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Leon Gambetta

Léon Gambetta of France.

Léon Gambetta (1838 - ?) was a French socialist politician who formed a republican government in November 1880 in the aftermath of the Franco-German War. By 1884, Gambetta's government had gained control of most of France.

Gambetta was influenced by the radical economist Erich Neiderhoffer, and he called for the expropriation of unused land from the Church and from private owners and its redistribution to farmers. He also called for the redistribution of equity ownership in French industries to the workers.

Gambetta's reforms provoked a reaction by conservatives and monarchists, who called for the restoration of the monarchy under the exiled pretender Charles X. A civil war broke out between republicans and monarchists which ended in victory for the republicans in 1892. However, a second civil war began in 1895 when Charles X landed at Calais.

Sobel does not specifically say how long Gambetta remained in power, although by May 1887 he has been replaced as Premier by Pierre Fornay. Gambetta has no listing in Sobel's index.


Sobel's source for Léon Gambetta's government is Zelda Carmichael's In the Wake of the Red Witch: Reform in Europe in the 1880's (London, 1970).

IOW, Léon Gambetta died in 1882 from complications resulting from a gunshot wound to the stomach.

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