Alexandre Millerand

Alexandre Millerand

Alexandre Millerand, was born in Paris, France, on 10th February, 1859. After graduation he became a lawyer where he developed radical political views.

Millerand, now a socialist, was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1885. Millerand was leader of the Independent Socialist group and also edited the radical journal La Petite République until 1896.

In 1899 René Waldeck-Rousseau appointed Millerand as his minister of commerce. In this post he attempted to improve working conditions.

Millerand returned to power when Aristide Briand appointed him minister of public works in 1909. By this time he had moved sharply to the right and in October 1910, used troops to suppress a railway strike. Millerand also served as minister of war under Raymond Poincare (1912-1914) and Rene Viviani (1914-1915).

On the resignation of Georges Clemenceau in January 1920, Millerand formed a right-centre coalition government. During his time as prime minister he was mainly concerned with implementing the Versailles Treaty and suppressing the revolutionary activity of workers influenced by the events in Russia.

In September 1920, Millerand was elected as president of France. In power he was accused by socialists and communists of ignoring the traditional presidential neutrality by openly supporting right-wing politicians. After the left did well in the elections of May 1924, Millerand was forced from office.

Millerand remained in the Senate until retiring in 1940. Alexandre Millerand died in Versailles on 7th April, 1943.