -  President Leonel Fernández Independence from Haiti   -  Date 27 February 1844  Area  -  Total 48,442 km² (130th) 18,810 sq mi   -  Water (%) 1. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... John Joseph Black Jack Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was an officer in the United States Army. ... Cyril Cusack (November 26, 1910 — October 7, 1993) was an Irish actor. ... The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is a TV series that ran from 1992 to 1996. ... See also Impressionist (entertainment): A girl with a watering can by Renoir, 1876 Impressionism was a 19th century art movement, which began as a private association of Paris-based artists who exhibited publicly in 1874. ... Claude Monet also known as Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet (November 14, 1840 – December 5, 1926)[1] was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movements philosophy of expressing ones perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein... Human eye cross-sectional view, showing position of human lens. ... For other uses, see Beirut (disambiguation). ... Rue Clémenceau is a commercial and residential street in Beirut, Lebanon, located near Rue Hamra and the American University of Beirut. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Clemenceau's name is spelled with an e and not with the é that is normally required in French for the correct pronunciation.
  2. ^ "Unquote" Mark T. Shirey

Sources

  • The Tiger: The Life of Georges Clemenceau, 1841-1929 - Edgar Holt
  • Georges Clemenceau - Jean Martet

External links

  • The Clemenceau museum
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica, Georges Clemenceau
  • South America To Day by Georges Clemenceau at archive.org. In English.
  • The strongest (Les plus fort) by Georges Clemenceau at archive.org
  • The surprises of life by Georges Clemenceau at archive.org
  • At the foot of Sinai by Georges Clemenceau at archive.org
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Georges Clemenceau
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Georges Clemenceau
Preceded by
Ferdinand Sarrien
Prime Minister of France
1906-1909
Succeeded by
Aristide Briand
Preceded by
Paul Painlevé
Prime Minister of France
1917-1920
Succeeded by
Alexandre Millerand
Preceded by
Émile Fauget
Seat 3
Académie française

1918–1929
Succeeded by
André Chaumeix

  Results from FactBites:
 
Georges Clemenceau (282 words)
Clemenceau was born in Mouilleron-en-Pareds[?], in the département of Vendée, in France.
Clemenceau was mayor of Montmartre and would go on to become a dominant figure in the French Third Republic as the leader of the Parti Radical[?].
Clemenceau was an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the Third French Republic.
First World War.com - Who's Who - Georges Clemenceau (417 words)
Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) was French prime minister twice, in 1906-09 and from November 1917-20.
Clemenceau succeeded Paul Painleve as premier in November 1917, having been appointed by President Raymond Poincare, and remained in the post until 1920.
Clemenceau worked to revive French morale in the country at large, and persuaded the Allies to agree to a unified military command under Ferdinand Foch; he energetically pursued the war until its conclusion in November 1918.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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