Millerand, Alexandre (älĕksäNˈdrə mēlräNˈ) [key], 1859–1943, French politician, president of France (1920–24). A Socialist member of the chamber of deputies, he was the first Socialist to serve in a bourgeois cabinet; he was (1899–1902) minister of commerce in the ministry of Rene Waldeck-Rousseau. Millerand was sharply criticized by his party for accepting the post and was also censured for supporting antilabor decisions. He was eventually expelled from the Socialist party. Moving further to the right on the political spectrum, he became an ardent nationalist and, as minister of war (1912–13), he attempted to restore the morale and prestige of the army. He was again minister of war in 1914–15, and after World War I he became commissioner general in recovered Alsace and Lorraine (1919) and premier (1920). In 1920 he succeeded Paul Deschanel as president. Opposed by the newly elected (1924) chamber of deputies, which had a socialist and radical majority, and accused of favoring the right, Millerand was forced to resign. Gaston Doumergue succeeded him. Elected (1925) to the senate, Millerand continued to exert influence as a rightist and nationalist.
More on Alexandre Millerand from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies