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BOURGEOIS (Bourgeois), Leon

( French statesman and lawyer of the Nobel Peace Prize, 1920)

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Biography BOURGEOIS (Bourgeois), Leon
May 29, 1851, Mr.. - September 29, 1925
French statesman and lawyer Leon Victor Auguste Bourgeois was born in Paris in the family of a poor watchmaker Marie-Victor Bourgeois and Eliza Ina Augustin. B. early showed an interest in knowledge; still studying at the Institute of Massena and the Lyceum of Charlemagne, he mastered the Hindi and Sanskrit, has achieved success in music and drawing. As part of an artillery regiment taking part in the Franco-Prussian War, B. then entered the University of Paris, where he later received a doctorate in law. In 1876, after several years of law practice, he became deputy chief of the department claims the Ministry of Public Works.
B. entered public service in the early years of the Third Republic, . created after the surrender of Emperor Napoleon III in 1870, . marking the end of the monarchy in France, . coming to power of the petty bourgeoisie and the beginning of the development of social legislation on working,
. At the age of 36 B. was appointed prefect of Paris police. As a representative of the growing left-wing forces, B. Three months later resigned and put up for election in the working area of Chalons-sur-Marne. In February 1888,. he defeated his opponent for the District to General Georges Boulanger, the famous Minister of War.
Although B. belonged to the radical Socialists, he did not share the socialist doctrines, and inclined to the path of reform within the existing system. Not counting the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, . he held a number of posts in several French cabinet, . was Deputy Secretary of State for Internal Affairs (1888 ... 1889), . Minister of Internal Affairs (1890), . Minister of Public Education (1890 ... 1892) and Minister of Justice (1892 ... 1893).,
. During this time he has managed to gain public support for his reforms in education
. As Minister of Justice, B. conducted an investigation of persons involved in the scandal to the Panama Canal. France's attempts to build a canal through the Isthmus of Panama, launched in 1883. under the leadership of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the designer of the Suez punishment, has encountered serious technical and financial difficulties. In 1888. construction company declared bankruptcy, and Lesseps returned to France to stand trial on charges of embezzlement and negligence. Found guilty, he was imprisoned, but after a while released.
As prime minister in November 1895, B. forming the first government composed entirely of representatives of the left wing of the Chamber of Deputies. Administration B. beginning of unprecedented social and economic reforms, which included a progressive income tax and inheritance tax, expanding the number of retired workers, mandatory insurance, comprehensive social protection; Program B. become a manifestation of his deep concern for the poor of French society.
At this time, B. wrote a series of articles, later published under the general heading of 'Solidarity' (1896), which expressed the conviction that society should provide all citizens the opportunity to develop their abilities. To realize this ideal, said BA, the state must guarantee the right to work, adequate standard of living, free access to education, protection against unemployment, sickness, pension. The program resulted in a fury of conservatives in the French Senate, and in April 1896. B. was forced to resign. Two years later he returned to the Government Minister of Public Education in the office of Eugц¬ne Henri Brisson.
International activity B. began with the appointment of the chairman of the French delegation at the Hague Peace Conference of 1899. Convened primarily at the request of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (founded by William Cremer and Frederic Passy), the conference brought together 100 delegates from 26 countries. It discussed the issues of arms reduction, peaceful resolution of conflicts and the Convention on the humane conduct of war.
As chair of the Commission on Arbitration, B. proposed to make it mandatory in disputes 'threaten peace'. Strongly supported the idea of a colleague and compatriot B. Paul d'Esturnell de Constant and Tobias Asser, also members of the Commission. International Arbitration Court, said BA would be a 'guarantee of the weak against the strong'. The Commission's proposals on this subject have been approved at a plenary session of the conference, although they were not backed by anything. Nevertheless, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (ICTY) was established, and B. entered into its composition in 1903. As the principle of international law, arbitration remained strictly voluntary, and many countries feared that the lawyers in this court will not be completely impartial.
Elected to the Senate of France in 1905, B. served as foreign minister in the cabinet of Jean Marie Ferdinand Sarryana. As head of the French delegation at the conference in Alzhesirase (January 1906), he defended the commercial and administrative law of France in Morocco, despite the opposition of Germany. The following year, B. participated in the 2 nd of the Hague Conference, convened at the suggestion of Theodore Roosevelt, had participated 256 delegates from 44 countries. B. became chairman of the committee that developed the peaceful solutions to international conflicts. As at the last conference, Germany opposed the agreement on arbitration. The Commission also rejected a proposal to the court, consisting of elected judges, earning wages that would fulfill their duties during a certain period - this proposal was put forward by the delegate from the United States Elihu Root. Nevertheless B. felt that the already laid the foundations of the legal protection of the world body. 'League of Nations created - he said in a speech in 1908 - in many respects it is a reality'.
During World War II B. was a minister without portfolio in the cabinet of Aristide Briand. Even the military situation has not shaken his profound belief in the need for international organizations to cooperate. 'A fair policy is impossible until you start working League of Nations' - claimed B. in 1916. The following year he was appointed chairman of the French commission to study the feasibility of establishing the League of Nations. Using many of the ideas BV, the commission put forward a draft organization, whose sole function was to preserve peace. Takes its power only in time of crisis, the organization was to implement mandatory arbitration, to have an international armed force to impose sanctions.
As a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. B. defended the idea of international forces to maintain peace, audits of compliance of agreements on disarmament, the draft was rejected by the Allied Powers. Persistence B. exasperated the patience of Woodrow Wilson. 'No military insurance ... - B said. American president - our league and the documents will not have value, a solemn treaty becomes a fanciful literary work '.
In 1920, Mr.. the beginning of the League of Nations B. became the chief representative of France in the Geneva headquarters, he not only met in the Assembly, but was the first chairman of its board.
In 1920, Mr.. B. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to promote peace by means of arbitration. Being unable to attend the award ceremony, he sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee lecture 'The arguments of the League of Nations'. Illness prevented him read it personally. Turning to the question whether international law to overcome the instincts that give rise to war, B. stated: 'A person's feelings are selfish or altruistic, but in essence it - the mind'. He described the League of Nations not as a 'superstate', which suppresses the ruling body of the people, but as a mutual contact of nations that preserves and safeguards the rights of each of them.
B. served as chairman of the Senate from 1920 to 1923, when the progressive blindness forced him to leave politics, both internal and external. He died at the age of 72 in Chateau-d'Ozher and was buried with great pomp.
From the perspective of many historians believe B. on international law and the concept of the League of Nations were much more realistic than most contemporary. B. cherished dream of an international armed forces to maintain peace for half a century before they began talking about the Lester B. Pearson. B. aware that international law is going through infancy. Nevertheless, he believed that the impartiality of the law 'calm passions, disarm the evil will, to debunk false ambitions and create a climate of confidence and calm in which to grow and be strengthened delicate flower of peace'. Looking to the future with optimism, confident in the triumph of justice, B. stated: 'If an organization like the League of Nations, conscious of their potential and achieve its goal, the benefit of peace and human solidarity will prevail over evil'.


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BOURGEOIS (Bourgeois), Leon, photo, biography
BOURGEOIS (Bourgeois), Leon, photo, biography BOURGEOIS (Bourgeois), Leon  French statesman and lawyer of the Nobel Peace Prize, 1920, photo, biography
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