Émile Combes

Émile Combes

Infobox Prime Minister
name=Émile Combes

order=69th Prime Minister of France
term_start =7 June 1902
term_end =24 January 1905
predecessor =Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau
successor =Maurice Rouvier
birth_date =1835
death_date =1921

Émile Combes (1835 - 1921) was a French statesman, charged in 1902 of the constitution of the "Bloc des gauches" 's cabinet.


Émile Combes was born in Roquecourbe in the Tarn "département". He studied for the priesthood, but abandoned the idea before ordination. His anti-clericalism would later lead him into becoming a Freemason. [ [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/fiction/williams.html Masonic references in the works of Charles Williams] Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon 2007] [Burke, Peter [http://books.google.com/books?id=6voJOw4V0KoC&pg=PA304&dq=emile+combes+freemason&sig=ggcTqPG053LmGfTn9JRpzBLaRPU The New Cambridge Modern History] p. 304 (1979 Cambridge University)] He was also in later life a spiritualist. [http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/history/0,,1587972,00.html Bigots united] ] . He later took a diploma as a doctor of letters (1860). Then he studied medicine, taking his degree in 1867, and setting up in practice at Pons in Charente-Inférieure. In 1881 he presented himself as a political candidate for Saintes, but was defeated. In 1885 he was elected to the senate by the "départment" of Charente-Inférieure. He sat in the Democratic left, and was elected vice-president in 1893 and 1894. The reports which he drew up upon educational questions drew attention to him, and on 3 November 1895 he entered the Bourgeois cabinet as minister of public instruction, resigning with his colleagues on 21 April following.

He actively supported the Waldeck-Rousseau ministry, and upon its retirement in 1903 he was himself charged with the formation of a cabinet. In this he took the portfolio of the Interior, and the main energy of the government was devoted to an anti-clerical agenda"Emile Combes who boasted of taking office for the sole purpose of destroying the religious orders. He closed thousands of what were not then called 'faith schools'" [http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/history/0,,1587972,00.html Bigots united] in the Guardian, 9 October 2005] . The parties of the Left in the chamber, united upon this question in the "Bloc republicain", supported Combes in his application of the law of 1901 on the religious associations, and voted the new bill on the congregations (1904), and under his guidance France took the first definite steps toward the separation of church and state. By 1904 through his efforts, nearly 10,000 religious schools had been closed and thousands of priests and nuns fled France rather than be persecuted. [Burns, Michael [http://books.google.com/books?id=dX0O5ayhvqoC&pg=PA171&lpg=PA171&dq=louis+andr%C3%A9+freemason&source=web&ots=8taBDu2swr&sig=8exoU1iMIq0ic-GU3a-6PzvdJp4#PPA171,M1 France and the Dreyfus Affair: A Documentary History] p. 171 (1999 Palgrave Macmillan) ISBN 0312218133]

He was vigorously opposed by all the Conservative parties, who saw the mass closure of church schools as a persecution of religion. But his stubborn enforcement of the law won him the applause of ordinary left wingers, who called him familiarly "le petit père". Finally the defection of the Radical and Socialist groups induced him to resign on 17 January 1905, although he had not met an adverse vote in the Chamber. His policy was still carried on; and when the law of the separation of church and state was passed, all the leaders of the Radical parties entertained him at a noteworthy banquet in which they openly recognized him as the real originator of the movement.

Combes's Ministry, 7 June 1902 - 24 January 1905

*Émile Combes - President of the Council and Minister of the Interior and Worship
*Théophile Delcassé - Minister of Foreign Affairs
*Louis André - Minister of War
*Maurice Rouvier - Minister of Finance
*Ernest Vallé - Minister of Justice
*Charles Camille Pelletan - Minister of Marine
*Joseph Chaumié - Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
*Léon Mougeot - Minister of Agriculture
*Gaston Doumergue - Minister of Colonies
*Émile Maruéjouls - Minister of Public Works
*Georges Trouillot - Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts, and Telegraphs

*15 November 1904 - Maurice Berteaux succeeds André as Minister of War


* [http://caricaturesetcaricature.over-blog.com/article-10435618.html Cartoons]


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