Charles de Freycinet

Charles Louis de Saulces de Freycinet (French: [ʃaʁl də fʁɛjsinɛ]; 14 November 1828 – 14 May 1923) was a French statesman and four times Prime Minister during the Third Republic. He also served an important term as Minister of War (1888–93). He belonged to the Opportunist Republicans faction.

Charles de Freycinet
Freycinet (ca.1880) by Nadar
Minister of War
In office
1 November 1898  18 February 1899
Prime MinisterCharles Dupuy
Preceded byCharles Chanoine
Succeeded byCamille Krantz
In office
3 April 1888  10 January 1893
Prime MinisterCharles Floquet
Pierre Tirard
Himself
Émile Loubet
Alexandre Ribot
Preceded byFrançois Logerot
Succeeded byJulien Loizillon
44th Prime Minister of France
In office
17 March 1890  27 February 1892
PresidentMarie François Sadi Carnot
Preceded byPierre Tirard
Succeeded byÉmile Loubet
In office
7 January 1886  16 December 1886
PresidentJules Grévy
Preceded byHenri Brisson
Succeeded byRené Goblet
In office
30 January 1882  7 August 1882
PresidentJules Grévy
Preceded byLéon Gambetta
Succeeded byCharles Duclerc
In office
28 December 1879  23 September 1880
PresidentJules Grévy
Preceded byWilliam Waddington
Succeeded byJules Ferry
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
28 December 1879  3 December 1886
Prime MinisterHimself
Henri Brisson
Preceded byPaul-Armand Challemel-Lacour
Succeeded byÉmile Flourens
Minister of Public Works
Prime MinisterJules Dufaure
William Waddington
Preceded byMichel Graeff
Succeeded byHenri Varroy
Member of the French Senate
for Seine
In office
30 January 1876  11 January 1920
Succeeded byLouis Dausset
Personal details
Born(1828-11-14)14 November 1828
Foix, Ariège, France
Died14 May 1923(1923-05-14) (aged 94)
Paris, France
Political partyRepublican Union (1871–1885)
Union of the Lefts (1885–1894)
League of Patriots (1894–1923)
Spouse(s)
Jeanne Alexandrine Bosc
(m. 1858; died 1923)
EducationÉcole Polytechnique
ProfessionEngineer

He was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences, and in 1890, the fourteenth member to occupy a seat in the Académie française.

Biography

Early years

Freycinet was born at Foix (Ariège) of a Protestant family and was the nephew of Louis de Freycinet, a French navigator. Charles Freycinet was educated at the École Polytechnique. He entered government service as a mining engineer (see X-Mines). In 1858 he was appointed traffic manager to the Compagnie de chemins de fer du Midi, a post in which he showed a remarkable talent for organization, and in 1862 returned to the engineering service, attaining in 1886 the rank of inspector-general. He was sent on several special scientific missions, including one to the United Kingdom, on which he wrote a notable Mémoire sur le travail des femmes et des enfants dans les manufactures de l'Angleterre (1867).

Government service

Franco-Prussian War

In July 1870 the Franco-Prussian War started which led to the fall of the Second French Empire of Napoleon III. On the establishment of the Third Republic in September 1870, he offered his services to Léon Gambetta, was appointed prefect of the department of Tarn-et-Garonne, and in October became chief of the military cabinet. It was mainly Freycinet's powers of organization which enabled Gambetta to raise army after army to oppose the invading Germans. He revealed himself to be a competent strategist, but the policy of dictating operations to the generals in the field was not attended with happy results. The friction between him and General d'Aurelle de Paladines resulted in the loss of the advantage temporarily gained at Coulmiers and Orléans, and he was responsible for the campaign in the east, which ended in the destruction of the Armée de l'Est of Charles Denis Bourbaki.

1871-1888

In 1871 he published a defence of his administration under the title of La Guerre en province pendant le siège de Paris. He entered the Senate in 1876 as a follower of Gambetta, and in December 1877 became Minister of Public Works in the cabinet of Jules Armand Stanislaus Dufaure. He passed a great scheme for the gradual acquisition of the railways by the state and the construction of new lines at a cost of three milliards, and for the development of the canal system at a further cost of one milliard. He retained his post in the ministry of William Henry Waddington, whom he succeeded in December 1879 as Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. He passed an amnesty for the Communards, but in attempting to steer a middle course (between the Catholics and the anti-clericalists) on the question of the religious associations, he lost Gambetta's support, and resigned in September 1880.

