Born May 9, 1871, in Neufchatel; died Aug. 19, 1956, in Paris. French historian, member of the French Academy (1927).
Madelin studied at the University of Nancy and at the Ecole des Chartes. His works are devoted mainly to the history of the Great French Revolution and the First Empire. A historian of the bourgeois-conservative tendency, he thought that the revolution in its early stage had satisfied the aspirations of the majority of the nation (the decrees of Aug. 4-11, 1789, on the abolition of the privileges of the estates) and that its subsequent development was the result of the actions of “ambitious politicians.” Although he described the actions of the plebeian masses and the Jacobins in very negative terms, he praised the policies of Napoleon I.
WORKSLa Révolution, 5th ed. Paris, 1914.
La France du Directoire. Paris, 1922.
La France de l’Empire. Paris, 1926.
Histoire du Consulat et de L’Empire, vols. 1-16. Paris, 1937-54.
Fouche, 1759-1820. Paris, 1955.