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Transcript of Leon Bourgeois
He stemmed from a Jewish petit-bourgeoisie family
The son of a clock-maker of Jurassian and Burgundian descent,
Lived most of his life in Paris in an eighteenth-century townhouse on the rue Palatine.
He studied at the Lycée Charlemagne.
After fighting in an artillery regiment during the Franco-Prussian War, enrolled in the Law School of the University of Paris.
He studied Hinduism and Sanskrit, worked in the fine arts, becoming knowledgeable in music and adept in sculpture.
At the height of his political career he exercised his talent as a craftsman by drawing caricatures of his colleagues in cabinet meetings.
Began his first public office as deputy head of the Claims Department in the Ministry of Public Works in 1876.
In rapid succession he became secretary-general of the Prefecture of the Marne (1877),
under-prefect of Reims (1880),
prefect of the Tarn (1882),
secretary-general of the Seine (1883),
prefect of the Haute-Garonne (1885),
director of personnel in the Ministry of the Interior (1886),
director of departmental and communal affairs (1887).
In November of 1887, at the age of thirty-six, he was appointed chief commissioner of the Paris police.
In February, 1888, Bourgeois defeated General Boulanger to become deputy from the Marne.
He joined the Left in the Chamber, attending the congresses of the Radical-Socialist Party and rapidly becoming their most renowned orator.
He was named undersecretary of state in Floquet's cabinet (1888), elected deputy from Reims (1889), chosen minister of the Interior in the Tirard cabinet (1890).
As minister of public instruction in Freycinet's cabinet from 1890 to 1892 and again in 1898 under Brisson, Bourgeois instituted major reforms in the educational structure, reconstituting the universities by regrouping the faculties, reforming both the secondary and primary systems, and extending the availability of postgraduate instruction.
When he gave up the education portfolio in 1892, he accepted that of the Ministry of Justice for two years.
On November 1, 1895, Bourgeois formed his own government.
His political program included the achievement of a general income tax, the establishment of a retirement plan for workers, and implementation of plans for the separation of church and state, but his government succumbed to a constitutional fight over finances.
League of Nations
Minister of state during the war (1917)
In January of 1918, Bourgouis presented a draft for an organisation like the League of Nations.
He than became the president of a newly formed French Association for the League of Nations,
Attended the 1919 international congress, called in Paris, of various organizations interested in establishing a League.
In the same year, he served as the French representative on the League of Nations Commission chaired by Woodrow Wilson.
Nobel Peace Price.
Because of deteriorating health and approaching blindness, he was unable to travel to Oslo to accept the prize in person, (Dec. 10 1920).
He later told the Nobel Committee that he would deliver his Nobel lecture sometime between May and September of 1922.
Because of illness, he cancelled this intended appearance but in December of 1922 sent to the Committee a manuscript that is called a "communication".
In 1923 he retired from the Senate.
He died at Château d'Oger, near Epérnay, of uremic poisoning at the age of seventy-four.
The French people honored him with a public funeral.
Léon Victor Auguste Bourgeois.
Born : May 21, 1851, Paris.
Died: September 29, 1925, Épernay.
Awards: Nobel Peace Prize
Was a French statesman
He promoted progressive taxation.
Expanded educational opportunities, and cooperatives.
Called for a strong League of Nations, and the maintenance of peace through compulsory arbitration, controlled disarmament, economic sanctions, and international military force.
University of Paris
Bourgeois was the chairman of the French delegation to the first Hague Peace Conference in 1899.
Bourgeois presided over the Third Commission, which dealt with international arbitration, and, together with the chairmen of the British and American delegations, was responsible for the success of the proposal adopted by the Conference to establish a Permanent Court of Arbitration. In early 1903, after the Court had become a reality, he was designated a member.
Bourgeois became president of the Chamber of Deputies in 1902; briefly withdrew from public life in 1904 because of poor health.
Sought and won election as senator from the Marne in 1905, an office to which he was continuously elected until his death. became minister of foreign affairs under Sarrien in 1906.
1921 First Meeting Council League Nations President Leon Bourgeois Leaders