Georges Clemenceau and World War I.

Essay by keithrichardsUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2007

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Reflecting on the political career and work of Georges Clemenceau, perhaps the most succinct and appropriate statement is that he was the man for his time and place. During France's most tense and troubling period of World War I and the most large-scale and impacting conflict the world had seen, she and her people would be best served by a political leader of bold, passionate and straightforward qualities which would serve as an example and spread to the nation itself during this difficult period. Georges Clemenceau would respond to that need. Through his policies, tactics and actions politically, economically and diplomatically both during and through the peace negotiations following the Great War, Clemenceau would prove to be one of the most influential figures for both France and on the world stage. It is clear to see how his actions consistently reflect the man's personal character and views.

Born in a small French village in 1841, Clemenceau grew up admiring his father, from whom he received his strong republican political feelings, and descended from a long line of nobility.

From a young age he was politically active, publishing a paper with a group of other students called 'Le travail' (work), which Napoleon III saw as radical. He was seized by police during a demonstration and imprisoned. Upon release he began a new paper, 'Le matin' (freedom), but was still unable to avoid conflict with authorities. He then shifted his focus to studying medicine and became a doctor in 1865, at which point he left France to live in New York.

In New York he was impressed by the freedom of speech and of the press, something he had not observed in France under Napoleon III. A few years later he returned to Paris and established himself as a doctor. After...