Émile Loubet

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Émile Loubet
Photograph by Paul Nadar, 1900
8th President of France
In office
18 February 1899 – 18 February 1906
Prime MinisterCharles Dupuy
Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau
Émile Combes
Maurice Rouvier
Preceded byFélix Faure
Succeeded byArmand Fallières
Prime Minister of France
In office
27 February 1892 – 6 December 1892
President Sadi Carnot
Preceded byCharles de Freycinet
Succeeded byAlexandre Ribot
Personal details
Born(1838-12-30)30 December 1838
Marsanne, France
Died20 December 1929(1929-12-20) (aged 90)
Montélimar, France
Political partyDemocratic Republican Alliance
(m. 1869⁠–⁠1925)
; her death
Alma materUniversity of Paris

Émile François Loubet (French: [emil lubɛ]; 30 December 1838 – 20 December 1929) was the 45th Prime Minister of France from February to December 1892 and later President of France from 1899 to 1906.

Trained in law, he became mayor of Montélimar, where he was noted as a forceful orator. He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1876 and the Senate in 1885. He was appointed as a Republican minister under Carnot and Ribot. He was briefly Prime Minister of France in 1892. As President, he saw the successful Paris Exhibition of 1900, and the forging of the Entente Cordiale with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, resolving their sharp differences over the Boer War and the Dreyfus Affair.

Early life[edit]

Loubet was born on 30 December 1838, the son of a peasant proprietor and mayor of Marsanne (Drôme). Admitted to the Parisian bar in 1862, he took his doctorate in law the next year. He was still a student when he witnessed the sweeping triumph of the Republican party in Paris at the general election in 1863, during the Second French Empire. He settled down to the exercise of his profession in Montélimar, where in 1869 he married Marie-Louise Picard. He also inherited a small estate at Grignan.[1]

Physical description[edit]

American politician William Jennings Bryan described Loubet as "below the medium height, even for Frenchmen. His shoulders are broad and his frame indicative of great physical strength. His hair is snow white, as are also his beard and mustache. He wears his beard square cut at the chin. . . . His voice is soft, and he speaks with great vivacity, emphasizing his words by expressive gestures."[2]

Political career[edit]

Émile Loubet, c. 1880s

At the crisis of 1870, which brought about the Empire's end, he became mayor of Montélimar, and thenceforward was a steady supporter of Léon Gambetta. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1876 by Montélimar, he was one of the notable 363 parliamentarians who in the 16 May 1877 crisis passed a vote of no confidence in the ministry of Albert, the duke of Broglie.[1]

In the general election of October he was re-elected, local enthusiasm for him being increased by the fact that the government had driven him from the mayoralty. In the Chamber he occupied himself especially with education, fighting the clerical system established by the Loi Falloux, and working for the establishment of free, obligatory and secular primary instruction. In 1880 he became president of the departmental council in Drôme. His support of the second Jules Ferry ministry and his zeal for the colonial expansion of France gave him considerable weight in the moderate Republican party.[1]

He had entered the Senate in 1885, and he became minister of public works in the Tirard ministry (December 1887 to March 1888). In 1892 President Sadi Carnot, who was his personal friend, asked him to form a cabinet. Loubet held the portfolio of the interior with the premiership, and had to deal with the anarchist crimes of that year and with the great strike of Carmaux, in which he acted as arbitrator, giving a decision regarded in many quarters as too favourable to the strikers. He was defeated in November on the question of the Panama scandals, but he retained the ministry of the interior in the next cabinet under Alexandre Ribot, though he resigned on its reconstruction in January.[1]

President of the French Republic (1899–1906)[edit]

Painting of Loubet

His reputation as an orator of great force and lucidity of exposition and as a safe and honest statesman procured for him in 1896 the presidency of the Senate, and in February 1899 he was chosen president of the republic in succession to Félix Faure by 483 votes as against 279 recorded by Jules Méline, his only serious competitor.[1]

Loubet caricatured by Guth for Vanity Fair, 1899

He was marked out for fierce opposition and bitter insult, as the representative of that section of the Republican party which sought the revision of the Dreyfus affair. On the day of President Faure's funeral Paul Déroulède met the troops under General Roget on their return to barracks, and demanded that the general should march on the Elysée. Roget sensibly took his troops back to barracks. At the Auteuil steeplechase in June, the president was struck on the head with a cane by an anti-Dreyfusard. In that month President Loubet summoned Waldeck-Rousseau to form a cabinet, and at the same time entreated Republicans of all shades of opinion to rally to the defence of the state. By the efforts of Loubet and Waldeck-Rousseau the Dreyfus affair was settled, when Loubet, acting on the advice of General Galliffet, minister of war, remitted the ten years' imprisonment to which Dreyfus was condemned at Rennes.[1]

