1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Constans, Jean Antoine Ernest


CONSTANS, JEAN ANTOINE ERNEST (1833–), French statesman, was born at Béziers. He began his career as professor of law, and in 1876 was elected deputy for Toulouse. He sat in the Left Centre and was one of the 363 of the 16th of May 1877. Re-elected in October 1877, he joined Freycinet as minister of the interior in May 1880, holding this portfolio until the 14th of November 1881. On the 22nd of February 1889 he again assumed the same office in the Tirard cabinet. He became prominent as a stalwart opponent of the Boulangist party, constituting the senate a high court of justice, and taking police measures against the Ligue des patriotes. He resigned on the 1st of March 1890, but his resignation involved the fall of the cabinet, and he resumed his portfolio in the Freycinet cabinet on the 17th of March. On the 29th of December 1889 he had been elected senator by the department of the Haute-Garonne. He was violently attacked by the press and the Boulangist deputies, but did not resign until the whole cabinet withdrew, on the 26th of February 1892. In December 1898 he was appointed ambassador at Constantinople.