Joseph Fouché

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Fouché, Joseph

 

Born May 21, 1759, at Pellerin, near Nantes; died Dec. 25 or 26, 1820, in Trieste. French political and state figure.

Fouché was educated to be a priest. In 1791 he joined the Jacobin Club in Nantes. Elected to the National Convention in 1792, he at first sympathized with the Girondins but later sided with the Jacobins and voted for the execution of King Louis XVI. While serving as the Convention’s representative in several of the country’s departments, Fouché displayed extreme cruelty in suppressing counterrevolutionary uprisings and sometimes executed innocent people. He assiduously carried out the policy of dechristianization and became associated with the Hébertists.

Expelled from the Jacobin Club in July 1794, Fouché helped organize and lead the Thermidorian coup of July 27–28, 1794. Under the Directory, which existed from 1795 to 1799, he held various diplomatic posts and in August 1799 was appointed minister of police. He then betrayed the Directory by helping Napoleon Bonaparte carry out the coup d’etat of 18 Brumaire (November 9–10, 1799). Fouché remained the minister of police and created an intricate system of political intelligence, provocation, and espionage. He became one of the most influential figures in the state. Uneasy about Fouché’s power, Napoleon abolished the Ministry of Police in 1802. Nevertheless, Fouché used his personal police to help uncover G. Cadoudal’s plot against Napoleon. The ministry was reinstituted in 1804, and Fouché again became minister. In 1809 he received the title of duke of Otranto together with a sizable estate. Doubting the empire’s stability, Fouché entered into secret negotiations with Great Britain. Napoleon caught Fouché at his double game and dismissed him in 1810. In 1813 and 1814, however, he served as governor of the Illyrian Provinces.

After the collapse of Napoleon’s empire, Fouché became a fervent supporter of the Bourbons. This turnabout did not prevent him from again siding with Napoleon during the Hundred Days (1815) nor from agreeing to become, for the third time, the emperor’s minister of police.

After Napoleon’s second abdication, Fouché headed the Executive Commission of the Provisional Government and, forsaking Napoleon, zealously helped prepare for the second restoration of the Bourbons. Upon Louis XVIII’s return to power in 1815, Fouché was again assigned the Ministry of Police. At the insistence of the ultraroyalists, however, Louis removed Fouché within the year and sent him to Dresden as ambassador to the Kingdom of Saxony. By a decree of 1816, Fouché and the other “regicides” were banished from France. Having lost his position as ambassador, Fouché went to Trieste, where he became an Austrian citizen and spent the remainder of his days.

WORKS

Mémoires, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1967.

REFERENCES

Zweig, S. Zhozef Fushe: Izbr. proizv., vol. 2. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from German.)
Madelin, L. Fouché, 2nd ed. Paris, 1955.
Kammacher, L. J. Fouché. Paris, 1962.

V. A. DUNAEVSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
The plan, indeed, is much as it was 200 years ago, when in early 1812 Napoleon wrote to Joseph Fouche to explain that his goal in attacking Russia was to unite Europe;
Using Zweig's Joseph Fouche as a basis, Karl Muller analyzes Zweig's preoccupation with marginalized historical figures and his interest in weaving historical facts into a larger framework of history.
Other useful contributions include the anthology's first three essays: a synthetic treatment of Zweig's lifelong humanistic fascination with Erasmus, an analysis of Zweig's biographical treatment of Joseph Fouche, and a discussion of Zweig's long friendship with Romain Rolland.
The story included Joseph Fouche the man in charge of the police in Napoleonic France and his 'secret police'.
Along with his co-conspirator, the sinister Minister of Police, Joseph Fouche, Talleyrand plotted to replace Napoleon on the throne with Marshal Murat, should the Emperor be defeated in Spain.
Lo que se ha vivido en las ultimos meses es el uso del aparato de justicia para perseguir a quienes estorban y eso recuerda al odiado Joseph Fouche, ministro de Policia durante el Directorio, confirmado en el cargo despues de apoyar el golpe de Estado que llevo a Napoleon al Consulado.
Of the name cast, only Gerard Depardieu is downshifted to almost no effect as Joseph Fouche, the opportunistic minister of police whom many regard as the father of today's spy system.
Woloch casts a wider net among the political and administrative elites, though his Dramatis personae of the Napoleonic regime is not as extensive as it could be since he deliberately excludes the military and such pivotal, but much-studied, civilian figures as Police Minister Joseph Fouche or Foreign Minister Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (p.
Aston is on target with Lamourette (who inspired Gregoire) and Fauchet (the quintessential revolutionary bishop until his execution), even though he does allow the old saw that Convention member Joseph Fouche was a priest (actually a nonordained Oratorian).
The book also covers the emperor's underlings: his ministers Charles- Maurice Talleyrand, who oversaw foreign policy, Joseph Fouche, minister of police; and Vivant Denon, who handled cultural matters; his marshals; and his brothers Lucien, Joseph, and Jer(tm)me, whom he made satellite kings.
Talleyrand, the former and future foreign minister, and the police chief Joseph Fouche were both involved in the coup.
There, Napoleon's Minister of Police, Joseph Fouche, organized large-scale policing, and an ex-offender, Eugene Vidocq, consolidated the use of covert methods.