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Thiers

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THIERS, tear, Louis Adolphe, French statesman and historian: b. Marseilles, 15 April 1797; d. Saint Germain, Paris, 3 Sept. 1877. He studied law at Aix, and was admitted to the bar there in 1818. Desirous of a larger theatre for his ambition he went to Paris in 1821, and hav ing got an appointment on the staff of the Con stitutionnel, then the leading Parisian journal, he soon attracted attention by his articles in that paper. Journalism soon ceased, however, to supply sufficient stimulus to his active intellect, and he undertook his (Histoire de la Revolu tion francaise.' having as colleague Felix Bodin, whose name appeared with his in the first two volumes. The work was completed in 10 volumes in 1827. On the formation of the Polignac Cabinet, Thiers founded with Ar mand Carrel and Mignet, the National, whose first number appeared on 1 Jan. 1830. The new democratic organ exercised a decisive influence on public opinion, and the famous ordinances, the signal for the revolution of July, were now issued. Upon this Thiers counseled the issuing by the journalists of a revolutionary manifesto.

It was signed by 43 names. To escape arrest Thiers fled, on the night of the 28th, to the neighborhood of Saint Denis, accompanied by Mignet and Armand Carrel. Louis-Philippe, becoming king of the French, Thiers was soon made councillor of state and attached to the department of finance. He was elected deputy for Aix, and after the death of Casimir Perier became Minister of the Interior in the Cabinet of Soult, October 1832. He next filled the offices of Minister of Commerce and Minister of Public Works and again became Minister of the Interior, but in consequence of with Soult and Gerard gave in his demission 11 Nov. 1834, but soon resumed office under Mortier. He again retired in February 1836, but a few days after returned to power as for eign minister and president of the council. These offices, after many vicissitudes, he again held in March 1840. Taking a strong interest in the Eastern question he declared in favor of Mehemet Ali of Egypt against Turkey; but neither the king nor the chambers wished to resort to extremities, and the policy of Thiers having received a grave check he retired from the Cabinet 29 Oct. 1840. He now devoted him self to historical pursuits, and his (Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire,' begun in 1845, was completed in 1862, in 20 volumes. The revolu tion of February, 1848, found him prepared to accept the republic; and he was a member, first of the Constituent and then of the National As sembly. After the coup d'etat of 1851 he was banished from France, but returned in August, 1852. After an absence of 12 years from public

life he was chosen in the elections of 1863 dep uty for the department of the Seine, and re lected in 1869. In this position he regained much of his early popularity.' He combated energeti cally the project of war against Prussia, because France was unprepared, and after the disaster of Sedan visited the courts of London, Vienna, Saint Petersburg and Florence to seek assistance against Prussia, but all that he could obtain was a promise that the four great powers would support the proposal of an armistice. Thiers accordingly proceeded to the headquarters of the king of Prussia at Versailles to open nego tiations for peace. But he was unsuccessful, and Prussia proceeded to a war a outrance. On 17 Feb. 1871 he was elected chief of the execu tive power of the republic, and on the 21st opened negotiations with Bismarck, which re sulted in the peace with Germany. On 31 Au gust the title of president was bestowed upon him and his term of office fixed at three years. He resigned 24 May 1873, whereupon Marshal MacMahon was appointed president. When MacMahon began to put himself in opposition to the republic, Thiers acted in complete har mony with the republican chiefs of the two chambers, notably with M. Gambetta, to whom, on 3 Sept. 1877, he gave a meeting at Paris to read to him, and to several other politicians, a manifesto which he had just completed. But that very day he was attacked with congestion of the brain and died at night. Thiers was par excellence the representative of his country; a witty writer; and an accomplished debater. He was also genial, unselfish, large-hearted; and to establish the glory of France was the main secret of his measures and counsels.

Besides the works already named Thierd was the author of (Histoire de la loi) (1826, English trans. 1859); (De la propriete) (1848) ; (L'Homme et la matiere) (1875). Consult Atkinson, F. M., (Memoirs of M. Thiers) (New York 1916) ; Belot C., (Le ponvoir exec. utif sous le gouvernement de M. Thiers) (Bijon 1908) ; Le Goff, Francois, (The Life of Louis Adolphe Thiers) (New Yoric 1879); Hanotaux, G., (Le gouvernment de M. Tillers) (Paris 1903) ; Marcere, E. de, (L'Assemblee nationale de 1871) (ib. 1904) ; Simon, P. F., (Adolphe Thiers: chef du pouvoir executif et president de la Republique Frangaise) (Paris 1911); Zevort, Edgar, (Thiers) (ib. 1892); Mazade, 'M. Thiers: cinquante annees d'histoire con temporaine) (18/34); Simon,