Comte de MacMahon


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French statesman. Of Irish descent, he fought successfully in the Crimea and at the battles of Magenta and Solferino in 1859. As a general in the Franco-Prussian War he was defeated at Worth (1870) and, with Napoleon III, capitulated at Sedan, but he commanded the army that crushed the Paris Commune in 1871. He had little sympathy with the new (Third) republic but did not support a royalist restoration and agreed to succeed Thiers as President (1873–79). Dislike of the Chamber of Deputies as too republican led him to dissolve it, but the electorate returned an even more republican Chamber (1877). This incident established the principle of ministerial accountability to the Chamber rather than to the President.

Subjects: World History — Military History.

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