Viviani, René(rənā` vēvyänē`), 1863–1925, French statesman. He entered politics as a Socialist and joined Jean Jaurès in founding the journal Humanité and in forming (1905) the united French Socialist party. He headed (1906–9) the newly created labor ministry in the cabinet of Georges Clemenceau and also in the Aristide Briand cabinet (1909–10). Viviani became premier in June, 1914. At the start of World War I his appeal for a "sacred union" of all parties resulted in the formation of a coalition defense cabinet. He resigned as premier in 1915, but served as minister of justice until 1917. In 1921–22 he represented France at the naval conference in Washington.
Born Nov. 8, 1863, in Sidi bel Abbes; died Sept. 7, 1925, in Le Plessis-Robinson. French politician and statesman, lawyer.
In 1893, Viviani was elected to Parliament, where he joined the group of “independent socialists.” Being an opponent of the censure of Millerandism, Viviani did not join the Unified Socialist Party in 1905; together with A. Millerand, he formed a group of “independent socialists,” which became the Republican Socialist Party in 1911. Viviani was minister of labor in the governments of G. Clemenceau, 1906-09, and of A. Briand, 1909-10, minister of education from 1913 to June 1914, and prime minister from June 1914 until October 1915. In July 1914 he made an official visit to St. Petersburg with R. Poincarè, president of France. He was minister of justice in Briand’s government from October 1915 until early 1917. He attended the Washington Conference of 1921-22.