Émile Ollivier

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Ollivier, Émile

 

Born July 2, 1825, in Marseille; died Aug. 20, 1913, in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. French politician, bourgeois republican. Member of the Académie Française (1870).

During the Revolution of 1848, Ollivier was prefect of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Haute-Marne; he supervised the suppression of the Marseille workers’ uprising of June 1848. He was elected a deputy to the Corps Législatif in 1857 and was reelected in 1863 and 1869. In the late 1860’s Ollivier grew close to the Bonapartists, and in January 1870 he became the head of the government, at the same time filling the posts of minister of justice and of religion. Ollivier attempted to prevent the collapse of the Second Empire by introducing liberal reforms. However, his measures were insignificant. A supporter of the Franco-Prussian War, Ollivier was compelled to retire in August 1870 after the first French defeats of the war.