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Raymond Poincaré

18/02/191318/02/1920

Raymond Poincaré

Raymond Nicolas Landry Poincaré (20 August 1860 – 15 October 1934) was a French statesman who served three times as 58th Prime Minister of France, and as President of France from 1913 to 1920.

Trained in law, Poincaré was elected as a Deputy in 1887 and served in the cabinets of Dupuy and Ribot. In 1902, he co-founded the Democratic Republican Alliance, the most important centre-right party under the Third Republic, becoming Prime Minister in 1912 and serving as President of the Republic from 1913 to 1920. He purged the French government of all opponents and critics and single-handedly controlled French foreign policy from 1912 to the beginning of World War I. He was noted for his strongly anti-German attitudes, shifting the Franco-Russian Alliance from the defensive to the offensive, visiting Russia in 1912 and 1914 to strengthen Franco-Russian relations, and giving France's support for Russian military mobilization during the July Crisis of 1914. From 1917, he exercised less influence as his political rival Georges Clemenceau had become Prime Minister. At the Paris Peace Conference, he advocated Allied occupation of the Rhineland for at least 30 years and French support for Rhenish separatism.

In 1922 Poincaré returned to power as Prime Minister. In 1923 he ordered the Occupation of the Ruhr to enforce payment of German reparations. By this time Poincaré was seen, especially in the English-speaking world, as an aggressive figure (Poincaré-la-Guerre) who had helped to cause the war in 1914 and who now favoured punitive anti-German policies. His government was defeated by the Cartel des Gauches at the elections of 1924. He served a third term as Prime Minister in 1926–1929.


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Published in 9/09/2020

Updated in 19/02/2021

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