Aristide Pierre Henri Briand was a French statesman who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France during the French Third Republic.
36 Facts About Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand is mainly remembered for his focus on international issues and reconciliation politics during the interwar period.
Aristide Briand was born in Nantes, Loire-Inferieure of a petit bourgeois family.
Aristide Briand attended the Nantes Lycee, where, in 1877, he developed a close friendship with Jules Verne.
Aristide Briand studied law at the Faculty of Law of Paris, and soon went into politics, associating himself with the most advanced movements, writing articles for the syndicalist journal Le Peuple, and directing the Lanterne for some time.
From that time, Aristide Briand was one of the leaders of the French Socialist Party.
Aristide Briand declared himself a strong partisan of the union of the left in what was known as the Bloc, to check the reactionary deputies of the right.
Aristide Briand was appointed the reporter of the commission charged with the preparation of the 1905 law on separation, and his report at once marked him out as one of the coming leaders.
Aristide Briand succeeded in carrying his project through with but slight modifications, and without dividing the parties upon whose support he relied.
Aristide Briand was the principal author of the law of separation, but, not content with preparing it; he wished to apply it as well.
The ministry of Maurice Rouvier was allowing disturbances during the taking of inventories of church property, a clause of the law for which Aristide Briand was not responsible.
Aristide Briand became a freemason in the lodge Le Trait d'Union in July 1887 while the lodge did not record his name in spite of his repeated requests.
Aristide Briand got on well with Lloyd George, who was, contrary to military advice, keen for operations in the Balkans, and had a long talk with him on 4 February 1915.
Aristide Briand was the main mover in persuading Maurice Sarrail to accept the Salonika command in August 1915.
In October 1915 following an unsuccessful French offensive and the entry of Bulgaria, Aristide Briand again became Prime Minister, succeeding Rene Viviani.
Aristide Briand became Foreign Minister for the first time, a post held by Theophile Delcasse until the final weeks of the previous government.
Aristide Briand was pledged to "unite de front", not just between the military and Parliament but closer links with the other Allies, a pledge met with "prolonged, thunderous applause" by the deputies.
The opening weeks of Aristide Briand's ministry required him to broker an agreement between General Gallieni, the new War Minister, and General Joffre, newly promoted to "Commander-in-Chief of the French Armies" over all theatres apart from North Africa.
Aristide Briand was falsely suspected of wanting to launch a military takeover of the government.
Aristide Briand knew that publication of the report would damage morale and might bring down the government.
The first formal Allied conference met in Paris on 26 March 1916 but initially made little impact, perhaps because Aristide Briand had vetoed the British suggestion of a permanent secretariat, or perhaps because there had been three informal sets of Anglo-French talks in the last quarter of 1915, one of which, the Chantilly meeting, had already seen strategy plans drawn up.
Late in March 1916 Joffre and Aristide Briand blocked the withdrawal of five British divisions from Salonika.
Aristide Briand was widely suspected of wanting to make his mistress Princess George of Greece, who was born a Bonaparte.
Aristide Briand attended the conference at Saleux on 31 May 1916 about the upcoming Anglo-French offensive on the Somme, with President Poincare, General Foch and the British Commander-in-Chief General Haig.
Aristide Briand had little choice but to make concessions to preserve his government, and in a speech of 29 November he promised to repeal Joffre's promotion of December 1915 and in vague terms to appoint a general as technical adviser to the government.
Aristide Briand's reduced War Cabinet was formed in imitation of the small executive body formed by Lloyd George, just appointed Prime Minister of Britain, but in practice Aristide Briand's often met just prior to meetings of the main Cabinet.
Aristide Briand resigned as Prime Minister on 20 March 1917 as a result of disagreements over the prospective Nivelle Offensive, to be succeeded by Alexandre Ribot.
The primary goal was to defend French North Africa, and Aristide Briand made practical choices, for naval policy was a reflection of overall foreign policy.
Aristide Briand would remain foreign minister until his death in 1932.
Aristide Briand negotiated the Aristide Briand-Ceretti Agreement with the Vatican, giving the French government a role in the appointment of Catholic bishops.
Aristide Briand received the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize together with Gustav Stresemann of Germany for the Locarno Treaties.
Aristide Briand made his proposals in a speech in favor of a European Union in the League of Nations on 5 September 1929, and in 1930, in his "Memorandum on the Organization of a Regime of European Federal Union" for the Government of France.
The Aristide Briand plan entailed the economic collaboration of the great industrial areas of Europe and the provision of political security to Eastern Europe against Soviet threats.
Aristide Briand's internationalism is easy to deride; nothing he achieved was durable, and his aim seemed no more than old-fashioned security fired by a personal ambition he made little effort to hide.
Aristide Briand's internationalism sprang from the realization that France could not be secure until everyone else was.
Georges Suarez's multi-volume biography of Aristide Briand is of particular value to historians as it cites documents lost in 1940.