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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Faucher, Léonard Joseph

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FAUCHER, Léonard Joseph (Léon), French economist: b. Limoges, 8 Sept. 1803; d. Marseilles, 14 Dec. 1854. His family removed to Toulouse in 1812 and four years later his parents were separated. In those trying years Léon helped support himself and his mother by designing embroidery, the while attending to his studies. He became private tutor in Paris, and managed to pursue his studies in history and archæology. In 1830 he became active as a Liberal in journalism. In 1830-33 he was on the staff of the Temps and for a time was editor of Le Constitutionel. He launched a journal of his own, Le Bien public, but it turned out a failure. In 1834 he joined the Courier français and was its editor from 1839 to 1842. About this time he began to give his attention to economic questions; advocated a customs union between the Latin races to offset the Teutonic Zollverein, also propounding a free trade policy, in which connection he visited England in 1843 to study the system there. In 1847 he was sent from Rheims to the Chambre as an advocate of free trade. After 1848 he was a member of the Constituent Assembly, where he opposed several popular measures chiefly because they were sponsored by the Republicans. Under Louis Napoleon he was successively Minister of Public Works and Minister of the Interior, but in 1849 his attempt to influence the approaching elections compelled his resignation. In 1851 he was again Minister of the Interior. After Napoleon's coup d'état he retired from politics and went to Italy to restore his shattered health. He died while returning to Paris. Consult ‘Mélanges d'economie politique et de finance’ (2 vols., 1856), and ‘Léon Faucher, biographie et correspondence’ (2 vols., 2d ed., Paris 1875).