Vandervelde, Émile

Vandervelde, Émile

(āmēl` vändĕrvĕl`də), 1866–1938, Belgian statesman and Socialist leader. He entered parliament in 1894, and served in many cabinets, notably as minister of justice (1918–21), foreign minister (1925–27), and deputy prime minister and minister of public health (1936–37). He resigned in protest when the cabinet, headed by Paul Van ZeelandVan Zeeland, Paul
, 1893–1973, Belgian political leader. He was a professor of law and later director of the institute of economic science at the Univ. of Louvain and vice governor of the national bank of Belgium.
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, recognized the FrancoFranco, Francisco
, 1892–1975, Spanish general and caudillo [leader]. He became a general at the age of 32 after commanding the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco.
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 government in the Spanish civil war. Influential in Belgian politics and in the European labor movement, Vandervelde played a leading role in the Second, or Socialist, International (1889–1914), serving as the first president of the International Socialist Bureau. He also taught political economy at the Univ. of Brussels from 1924 until his death and wrote several works on political science.

Vandervelde, Émile


Born Jan. 25, 1866, at Ixelles; died Dec. 27, 1938, in Brussels. Belgian politician, rightist socialist, one of the leaders of the Second International.

Vandervelde was by upbringing a jurist. He became a professor of political economy at Brussels University in 1924. A member of the Belgian Socialist Party from its foundation in 1885, he was its leader from the mid-1890’s. From 1894 he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies and from 1900 chairman of the International Socialist Bureau of the Second International. During World War I he became a social chauvinist; he entered the bourgeois government and until 1937 repeatedly held such posts as minister of foreign affairs and minister of justice. After the February Revolution of 1917, Vandervelde went to Russia to agitate for the continuation of the imperialist war. He was Belgium’s representative at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919-20 and signed the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919. In 1922 he was present at the trial of the right-wing Socialist Revolutionaries as defense counsel. As minister of foreign affairs from 1925 to 1927, he signed the Locarno Treaties of 1925. He authored books and pamphlets written from an opportunistic standpoint. He opposed the recognition of the USSR and justified the Belgian colonial policy in the Congo.


Le Parti ouvrier Belge 1885-1925. Brussels, 1925.


Lenin, V. I. “Opportunizm i krakh II Internatsionala. ” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 27.
Lenin, V. I. “Proletarskaia revoliutsiia i renégat Kautskii.” Ibid., vol. 37, pp. 332-38.