Loubet's presidency saw an acute stage of the clerical question, which was attacked by Waldeck-Rousseau and in still more drastic fashion by the Combes ministry. The French ambassador was recalled from the Vatican in April 1905, and in July the separation of church and state was voted in the Chamber of Deputies. Feeling had run high between France and Britain over the mutual criticisms passed on the conduct of the South African War and the Dreyfus affair respectively. These differences were composed, by the Anglo-French entente, and in 1904 a convention between the two countries secured the recognition of French claims in Morocco in exchange for non-interference with the British occupation of Egypt. President Loubet belonged to the peasant-proprietor class, and had none of the aristocratic proclivities of President Faure. He inaugurated the Paris Exhibition of 1900, received the emperor Nicholas II of Russia at the French maneuvers of 1901 and paid a visit to Russia in 1902.[1]

On 4 July 1902 President Loubet was elected an honorary member of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati.[citation needed]

Loubet also exchanged visits with King Edward VII, with the king of Portugal, the king of Italy and the king of Spain. During the king of Spain's visit in 1905, an attempt was made on his life, a bomb being thrown under his carriage as he and with his guest left the Opéra Garnier.[1][3] When his presidency came to an end in January 1906, he became the first President of the Third Republic to have served a full term and without resigning a second one.[1] He retired into private life and died on 20 December 1929 at the age of 90.


He received the following orders and decorations:[4][5]

Loubet's Ministry, 27 February – 6 December 1892[edit]


  • 8 March 1892 – Godefroy Cavaignac succeeds Roche as Minister for the Colonies. Roche remains Minister of Commerce and Industry.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Loubet, Émile François". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 26.
  2. ^ Bryan, The Old World and Its Ways (1907: St. Louis, Thompson Publishing), page 510
  3. ^ Bomb for Loubet and King Alfonso; New York Times; 1 June 1905; p. 1; Note: Regarding an error in reporting: The New York Times article does in fact give their later destination as the "Palais d'Orsay", however, that building had burned down in 1871.
  4. ^ Almanach national. Annuaire officiel de la République française, Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1900, pp. 469, 600–601, 603, 605, 607, 616, 623, 626, 630
  5. ^ Almanach national. Annuaire officiel de la République française, Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1903, pp. 660, 663, 676
  6. ^ Nieuws Van Den Dag (Het) 07-10-1900
  7. ^ "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36811. 4 July 1902. p. 3.
  8. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1901) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1901 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1901] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. p. 6. Retrieved 4 July 2020 – via da:DIS Danmark.
  9. ^ Calendario generale del regno d'Italia. Italy. Ministero dell'interno. 1920. p. 57.
  10. ^ 刑部芳則 (2017). 明治時代の勲章外交儀礼 (PDF) (in Japanese). 明治聖徳記念学会紀要. p. 149.
  11. ^ "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36913. London. 31 October 1902. p. 8.
  12. ^ "Latest intelligence - France". The Times. No. 36801. London. 23 June 1902. p. 5.
  13. ^ Royal Thai Government Gazette (16 October 1902). "ส่งเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์ไปพระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์มหาจักรกรีบรมราชวงษ์พระราชทานแก่ มองซิเออ เอมินลูเบด์ ประธานาธิบดีแห่งฝรั่งเศส" (PDF) (in Thai). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1905, p. 441, retrieved 12 March 2021 – via runeberg.org
  15. ^ "The Order of the Norwegian Lion", The Royal House of Norway. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  16. ^ Journal de Monaco

Further reading[edit]

  • Hennlichová, Marcela. "The Royal Visit to Paris and the Presidential Visit to London in 1903—An Icebreaker of the Public Opinion or a Milestone in the History of the Entente Cordiale?" Prague Papers on the History of International Relations 1 (2019): 38-53. online
  • Larkin, M. J. M. "Loubet's Visit To Rome And The Question Of Papal Prestige." The Historical Journal 4.1 (1961): 97-103. online

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Public Works
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of the Interior
Preceded by President of the Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of France
Regnal titles
Preceded by Co-Prince of Andorra
Served alongside:
Salvador Casañas i Pagés (1899–1901)
Ramon Riu i Cabanes (1901)
Toribio Martín (Acting)
Joan Josep Laguarda i Fenollera (1902–1906)
Succeeded by