Marie François Sadi Carnot

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Marie François Sadi Carnot
The evolution of France under the third republic (1897) (14782530655).jpg
President of France
In office
3 December 1887 25 June 1894
Prime Minister Maurice Rouvier
Pierre Tirard
Charles Floquet
Pierre Tirard
Charles de Freycinet
Émile Loubet
Alexandre Ribot
Charles Dupuy
Jean Casimir-Perier
Charles Dupuy
Preceded by Jules Grévy
Succeeded by Jean Casimir-Perier
Personal details
Born11 August 1837
Limoges, France
Died25 June 1894 (aged 56)
Lyon, France
Political party Moderate Republican

Marie François Sadi Carnot (French:  [maʁi fʁɑ̃swa sadi kaʁno] ; 11 August 1837 – 25 June 1894) was a French statesman, who served as the President of France from 1887 until his assassination in 1894. [1]


Early life

Marie François was the son of the statesman Hippolyte Carnot and was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne. His third given name Sadi was in honour of his uncle Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot, a pioneer in the study of thermodynamics, named after the famed Persian poet Sadi of Shiraz. Like his uncle, Marie François too came to be known as Sadi Carnot. In his scientific-mindedness and Republican leanings, he resembled his namesake's father (and his great-uncle), Lazare Carnot, the military modernizer and member of the post-Revolutionary French Directory. Marie François was educated as a civil engineer, and was a highly distinguished student at both the École Polytechnique and the École des Ponts et Chaussées. After his academic course, he obtained an appointment in the public service. His hereditary republicanism caused the government of national defence to entrust him in 1870 with the task of organizing resistance in the départements of the Eure, Calvados and Seine-Inférieure, and he was made prefect of Seine-Inférieure in January 1871. In the following month he was elected to the French National Assembly by the département Côte-d'Or. He joined the Opportunist Republican parliamentary group, Gauche républicaine. In August 1878 he was appointed secretary to the minister of public works. He became minister in September 1880 and again in April 1885, moving almost immediately to the ministry of finance, which post he held under both the Ferry and the Freycinet administrations until December 1886. [2]

Hippolyte Carnot French statesman

Lazare Hippolyte Carnot was a French statesman. He was the younger brother of the founder of thermodynamics Sadi Carnot and the second son of the revolutionary politician and general Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot, who also served in the government of Napoleon, as well as the father of French president Marie François Sadi Carnot.

Limoges Prefecture and commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Limoges is a city and commune, the capital of the Haute-Vienne department and was the administrative capital of the former Limousin region in west-central France.

Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot French physicist, the "father of thermodynamics" (1796–1832)

Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot was a French military scientist and physicist, often described as the "father of thermodynamics". Like Copernicus, he published only one book, the Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, in which he expressed, at the age of 27 years, the first successful theory of the maximum efficiency of heat engines. In this work he laid the foundations of an entirely new discipline, thermodynamics. Carnot's work attracted little attention during his lifetime, but it was later used by Rudolf Clausius and Lord Kelvin to formalize the second law of thermodynamics and define the concept of entropy.


Depiction of Carnot's assassination appearing in Le Petit Journal Illustre Petit Journal Carnot assassination 1894.jpg
Depiction of Carnot's assassination appearing in Le Petit Journal Illustré

When the Daniel Wilson scandals occasioned the downfall of Jules Grévy in December 1887, Carnot's reputation for integrity made him a candidate for the presidency, and he obtained the support of Georges Clemenceau and many others, so that he was elected by 616 votes out of 827. He assumed office at a critical period, when the republic was all but openly attacked by General Boulanger. [2]

Jules Grévy French statesman and lawyer

François Paul Jules Grévy was President of France from 1879 to 1887, and one of the leaders of the Opportunist Republican faction. Given that his predecessors were monarchists who tried without success to restore the French monarchy, Grévy is seen as the first real republican President of France.

Georges Clemenceau French politician

Georges Eugène Benjamin Clemenceau was a French politician who was Prime Minister of France during the First World War. A leading independent Radical, he played a central role in the politics of the French Third Republic.

Georges Ernest Boulanger French general

Georges Ernest Jean-Marie Boulanger, nicknamed Général Revanche, was a French general and politician.

