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Alexandre Millerand

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Title: Alexandre Millerand  
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Alexandre Millerand

Alexandre Millerand
Portrait of Alexandre Millerand, 1920s.
12th President of France
In office
23 September 1920 – 11 June 1924
Acting: 21–23 September 1920
Prime Minister Georges Leygues
Aristide Briand
Raymond Poincaré
Frédéric François-Marsal
Preceded by Paul Deschanel
Succeeded by Gaston Doumergue
Co-Prince of Andorra
In office
23 September 1920 – 11 June 1924
Served with Justí Guitart i Vilardebó
Preceded by Paul Deschanel
Succeeded by Gaston Doumergue
Prime Minister of France
In office
20 January 1920 – 24 September 1920
President Raymond Poincaré
Paul Deschanel
Preceded by Georges Clemenceau
Succeeded by Georges Leygues
Personal details
Born 10 February 1859
Paris, France
Died 7 April 1943
Versailles, France
Political party Independent Socialists
Republican-Socialist Party
Republican Federation
Spouse(s) Jeanne Millerand (1898 (m. 1943); his death)
Children Jean (1899–1972)
Alice (1902–1980)
Jacques (1904–1979)
Marthe (1909–1975)
Alma mater University of Paris
Profession Lawyer, journalist, politician

Alexandre Millerand (French: ; 1859–1943) was a French politician. He was Prime Minister of France 20 January to 23 September 1920 and President of France from 23 September 1920 to 11 June 1924. His participation in Waldeck-Rousseau's cabinet at the start of the 20th century, alongside the Marquis de Galliffet who had directed the repression of the 1871 Paris Commune, sparked a debate in the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) and in the Second International about the participation of socialists in "bourgeois governments".


  • Biography 1
    • Early activism 1.1
    • As member of the executive 1.2
    • Presidency and later years 1.3
  • Millerand's Ministry, 20 January 1920 – 24 September 1920 2
  • Gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Early activism

Born in Paris, he was educated for the Seine département in 1885 as a Radical Socialist. He was associated with Clemenceau and Camille Pelletan as an arbitrator in the Carmaux strike (1892). He had long had the ear of the Chamber in matters of social legislation, and after the Panama scandals had discredited so many politicians his influence grew.

As member of the executive

He was chief of the Independent Socialist faction, a group which then mustered sixty members, and edited until 1896 their organ in the press, La Petite République. His programme included the collective ownership of the means of production and the international association of labour, but, when in June 1899 he entered Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau's cabinet of "republican defence" as Minister of Commerce, he limited himself to practical reforms, devoting his attention to the improvement of the mercantile marine, to the development of trade, of technical education, of the postal system, and to the amelioration of the conditions of labour. Labour questions were entrusted to a separate department, the Direction du Travail, and the pension and insurance office was also raised to the status of a "direction".

As labour minister, Millerand was responsible for the introduction of a wide range of reforms, including the reduction in the maximum workday from 11 to 10 hours in 1904, the introduction of an 8-hour workday for postal employees, the prescribing of maximum hours and minimum wages for all work undertaken by public authorities, the bringing of worker’s representatives into the Conseil supérieur de travail, the establishment of arbitration tribunals and inspectors of labour, and the creation of a labour section inside his Ministry of commerce to tackle the problem of social insurance.

The introduction of working class. His name was especially associated with a project for the establishment of old age pensions, which became law in 1905. In 1898, he became editor of La Lanterne.

He had not joined his independent socialist colleague Jean Jaurès in forming the Parti Socialiste Français in 1902, instead forming the small Independent Socialist Party in 1907 which became Republican-Socialist Party (PRS) in 1911. His influence with the far left had already declined, for it was said that his departure from the true Marxist tradition had disintegrated the movement. He continued to move to the Right-wing, being appointed Prime Minister by the conservative President Paul Deschanel.

During his time as Prime Minister, a decree of February 1920 introduced the eight-hour day for seamen.

Presidency and later years

When Deschanel had to resign later that year due to his mental disorder, Millerand emerged as a compromise candidate for President between the French Senate, and Millerand was forced to appoint a stronger figure, Aristide Briand. Briand's appointment was welcomed by both left and right, although the Socialists and the left wing of the Radical Party did not join his government. However, Millerand dismissed Briand after just a year, and appointed the conservative republican Raymond Poincaré.

Millerand was accused of favouring conservatives in spite of the traditional neutrality of French Presidents and the composition of the legislature. On 14 July 1922, Millerand escaped an assassination attempt by Gustave Bouvet, a young French anarchist. Two years later, Millerand resigned in the face of growing conflict between the elected legislature and the office of the President, following the victory of the Cartel des Gauches. Gaston Doumergue, who was the president of the Senate at the time, was chosen to replace Millerand.

Alexandre Millerand died in 1943 at Versailles, and was interred in the Passy Cemetery.

Millerand's Ministry, 20 January 1920 – 24 September 1920


See also



    • For his administration in the Waldeck-Rousseau cabinet see A. Lavy, L'Œuvre de Millerand (1902);
    • his speeches between 1899 and 1907 were published in 1907 as Travail et travailleurs.

Further reading

  • Sowerine, Charles (year). France since 1870: Culture, Politics and Society. publisher. 
  • Cobban, Alfred (year). A History Of Modern France 1871-1962 3. publisher. 
  • The Encyclopedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 31 by Hugh Chisholm

External links

  •  "Millerand, Alexandre".  
  •  "Millerand, Alexandre".  
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Delombre
Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts, and Telegraphs
Succeeded by
Georges Trouillot
Preceded by
Louis Barthou
Minister of Public Works, Posts, and Telegraphs
Succeeded by
Louis Puech
Preceded by
Adolphe Messimy
Minister of War
Succeeded by
Albert Lebrun
Preceded by
Adolphe Messimy
Minister of War
Succeeded by
Joseph Galliéni
Preceded by
Georges Clemenceau
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Georges Leygues
Preceded by
Stéphen Pichon
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Preceded by
Paul Deschanel
President of France
Succeeded by
Gaston Doumergue
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Paul Deschanel and Justí Guitart i Vilardebó
Co-Prince of Andorra
with Justí Guitart i Vilardebó
Succeeded by
Gaston Doumergue and Justí Guitart i Vilardebó
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