1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Crémieux, Isaac Moïse

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CRÉMIEUX, ISAAC MOÏSE [known as Adolphe] (1796–1880), French statesman, was born at Nîmes, of a rich Jewish family. He began life as an advocate in his native town. After the revolution of 1830 he came to Paris, formed connexions with numerous political personages, even with King Louis Philippe, and became a brilliant defender of Liberal ideas in the law courts and in the press,—witness his Éloge funèbre of the bishop Grégoire (1830), his Mémoire for the political rehabilitation of Marshal Ney (1833), and his plea for the accused of April (1835). Elected deputy in 1842, he was one of the leaders in the campaign against the Guizot ministry, and his eloquence contributed greatly to the success of his party. On the 24th of February 1848 he was chosen by the Republicans as a member of the provisional government, and as minister of justice he secured the decrees abolishing the death penalty for political offences, and making the office of judge immovable. When the conflict between the Republicans and Socialists broke out he resigned office, but continued to sit in the constituent assembly. At first he supported Louis Napoleon, but when he discovered the prince’s imperial ambitions he broke with him. Arrested and imprisoned on the 2nd of December 1851, he remained in private life until November 1869, when he was elected as a Republican deputy by Paris. On the 4th of September 1870 he was again chosen member of the government of national defence, and resumed the ministry of justice. He then formed part of the Delegation of Tours, but took no part in the completion of the organization of defence. He resigned with his colleagues on the 14th of February 1871. Eight months later he was elected deputy, then life senator in 1875. He died on the 10th of February 1880. Crémieux did much to better the condition of the Jews. He was president of the Universal Israelite Alliance, and while in the government of the national defence he secured the franchise for the Jews in Algeria. This famous Décret Crémieux was the origin of the anti-Semitic movement in Algiers. Crémieux published a Recueil of his political cases (1869), and the Actes de la délégation de Tours et de Bordeaux (2 vols., 1871).