Simon, Jules

Simon, Jules

(zhül sēmôN`), 1814–96, French statesman. His full name was Jules François Simon Suisse. He taught philosophy at the Sorbonne from 1839 to 1852, during which time he edited the works of several philosophers and wrote his Histoire de l'école d'Alexandrie (2 vol., 1844–45). He was elected (1848) to the national assembly and later entered the council of state. His republican opinions led to his retirement, and his subsequent refusal to swear allegiance to Louis Napoleon lost him his professorship (1852). Until 1863, Simon devoted himself to intellectual pursuits, writing Natural Religion (1856, tr. 1857), La Liberté (1859), and other works. Resuming political activity, he served as deputy (1863–75) and then was made senator for life. A member of the government of national defense after the French defeat at Sedan, he served (1870–73) as minister of education and proposed many educational reforms that helped to liberalize the secondary school system. Because of Simon's moderate republicanism President MacMahonMacMahon, Marie Edmé Patrice de
, 1808–93, president of the French republic (1873–79), marshal of France. MacMahon, of Irish descent, fought in the Algerian campaign, in the Crimean War, and in the Italian war of 1859.
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 chose him as premier (1876–77) in preference to Léon Gambetta. As premier, Simon was involved in a governmental crisis in May, 1877; his refusal to accede to the president's demand for his resignation established the principle of parliamentary primacy and the responsibility of the premier to the legislature.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the penultimate chapter, she tackles the difficult question of WWII in works by Claude Simon, Jules Roy, and Marguerite Duras, among others, evoking this period as a watershed and perhaps a terminal point for the war novel as it had developed from the eighteenth century on.