Aristide Briand


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(b. 28 Mar., 1862, d. 7 Mar. 1932)

Prime Minister of France 1909–11, 1913, 1915–17, 1921–2, 1925–6, 1929 A deputy for the Socialist Party from 1902, he joined the Radical government as Minister of Public Instruction and Worship in 1906, where he was responsible for the introduction of sweeping anticlerical measures. He succeeded Clemenceau as Prime Minister in 1909 and betrayed his former socialist beliefs by breaking a strike of railwaymen in 1910. A member of most governments 1906–32, Briand is best remembered as the driving force behind French foreign policy, 1920–32, when he sought to achieve disarmament and European stability through a system of collective security, for which the establishment of good relations with Germany was crucial. With his colleagues Stresemann and Austen Chamberlain he engineered the Locarno Treaty in 1925. For their efforts at international reconciliation, which were extremely contentious in both France and Germany, the three men won the Nobel Peace Prize. He was also the moving spirit behind the Kellogg‐Briand Pact of 1928.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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