Freycinet, Charles Louis de Saulces de

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Freycinet, Charles Louis de Saulces de


Born Nov. 14, 1828, in Foix; died May 15, 1923, in Paris. French state figure. Member of the Académie Française (1891).

Freycinet came into prominence during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, during which he headed the defense staff in Tours (October 1870) and took an active part in organizing new troops to continue the war. He was a senator from 1876 to 1920. Freycinet served as minister of public works from 1877 to 1879, as foreign minister in 1879 and 1880 and in 1882, 1885, and 1886, and as war minister from 1888 to 1893 and in 1898 and 1899. He was premier four times: in 1879 and 1880, in 1882, in 1886, and from 1890 to 1892.

A moderate bourgeois republican, Freycinet .supported anticlerical legislation (1880) at the beginning of his career. He granted amnesty to the Communards in 1880 and promulgated a law exiling the pretenders to the French throne in 1886. In 1891 he defended the concordat with the Catholic Church and opposed review of the Dreyfus case (seeDREYFUS CASE). He contributed to the growth of France’s military might and in 1889 promulgated a law establishing a three-year term of army service. Freycinet took part in the drafting of two pacts with Russia: the agreement of 1891 and the military convention of 1892.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.