The New Student's Reference Work/Clémenceau, George B. E.
Clémenceau (klắ′män′sō′), George B. E., a French statesman and senator and premier of France and minister of the interior, under the presidency of Armand Fallieres. A clever debater and born orator, as well as an able journalist in his day, M. Clémenceau is one of the most picturesque figures in modern politics. A native of Brittany (he was born in 1841 in the department of La Vendée), he early studied and for a time practised medicine in Montmartre, and then travelled abroad, paying a brief visit the while to the United States. In 1869 he returned to France, and two years later was elected to the National Assembly, later on becoming a member of the Chamber of Deputies and leader of the Extreme Left. Though holding radical views, he has usually acted with moderation and good sense, though he was compelled successively to oppose Gambetta, Jules Ferry and the Boulangists. For a number of years he devoted himself to journalism, editing for a time not only his radical journal, La Justice, but contributing many notable articles to L'Aurore, among them several defending Dreyfus, besides writing fiction and social studies and taking active part in politics and the questions of the day. Chief among the controversies of the time is the part played by M. Clémenceau in defining the relation of Radicals to Socialists, in reply to M. Jaures, the Socialist leader. Among his published works are Les Massacres d'Arménie (1896), Les Phis Forts (1898) and La Mele Sociale (1895).