Grévy, Jules(zhül grāvē`), 1807–91, French statesman, president of France (1879–87). As a republican deputy after the February Revolution (1848), he sought to eliminate the danger of a single strong executive. He opposed the Second Empire of Napoleon III. Grévy, a provincial lawyer, abstained from politics from 1851 until he became a deputy in 1868. President of the national assembly (1871–73) and of the chamber of deputies (1876–77), he was chosen to succeed Marshal MacMahon as president of France. His moderate republicanism secured his reelection, but in 1887 he was forced to resign because of a scandal over his son-in-law's traffic in decorations of honor. Sadi Carnot succeeded him.
Born Aug. 15, 1807, in Mont-sous-Vaud-rey; died there Sept. 9, 1891. French political figure and statesman.
A lawyer by profession. Grévy became prominent during the political trials of the July Monarchy, in particular, as a defender of Louis Blanqui in the case stemming from the uprising of 1839. During the Revolution of 1848 he was elected to the Constituent Assembly, where he opposed the establishment in France of the post of president of the republic. As a bourgeois republican he attempted to resist the coup d’état of Dec. 2. 1851. Throughout the Second Empire he opposed the Bonapartist regime and practiced law in political trials. In 1868 he was elected deputy to the Legislative Assembly as a leader of the opposition. In 1871 he was elected president of the National Assembly. He was hostile to the Paris Commune of 1871. In the Third Republic he was one of the leaders of the so-called moderate republicans. He was elected president of the republic in January 1879 and reelected in 1885. However, as a consequence of the exposure of the scandalous frauds of his son-in-law, D. Wilson, Grévy was forced to retire in 1887.
A. Z. MANFRED