Leon Gambetta

Picture of Leon Gambetta

Date of Birth: 04/02/1838

Age: 44

Place of birth: Cahors

Citizenship: France


In Paris for three years in the Ecole de droit, Gambetta worked hard, studying, in addition to legal science, history and literature.

Passionate interest in politics very quickly pushed him out of the crowd of his contemporaries. His young comrades willingly acknowledged his authority.

The Early Years

His father was a small merchant, a native of Genoa, as his mother came from a purely French family that belonged to the old bourgeoisie.

Childhood Gambetta marked only an accident, due to which it is permanently lost his sight in one eye.


He studied first at the nearby town of Montauban seminary, then in kagorskom Lyceum; very early attracted the attention of his outstanding abilities.

In Paris for three years in the Ecole de droit, Gambetta worked hard, studying, in addition to legal science, history and literature.

Passionate interest in politics very quickly pushed him out of the crowd of his contemporaries. His young comrades willingly acknowledged his authority.

Career Law

Upon completion of the course Gambetta immediately enrolled in a number of avocats stagiaires and never left the bar, although in reality his advocacy was short-lived.

As a lawyer, is not over yet even his probation, Gambetta made the defense of some political processes, and his oratorical talent almost from the first time drew attention to it if not yet the crowd, then at least those interested in judicial affairs.

However Gambetta attended lectures at the Sorbonne and Coll & # 232; ge de France, studying the political and administrative sciences, and spent his days in the legislative body, watching political debates.

Returning from the House, he sketched on paper his fresh impressions, and these sketches appeared in print in the form of correspondence from Paris in a French newspaper published in Frankfurt.

Gambetta - Republican

Sharing with the vast majority of the young generation of that time hatred of the Empire, Gambetta did not hesitate to develop among his peers his republican ideas.

The position, which he won on the left bank of the Seine, in the student quarter of Paris, gave him the opportunity during the elections in 1863 to perform an energetic opponent of the empire.

He abandoned himself to the electoral activities supporting the candidacy of one of the most talented opposition journalists, Prevost-Paradolya.

Energy, tact, contempt for every fear, hot enthusiasm shown by them during this period strengthened him already quite prominent in the liberal opposition. Gambetta has become more and more successful to appear in the Palais de Justice as a defender of both the political process and the Press.

To his name resounded throughout France, it had only to some work that would allow him to show in all the splendor of the whole taivshuyusya there oratorical power.

That thing was the process of journalists, opened a subscription to the monument of the national representative of Boden, who was killed on the barricades during the December 1851 coup, elected in one of the defenders of the accused, Delescluze, Gambetta made a speech, some thunder rang out in France. Never before has such intrepidity empire called to account; nobody has uttered over the government of Napoleon III of the merciless verdict of guilty. "And you dare to say - he said - that you saved the company, whereas you have brought upon him a criminal your hand." Empire met in Gambetta implacable enemy, who was able to revive the memory of the nation`s criminal case December 2, 1851

Name Gambetta was now on everyone`s lips. Notoriety, he created a process Boden, opened before him wide arena is not judicial and political activity. Just at this time Marseille constituency has lost its glorious representative; Berrier died, and Marcel immediately offered Gambetta Member of Parliament in the legislative body. The government of Napoleon, anxious process Boden, decided to postpone the election of all private and thus postpone, at least the time of entry on the political scene of his young but dangerous opponent.

Less than a year as the general elections in 1869 opened the door Gambetta legislative body. Elected Marseille and Paris Gambetta appeared in the House and quickly won him prominence. The Empire was going through a critical period. lost prestige Consciousness forced the government of Napoleon III awakened public opinion to make a few concessions. A hard task ghost update of the political system of France was assigned to a defector from the Republican camp, Emile Olivier.

The democratic opposition did not trust the government handling of sincerity and Gambetta was the spokesman of the mood, do not allow any compromises with empire. The time has come, - he said in his famous speech of April 5, 1870 - to the Empire ceded its place republic; if it does not yield to it voluntarily, "it will be someone who will force her to give up, and this one ... the revolution." By the violent upheaval Gambetta, however, he never sought. He was a staunch supporter of a peaceful, bloodless revolution - the revolution carried out by ballot.

Empire, feeling the ground beneath it begins to waver, started looking for a diversion to divert public opinion from domestic issues. This diversion was the war with Germany. The patriotic efforts of Gambetta and Thiers prevent war between France and Germany remained fruitless. Then Gambetta, forgetting everything but the dignity, honor and the salvation of France, separated from his party, votiruet all necessary credits and supports all the measures proposed by the ministers of Napoleon in order to protect the organization. All was in vain. Sedanskaya capitulation had buried the Second Empire.

In view of the advancing enemy hordes Gambetta straining recent efforts to maintain law and order, for fear that the revolutionary movement will cause even greater chaos, favorable to the enemy. It offers a legislative body to elect a government of national defense and to warn the revolution; but dynastic feelings of the majority prevailed over patriotism, and Gambetta`s call was not heeded. Gambetta then rises to the podium and in front of bewildered majority loudly says, "Louis Napoleon Bonaparte and his dynasty forever ceased to reign in France."

An hour later, the republic was proclaimed in the City Hall Square. Hastily elected Government of National Defence commissioned Gambetta difficult post of Minister of Internal Affairs. Before the new government has had time to take any action, Paris was wrapped and cut off from the rest of the country. Gambetta hot air balloon takes off from Paris and two days later appears in the Tour, all imbued with one thought about the salvation of his country.

France was at this time in a state of disorganization. No army, no weapons, no castles she seemed helpless and defenseless; Gambetta but did not succumb to cover the entire population and the horror of despair. Invested with dictatorial powers, he was able to awaken all the living forces of the country, to raise the drooping spirit of the people and in some month to organize the business of National Defence. All that was humanly was made Gambetta.

Created by his efforts the young French armies during the entire four months kept the onslaught far surpasses them strength and combat readiness of the German troops, and if they were not destined to save France from the mayhem, they will have saved at least its national honor, faith in her life force. The time has come when further resistance seemed impossible.

Few patriots with Gambetta headed preferred war to the last drop of blood,