Jules, prince de Polignac

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Jules, prince de Polignac, French statesman

Jules Auguste Armand Marie, prince de Polignac (1780 - March 29, 1847), French statesman, played a conspicuous part in the clerical and ultra-royalist reaction after the Revolution.

Under the empire he was implicated in the conspiracy of Cadoudal and Pichegru (1804), and was imprisoned till 1813. After the restoration of the Bourbons he held various offices, received from the pope his title of "prince" in 1820, and in 1823 was made ambassador to the English court.

Polignac was an ultra-royalist who believed that the power in France should be given back to the monarch and the noble classes. He thought his divine mission was to accomplish this and claimed of seeing visions of the virgin Mary promising success. As a Catholic he did not mind the church's increase in power, but he did think that God was on his side rather than the popes.

On August 8 1829 he was called by Charles X to the ministry of foreign affairs, and in the following November he became president of the council. His appointment was taken as symbolical of the king's intention to overthrow the constitution, and Polignac, with the other ministers, was held responsible for the policy which culminated in the issue of the Four Ordinances which were the immediate cause of the revolution of July 1830.

On the outbreak of this he fled for his life, but, after wandering for some time among the wilds of Normandy, was arrested at Granville. His trial before the chamber of peers resulted in his condemnation to perpetual imprisonment (at Ham), but he benefited by the amnesty of 1836, when the sentence was commuted to one of exile. During his captivity he wrote Considerations politiques (1832). He afterwards spent some years in England, but finally was permitted to re-enter France on condition that he did not take up his abode in Paris. He died at St Germain on the 29th of March 1847.

Preceded by:
Jean-Baptiste Gaye, Vicomte de Martignac
Prime Minister of France
1829-1830
Followed by:
Victor, duc de Broglie

Reference

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