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Born Mar. 28, 1862, in Nantes; died Mar. 7, 1932, in Paris. French statesman and diplomat. Lawyer by profession.
Briand participated in the socialist movement from the 1880’s. In 1902 he was elected to the parliament. In 1906 he joined the bourgeois government and was consequently expelled from the Socialist Party. He then joined the group of “independent socialists” (called the Republican Socialist Party since 1911). From 1909 to 1931 he was prime minister 11 times (in particular, 1909-11, 1913, 1915-17, and 1921 to January 1922) and minister of foreign affairs 17 times (in particular, 1915-17, 1921-22, and 1925-31). On the eve of and during World War I (1914-18) he pursued a policy of strengthening the Entente. After the collapse of the anti-Soviet intervention, he advocated a more flexible policy toward the Soviet state. From 1925 to 1931 he favored an accommodation with Germany. He was one of the initiators of the Locarno Conference of 1925, of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, and of a plan for creating a “pan-Europe.” He covered an imperialist policy with pacifist phrases and won the reputation of a peacemaker in the West. In 1931, realizing the instability of the European system of alliances and the growing danger from Germany, Briand took steps to conclude a Franco-Soviet nonaggression treaty.
REFERENCEKniazhinskii, V. B. Proval planov “ob’edineniia Evropy.” Moscow, 1958.
Suares, G. Briand, sa vie, son oeuvre, vols. 1-6. Paris, 1938—52.