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Jules Armand Dufaure
« He remained aloof, not only from intrigues but also from contact with the parties, because he detested the agitation of assemblies and dreaded the rostrum, though it was his only strength, yet for all that he was ambitious, albeit in his own measured and rather subaltern manner, in that he sought to manipulate affairs rather than to dominate them. »
(A. de Tocqueville Souvenirs,
part 3, chap. 3)

Jules Armand Dufaure, whom Tocqueville often referred to in their correspondence as his "dear colleague", belonged to the same generation and held the same political convictions as his friend. He was born on December 4, 1798 at Saujon in the department of Charente-Maritime. Having started his career at the bar, he was elected deputy in 1834. He openly declared himself to be a liberal, and became Minister of Public Works under the SoultJean de Dieu Soult
(1769 - 1851)

A marshal of the Empire, Soult became minister of war under Louis XVIII. Named a peer of France under Charles X, he played his greatest political role under Louis-Philippe. Serving first as minister of war and then as president of the Council, he was named ambassador of France in April 1838. From 1840 to 1847 he held the post of minister of foreign affairs.
ministry in 1839. It was shortly after this when he met Tocqueville, probably on the benches of the Chamber of Deputies. The two men, whose political views were often quite similar (whether about Algeria or the need to found a new political party, the "Young Left"), appear to have rapidly become friends, and their later political trajectories took parallel paths. Just like Tocqueville, Dufaure refused to take part in the "Campagne des Banquets" to contest the authority of Louis-Philippe, but nevertheless rallied behind the Republic in 1848. He was also part of the commission in charge of drafting the constitution, and was even appointed Minister of the Interior by CavaignacLouis Eugène Cavaignac
1802-1857)

A general and republican politician, Cavaignac was a graduate of the Ecole polytechnique and officer in the engineer corps. In 1832 he was assigned to Algeria, and in 1844 he was named marshal. In 1848 he was appointed governor general of Algeria. In that same year he became minister of war. On December 2, 1851, he was arrested and imprisoned for a month. Elected to the legislature in 1852, he refused to take the oath and was dismissed.
. He was appointed to this post again under Second Minister Barrot, under whom Tocqueville was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was Dufaure, as Minister of the Interior, who declared a state of siege and put down the attempted revolutionary coup of June 13, 1849.

« I would say straightaway that he was a man of stone, as immutable as he was impassive. »
(Letter to Louis de Lamoricière,
November 24, 1852)

As one of those contested the coup d'etat of December 2, 1851, he decided to abandon political life. He had a second political career under the Third Republic, however, playing a role in its foundation along with his friend Adolphe Thiers. He served as Council President in 1876, and again from 1877 to 1879, when he distinguished himself by his defense of the principle of parliamentary republic. He died on June 27, 1881 at Rueil, after more than forty years of political life in which he remained faithful to his liberal convictions, his political integrity, and his independent spirit.

Portrait of Jules-Armand-Stanislas Dufaure

Portrait of Jules-Armand-Stanislas Dufaure, anonymous; Département des Estampes
© BNF

Caricature of Jules-Armand Dufaure

Caricature of Jules-Armand Dufaure, Cham
© Olivier Ménard

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