Who is Georges Clemenceau?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Known as "Le Tigre ("The Tiger")," Georges Benjamin Clemenceau (1841–1929) was the Prime Minister of France during World War I, and his determination during those trying times helped unite the French people. As the hopes of a French victory declined, Clemenceau continued to advocate the "policy of total war," and he was applauded by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He became extremely popular with the French troops and visited them regularly in the trenches just a short distance from the German lines. His decision to make Marshal Ferdinand Foch the Supreme Allied Commander during the final year of the war is considered a turning point. Facing an almost certainty that Paris would fall to the German offensive in the spring of 1918, Allied counter-offensives pushed the Germans back, and both sides recognized that a peace treaty was necessary. Clemenceau supported U. S. President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points plan, and he headed the peace conference in Paris.

Clemenceau lived in New York City before the war, working as a doctor and journalist. He also served as the French Prime Minister before the war (1906-1909); owned the French newspaper L'Aurore; and took an active part in the Dreyfus Affair as a supporter of Emile Zola.

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