Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929)


Prime Minister of France (1906—1909) and (1917—1920)

Georges Clemenceau graduated as a physician in 1865, then travelled to the United States where he made his living as a teacher and as a journalist. He even got married and seriously pondered settling in the USA for good, but finally returned to France in 1869.

As a passionate Jacobin, he was against everything — the Church, the bourgeoisie, authority and the army. He even spent two months in jail for having spread radical leaflets. He wrote over 600 newspaper articles in defence of innocently persecuted captain Dreyfuss. He was a passionate patriot, a radical nationalist that is a real French chauvinist.

This is how he earned himself his famous nickname — the Tiger. His distaste of the German Empire defined his whole political career. He was a great traveller; his favourite town was Carlsbad, where he paid over 20 visits. He liked having a good meal and had innumerable lovers. In 1913 he ran for the post of president but lost to his old time political rival, Raymond Poincaré.

He was one of the defining personalities of the Paris peace conferences closing World War I and one of the main creators of the Versailles peace system. By then he had discarded his old political beliefs and became the greatest opponent of the right of the peoples to self-determination. After the end of the war, he ran again for the presidency in1920 (helyköz), only to be the loser for a second time.


“My life hatred has been for Germany”
Margaret MacMillan: Peacemakers: The Paris Conference of 1919

„America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarismt o degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.”
Ralph Keyes: The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When. St. Martin Griffin, New York, 2006. p. 251.

„It is far easier to make war than to make peace.It is a lot easier to wage war than to make peace.”
Margaret MacMillan: Peacemakers: The Paris Conference of 1919


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