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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Jaurés, Jean Leon

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JAURÉS, Jean Leon, zhŏṅ lā-ȯṅ zhō-rā, French Socialist: b. Castres, 3 Sept 1859; d. Paris, 31 July 1914. He taught in Albi and Toulouse, and in 1885 entered politics and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies from Tarn; at this time he was a moderate Republican. In 1889 he failed of re-election, and returned to Toulouse, where he was active in the establishing of a college of medicine. Becoming a Socialist, he defended the strikers at Carmaux, and in 1893 was again elected to the Chamber, where he became one of the leaders of the Socialists. He failed of re-election in 1898, but was again elected in 1902. When the Socialist Millerand accepted a position in the Cabinet, Jaurés defended his action, thus opposing Guesde and the Parti Ouvrier, but sought at the same time to reconcile the factions. He also took an important part in obtaining a revision of the Dreyfus case. He stood out as a champion of the workmen in the great strike of 1910. At a Socialist conference in Brussels in the summer of 1914 he made a strong attack on militarism, and declared himself in favor of an international strike for the prevention of war — an attitude which subjected him to severe criticism, and was directly the cause of his assassination by shooting at the hands of a half-demented man outside a café in Paris. He was one of the greatest leaders of French Socialism, and probably the greatest orator in the Chamber of Deputies. He founded L'Humanité in 1904, and contributed six of the 12 volumes of the ‘Histoire Socialiste’ (1904-08).