Aristide Briand

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Aristide Briand, French politician
Aristide Briand, French politician

Aristide Briand (March 28, 1862March 7, 1932) was a French statesman.

He was born at Nantes, of a bourgeois family. He studied law, and soon went into politics, associating himself with the most advanced movements, writing articles for the anarchist journal Le Peuple, and directing the Lanterne for some time. From this he passed to the Petite Republique, leaving it to found L'Humanité, in collaboration with Jean Jaurès.

At the same time he was prominent in the movement for the formation of trade unions, and at the congress of working men at Nantes in 1894 he secured the adoption of the labour union idea against the adherents of Jules Guesde. From that time, Briand became one of the leaders of the French Socialist Party. In 1902, after several unsuccessful attempts, he was elected deputy. He declared himself a strong partisan of the union of the Left in what is known as the Bloc, in order to check the reactionary deputies of the Right. From the beginning of his career in the chamber of deputies, Briand was occupied with the question of the separation of church and state. He was appointed reporter of the commission charged with the preparation of the law, and his masterly report at once marked him out as one of the coming headers. He succeeded in carrying his project through with but slight modifications, and without dividing the parties upon whose support he relied.

He was the principal author of the law of separation, but, not content with preparing it, he wished to apply it as well, especially as the existing ministry of Maurice Rouvier was allowing disturbances during the taking of inventories of church property, a clause of the law for which Briand was not responsible. Consequently he accepted the portfolio of public instruction and worship in the Sarrien ministry (1906). So far as the chamber was concerned his success was complete. But the acceptance of a portfolio in a bourgeois ministry led to his exclusion from the Unified Socialist party (March 1906). As opposed to Jaurès, he contended that the Socialists should co-operate actively with the Radicals in all matters of reform, and not stand aloof to await the complete fulfilment of their ideals.

Briand succeeded Clemenceau as Prime Minister in 1909, serving until 1911, and served again for a few months in 1913. In October 1915, following on French defeats in the First World War, Briand again became Prime Minister, and, for the first time, Foreign Minister, succeeding René Viviani and Théophile Delcassé respectively. His tenure was not particularly successful, and he resigned in March 1917 as a result of disagreements over the prospective Nivelle Offensive, to be succeeded by Alexandre Ribot.

Briand returned to power in 1921, but his efforts to come to an agreement over reparations with the Germans failed in the wake of German intransigence, and he was succeeded by the more bellicose Raymond Poincaré. In the wake of the Ruhr Crisis, however, Briand's more conciliatory style became more acceptable, and he returned to the Quai d'Orsay in 1925, remaining foreign minister until his death.

Aristide Briand received the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize together with Gustav Stresemann (Germany) and Austen Chamberlain (United Kingdom), for the Locarno treaties. A 1927 proposal by Briand and United States Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg for a universal pact outlawing war led the following year to the Pact of Paris, aka the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

The cordial relations between Briand and Stresemann, the leading statesmen of their respective countries, were cut short by the unexpected death of Stresemann in 1929 and of Briand in 1932.



Briand's first Government, 24 July 1909 - 3 November 1910

Briand's second Minister, 3 November 1910 - 2 March 1911


Briand's third Government, 21 January - 22 March 1913

Briand's fourth Government, 29 October 1915 - 12 December 1916


Briand's fifth Government, 12 December 1916 - 20 March 1917


Briand's sixth Government, 16 January 1921 - 15 January 1922

Briand's seventh Government, 28 November 1925 - 9 March 1926


Briand's eighth Government, 9 March - 23 June 1926


Briand's Ninth Government, 23 June - 19 July 1926

Briand's tenth Government, 29 July - 3 November 1929

Template:Succession box one to two
Preceded by:
Edmond Guyot-Dessaigne
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by:
Louis Barthou

Template:Succession box two to two

Preceded by:
Jean Brun
interim Minister of War
Succeeded by:
Maurice Berteaux
Preceded by:
Jean Cruppi
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by:
Louis Barthou
Preceded by:
Raymond Poincaré
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by:
Louis Barthou
Preceded by:
Théodore Steeg
Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by:
Louis Lucien Klotz
Preceded by:
Jean-Baptiste Bienvenu-Martin
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by:
René Viviani

Template:Succession box two to two Template:Succession box two to two Template:Succession box two to one

Preceded by:
Édouard Herriot
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by:
Pierre Laval
Preceded by:
Raymond Poincaré
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by:
André Tardieu

Template:End boxde:Aristide Briand fr:Aristide Briand it:Aristide Briand nl:Aristide Briand no:Aristide Briand pl:Aristide Briand sv:Aristide Briand uk:Бріан Арістид


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