The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Ferry, Jules François Camille

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Edition of 1920. See also Jules Ferry on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

FERRY, Jules François Camille, French statesman: b. Saint Dié, France, 5 April 1832; d. Paris, 17 March 1893. He was admitted to the Paris bar in 1854, and speedily identified himself with the opponents of the empire. His hostility was carried into journalism, and a series of articles in the Temps (Times), were republished as ‘The Fantastic Tales of Haussmann’ (1868). In 1869 he was elected to the National Assembly, where he voted against the war with Prussia; and during the siege of Paris by the Germans (1870-71) he played a prominent part as central mayor of the city. He was Minister to Athens 1872-73, and in 1879 became Minister of Public Instruction and began an agitation against the Jesuits. Their expulsion was effected, and brought about the dissolution of the ministry in September 1880. M. Ferry then formed a cabinet, which remained in office till November 1881. In February 1883 he again became premier, with a policy of "colonial expansion," involving a war in Madagascar and the invasion of Tonquin, where a minor reverse to the French troops was followed by a storm of criticism directed against the premier which caused his downfall in March 1885. On 10 Dec. 1887 he narrowly escaped assassination at the hands of a madman, one of whose shots was ultimately the cause of his death. In 1890 he was made senator, and three weeks before his death was elected president of the Senate. The Panama scandal left his reputation unscathed. He was a strong anti-clerical who in the remodeling of primary instruction, placed education on a free, non-clerical and obligatory basis. His ‘Discours et Opinions’ appeared in seven volumes (1893-98). Consult King, ‘French Political Leaders’ (New York 1882); Rambaud, ‘Jules Ferry’ (Paris 1903); Sylvin, ‘Célébrités contemporaines’ (Paris 1883).