In January 1882 he again became Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. His refusal to join Britain in the bombardment of Alexandria was the death-knell of French influence in Egypt. He attempted to compromise by occupying the Isthmus of Suez, but the vote of credit was rejected in the Chamber by 417 votes to 75, and the ministry resigned. He returned to office in April 1885 as Foreign Minister in Henri Brisson's cabinet, and retained that post when, in January 1886, he succeeded to the premiership.

He came to power with an ambitious programme of internal reform; but apart from settling the question of the exiled pretenders, his successes were chiefly in the sphere of colonial extension. In spite of his unrivalled skill as a parliamentary tactician, he failed to keep his party together, and was defeated on 3 December 1886. In the following year, after two unsuccessful attempts to construct new ministries, he stood for the Presidency of the Republic; but the radicals, to whom his opportunism was distasteful, turned the scale against him by transferring the votes to Marie François Sadi Carnot.

Minister of War

In April 1888 he became Minister of War in Charles Floquet's cabinet — the first civilian since 1848 to hold that office. His services to France in this capacity were the crowning achievement of his life, and he enjoyed the conspicuous honour of holding his office without a break for five years through as many successive administrations — those of Floquet and Pierre Tirard, his own fourth ministry (March 1890 – February 1892), and the Émile Loubet and Alexandre Ribot ministries. The introduction of the three-years' service and the establishment of a general staff, a supreme council of war, and the army commands were all due to him. His premiership was marked by heated debates on the clerical question, and it was a hostile vote on his bill against the religious associations that caused the fall of his cabinet. He failed to clear himself entirely of complicity in the Panama scandals, and in January 1893 resigned the Ministry of War.

In November 1898 he once again became Minister of War in the Charles Dupuy cabinet, but resigned office on 6 May 1899.

Prime Minister of France

1st Ministry

Changes
  • 17 May 1880 – Ernest Constans succeeds Lepère as Minister of the Interior and Worship.

2nd Ministry

3rd Ministry

Changes
  • 4 November 1886 – Édouard Millaud succeeds Baïhaut as Minister of Public Works

4th Ministry

Publications

  • Traité de mécanique rationnelle (1858)
  • De l'analyse infinitésimale (1860, revised ed., 1881)
  • Des pentes économiques en chemin de fer (1861)
  • Emploi des eaux d'égout en agriculture (1869)
  • Principes de l'assainissement des villes (1870)
  • Traité d'assainissement industriel (1870)
  • Essai sur la philosophie des sciences (1896)
  • La Question d'Égypte (1905)
  • Contemporain: 'Pensées contributed under the pseudonym of Alceste"

References

    •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Freycinet, Charles Louis de Saulçes de". Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 211.
    Political offices
    Preceded by
    Michel Graëff
    Minister of Public Works
    1877–1879
    Succeeded by
    Henri Varroy
    Preceded by
    William Waddington
    Prime Minister of France
    1879–1880
    Succeeded by
    Jules Ferry
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    1879–1880
    Succeeded by
    Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire
    Preceded by
    Léon Gambetta
    Prime Minister of France
    1882
    Succeeded by
    Charles Duclerc
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    1882
    Preceded by
    Jules Ferry
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    1885–1886
    Succeeded by
    Émile Flourens
    Preceded by
    Henri Brisson
    Prime Minister of France
    1886
    Succeeded by
    René Goblet
    Preceded by
    François Auguste Logerot
    Minister of War
    1888–1893
    Succeeded by
    Julien Léon Loizillon
    Preceded by
    Pierre Tirard
    Prime Minister of France
    1890–1892
    Succeeded by
    Émile Loubet
    Preceded by
    Charles Chanoine
    Minister of War
    1898–1899
    Succeeded by
    Camille Krantz
    Preceded by
    Minister of State
    1915–1916
    Succeeded by
    This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.