Leon Bourgeois

Picture of Leon Bourgeois

Date of Birth: 05/29/1851

Age: 74

Place of Birth: Paris

Citizenship: France


Bourgeois studied at the famous Lycee Charlemagne, took part in the Franco-Prussian War, and later graduated from the University of Paris. He was a versatile person - his interests are not limited to jurisprudence: studied Sanskrit and Hinduism, was a talented musician, sculptor and draftsman. Later, at the height of his political career, he was not seen for drawing caricatures of his colleagues in the Cabinet.

In 1876, after a brief legal practice, he engaged in political activity. He served in the Ministry of Public Works, in 1877 he was elected Secretary General of the Prefecture of Marne, in 1882, became prefect of the Tarn department, and in 1885 - the prefect of Haute-Garonne. In 1887 he headed the Paris police. In February 1888 he was elected to the National Assembly by winning the Marne okrugepopulistskogo General Boulanger. In parliament he joined the radical socialists and quickly became the most famous orator of the party. In 1890, he was promoted to Minister of the Interior, and in 1890-1892, and in 1898 was Minister of Education. In this role, he spent the restructuring of universities and the reform of secondary education, making education more affordable.

After retiring in 1892 from the Ministry of Education, he spent two years as Minister of Justice, and in 1895 became prime minister and formed his own cabinet. In a short six-month tenure as prime minister, he managed to make a number of amendments to the tax and pension legislation, establish a number of benefits for workers. In particular, it was supposed to finance social programs through the introduction of income tax. In those days it was a revolutionary measure, and 6 months later, the deputies carried him a vote of no confidence.

In 1899, Bourgeois became chairman of the French delegation at the Hague Peace Conference and was elected president of the Third Commission, dealing with international arbitration issues. It was on his initiative in 1903 Permanent Arbitration was established at The Hague on the first trial.

In 1902-1904 was the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies in 1906 - Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1907 he represented France at the Second Hague Peace Conference as Chairman of the First Committee on Arbitration and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Continuing to remain in politics, it is, nevertheless, twice rejected the proposal of the Prime Minister of the chair.

In 1918 he led an official commission on the development of the League of Nations Charter. In 1919 he became the French representative on the committee (headed by Woodrow Wilson), the League of Nations and then became chairman of the French Senate. The highlight of his career can be considered as 1920, when he was unanimously elected the first president of the League of Nations Council and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1923 he resigned as chairman of the Senate in 1925 and died in his estate Chateau d`Ozher. Most of his biographers have noted that for the time Bourgeois was largely utopian politician who contributed to the struggle for peace and improving the human condition through education and affordable health care.

Major works: Bourgeois, L & # 233; on, Solidarit & # 233 ;. Paris, Colin, 1896; Bourgeois, L & # 233; on, L`Oeuvre de la Soci & # 233; t & # 233; des Nations, 1920-1923. Paris, Payot, 1923; Bourgeois, L & # 233; on, Pour la Soci & # 233; t & # 233; des Nations. Paris, Charpentier, 1910.