Émile Combes

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Combes, Émile


Born Sept. 6, 1835, in Roquecourbe; died May 25, 1921, in Pons. French statesman. The son of a craftsman.

Combes defended doctoral dissertations in theology (1860) and medicine (1866). In 1885 he became a senator and joined the Radical group. In 1894–95 he was vice-president of the Senate; from November 1895 to April 1896 he was minister of education. In the 1890’s, a period of sharp struggle between democracy and reaction centered on the Dreyfus Affair, Combes came out for a review of the case, a stand that was a defense of the republican system. From June 1902 to January 1905, Combes was head of the government. The Combes government carried out several anticlerical measures: it closed a number of Catholic churches, suppressed schools directed by a religious congregation, and prepared a bill for the separation of church and state. (The latter was implemented in late 1905.) This anticlerical policy led to a break in diplomatic relations between the Vatican and France (1904). Under pressure from right-wing bourgeois circles, Combes was forced to resign. In 1915–16 he was minister without portfolio.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Even so, the greatest victim of the Dreyfus affair was the Catholic Church which, after the 1902 election of the Freemason, Emile Combes, as prime minister, suffered a dissolution eerily similar to Henry VIII's English reformation.
However, events were to overtake Ireland in the Vatican, at home, and, most importantly, in France where the church and state were to end up at loggerheads, due in no small part to the machinations of the radical secularism of Emile Combes. The result was that Ireland's integrationist view would not prevail in America, where the lobby for separate Catholic schooling would grow in intensity resulting in the pattern seen throughout most of the 20th century.
El dramatico exilio de unos 33.000 religiosos y religiosas (casi un quinto del total) provocado por la ley de asociaciones de 1901 y la posterior regulacion de la ensenanza en 1904, por parte del gobierno del radical Emile Combes (1835-1921), primero ministro de Instruccion Publica (1895-96) y despues presidente del gobierno de la III Republica francesa (1902-1905), constituye una pagina poco conocida de la historia francesa.
The second part of the book considers these new political camps after the 1905 demise of the anticlerical ministry of Emile Combes and the emergence of a more moderate Republican coalition.