Gabriel Hanotaux

Gabriel Hanotaux

Portrait of Gabriel Hanotaux
Born (1853-11-19)19 November 1853
Beaurevoir, France
Died 11 April 1944(1944-04-11) (aged 90)
Paris, France
Occupation Historian
Nationality French

Albert Auguste Gabriel Hanotaux, known as Gabriel Hanotaux (19 November 1853 – 11 April 1944) was a French statesman and historian.


He was born at Beaurevoir in the département of Aisne. He studied history at the École des Chartes, and became maître de conférence in the École des Hautes Études. His political career was that of a civil servant rather than a party politician. In 1879 he entered the ministry of foreign affairs as a secretary, and rose gradually through the diplomatic service.

In 1886 he was elected deputy for Aisne, but, defeated in 1889, he returned to his diplomatic career, and on 31 May 1894 accepted the offer of Charles Dupuy to be minister of foreign affairs. With one interruption (from 28 October 1895 to 29 April 1896, during the ministry of Leon Bourgeois) he held this portfolio until 14 June 1898. During his ministry he developed the rapprochement of France with Russia—visiting Saint Petersburg with the president, Félix Faure—and sought to delimit the French colonies in Africa through agreements with the British. The Fashoda Incident of July 1898 was the most notable result of this policy. This seems to have intensified Hanotaux's distrust of England, which is apparent in his literary works (though most of these were written after he had left the Quai d'Orsay).

Hanotaux was elected a member of the Académie française on 1 April 1897. He served as a delegate for France with the League of Nations and participated in the 1st (15 November – 18 December 1920), 2nd (5 September – 5 October 1921), 3rd (4–30 September 1922) and 4th Assemblies (3–29 September 1923). In the early 1920s, there was a proposal for the League of Nations to accept Esperanto as their working language. Ten delegates accepted the proposal with only one voice against, the French delegate, Gabriel Hanotaux. Hanotaux did not like how the French language was losing its position as the international language of diplomacy and saw Esperanto as a threat.

Gabriel Hanotaux died in Paris in 1944 and was interred in the Passy Cemetery. His home in Orchaise now serves as a botanical garden, the Parc botanique du Prieuré d'Orchaise.


Four volumes of his memoir, Mon Temps were published between 1933 and 1947.

He edited the Instructions des ambassadeurs de France à Rome, depuis les traités de Westphalie (1888).



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    Political offices
    Preceded by
    Jean Casimir-Perier
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Succeeded by
    Marcelin Berthelot
    Preceded by
    Léon Bourgeois
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Succeeded by
    Théophile Delcassé
    Preceded by
    André Lebon
    interim Minister of Colonies
    Succeeded by
    Georges Trouillot
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