President Carnot's ostensible part during this agitation was confined to augmenting his popularity by well-timed appearances on public occasions, which gained credit for the presidency and the republic. When, early in 1889, Boulanger was finally driven into exile, it fell to Carnot to appear as head of the state on two occasions of special interest, the celebration of the centenary of the French Revolution in 1889 and the opening of the Paris Exhibition of the same year. [3] The success of both was regarded as a popular ratification of the republic, and though continually harassed by the formation and dissolution of ephemeral ministries, by socialist outbreaks, and the beginnings of anti-Semitism, Carnot had only one serious crisis to surmount, the Panama scandals of 1892, which, if they greatly damaged the prestige of the state, increased the respect felt for its head, against whose integrity none could breathe a word. [2]

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Exposition Universelle (1889) Worlds Fair held in Paris, France

The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a world's fair held in Paris, France, from 6 May to 31 October 1889.

Panama scandals

The Panama scandals was a corruption affair that broke out in the French Third Republic in 1892, linked to a French company's failed building attempt at constructing a Panama Canal. Close to half a billion francs were lost and members of the French government had taken bribes to keep quiet about the Panama Canal Company's financial troubles in what is regarded as the largest monetary corruption scandal of the 19th century.

Carnot was in favour of the Franco-Russian Alliance and received the Order of St Andrew from Alexander III.

Franco-Russian Alliance military alliance

The Franco-Russian Alliance, or Russo-French Rapprochement, was an alliance formed by the agreements of 1891–93; it lasted until 1917. The strengthening of the German Empire, the creation of the Triple Alliance of 1882, and the exacerbation of Franco-German and Russo-German contradictions at the end of the 1880s led to a common foreign policy and mutual strategic military interests between France and Russia. The development of financial ties between the two countries created the economic prerequisites for the Russo-French Alliance.

Alexander III of Russia Emperor of Russia

Alexander III was the Emperor of Russia, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland from 13 March [O.S. 1 March] 1881 until his death on 1 November [O.S. 20 October] 1894. He was highly reactionary and reversed some of the liberal reforms of his father, Alexander II. Under the influence of Konstantin P. Pobedonostsev (1827–1907) he opposed any reform that limited his autocratic rule. During Alexander's reign Russia fought no major wars, and he was therefore styled "The Peacemaker".


Carnot was reaching the zenith of his popularity, when, on 24 June 1894, after delivering a speech at a public banquet in Lyon in which he appeared to imply that he would not seek re-election, he was stabbed by an Italian anarchist named Sante Geronimo Caserio. [2] Carnot died shortly after midnight on 25 June. [4] The stabbing aroused widespread horror and grief, and the president was honoured with an elaborate funeral ceremony in the Panthéon on 1 July 1894. [5]

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon or Lyons is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

Sante Geronimo Caserio anarchist

Sante Geronimo Caserio was an Italian anarchist and the assassin of Marie François Sadi Carnot, President of the French Third Republic. Caserio was born in Motta Visconti, Lombardy. On 24 June 1894, he fatally stabbed President Carnot after a banquet, to avenge Auguste Vaillant and Émile Henry.

Caserio called the assassination a political act, and was executed on 16 August 1894. [6]

See also

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  1. Harismendy, Patrick (1995). Sadi Carnot : l'ingénieur de la République. Paris: Perrin.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Chisholm 1911.
  3. Ory, Pascal (1989). l'Expo Universelle. Brussels: Editions Complexe.
  4. Lacassagne, Alexandre (1843-1924) Auteur du texte; Poncet, A. Auteur du texte (10 April 1894). "L'assassinat du président Carnot / par A. Lacassagne,..." A. Storck. Retrieved 10 April 2018 via web requires |website= (help)
  5. "Le Président Carnot et ses Funérailles au Panthéon". Librarie le Soudier. Retrieved 8 November 2013.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  6. "Caserio at the Guillotine". The New York Times. 16 August 1894. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
Political offices
Preceded by
Jules Grévy
President of France
Succeeded by
Jean Casimir-Perier
Preceded by
Jules Grévy
Co-Prince of Andorra
1887 – 1894
Succeeded by
Jean Casimir-Perier