The station was opened on 23 February 1903, three weeks after line 2 was extended from Anvers to Bagnolet, now called Alexandre Dumas on 31 January 1903. The line 7bis platforms opened on 18 January 1911 as part of the first section of line 7 between Opéra and Porte de la Villette more than two months after the opening of the line on 5 November 1910. On 3 December 1967 the branch to Pré Saint-Gervais was separated as 7bis, terminating at Louis Blanc. The line 5 platforms opened on 12 October 1942 with the opening of the first section of the line between Gare du Nord and Église de Pantin.
The station was originally called Rue d'Allemagne ("Street of Germany"). On 1 August 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I the name of the street and the station were changed to Rue de France as a result of the rising tensions with Germany, at the same time as the name of Berlin station was changed to Liège. However, just before the socialist and pacifist politician Jean Jaurès had been assassinated and the station and street were soon renamed after him. Jean Jaurès is one of the only two people to have two Paris metro stations named for him (with Boulogne – Jean Jaurès); the other is Michelangelo (with Michel-Ange – Molitor and Michel-Ange – Auteuil).