Cavaignac, Louis Eugène [key], 1802–57, French general. He participated in the French conquest of Algeria and was promoted to general in 1844. After the outbreak of the February Revolution in 1848, he became governor-general of Algeria. Elected to the national assembly, he returned to Paris and was appointed minister of war. He used his dictatorial powers to quell the threatened uprising of the working classes in the June Days of 1848. In the presidential election he was badly defeated by Louis Napoleon (later Napoleon III). Arrested after Louis Napoleon's coup of 1851, he was soon released and elected to the national assembly, but he refused to swear allegiance to Napoleon III and could not serve.
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