Dumouriez, Charles François

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Dumouriez, Charles François

(shärl fräNswä` dümo͞o-rēā`), 1739–1823, French general in the French Revolutionary WarsFrench Revolutionary Wars,
wars occurring in the era of the French Revolution and the beginning of the Napoleonic era, the decade of 1792–1802. The wars began as an effort to defend the Revolution and developed into wars of conquest under the empire.
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. After fighting in the Seven Years War, he was employed by King Louis XV on several secret missions. His career was fading when the outbreak of the French Revolution opened new prospects for him. Although close to the JacobinsJacobins
, political club of the French Revolution. Formed in 1789 by the Breton deputies to the States-General, it was reconstituted as the Society of Friends of the Constitution after the revolutionary National Assembly moved (Oct., 1789) to Paris.
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 in 1790, he offered his services to King Louis XVI and became (Mar., 1792) minister of foreign affairs in a ministry that included several GirondistsGirondists
or Girondins
, political group of moderate republicans in the French Revolution, so called because the central members were deputies of the Gironde dept. Girondist leaders advocated continental war.
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 and that sought war with Austria. Made minister of war (June, 1792), he resigned to take the marquis de Lafayette's place as an army commander when the latter was charged with treason (Aug., 1792). Dumouriez helped defeat the Prussians at Valmy (Sept., 1792), drove the Austrians from Belgium at Jemappes (Nov., 1792), and invaded the Netherlands (Feb., 1793). Defeated (March) at Neerwinden, he began negotiations with the Austrians, and after turning over to them the commissioners sent from Paris to investigate his defeat he finally (Apr., 1793) deserted to the Austrian lines. After wandering over Europe, disavowed even by the French royalists, he settled (1800) in England.

Bibliography

See his memoirs (both English and French ed. 1794; enl. French ed. 1823); A. Chuquet, Dumouriez (1914, in French).

Dumouriez, Charles François

 

Born Jan. 25, 1739, in Cambrai, France; died Mar. 14, 1823, in Turville Park, Great Britain. French general and political figure. In military service from 1758.

During the French Revolution, Dumouriez joined the Girondin wing of the Jacobin Club to further his mercenary ambitions. After serving as minister of foreign affairs from March to mid-June 1792, he became war minister. In August he was appointed commander of the army. His army won victories at Valmy and Jemappes in the autumn of 1792, and drove off the first attack of the armies of the Austro-Prussian coalition. In March 1793, having suffered a defeat at Neerwinden, Dumouriez secretly negotiated with the Austrian command and planned a joint campaign against Paris to dissolve the Convention and restore the monarchy. Unable to find support among his troops, Dumouriez fled to the Austrians in April 1793. In 1804 he settled in Great Britain, where he lived on a pension from the English government and avoided politics.

WORKS

La Vie du général Dumouriez, vols. 1-3. Hamburg, 1795.