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Carnot, Lazare Hippolyte

CARNOT, LAZARE HIPPOLYTE (1801-1888), French statesman, the second son of L.N.M. Carnot (q.v.), was born at Saint-Omer on the 6th of October 1801. Hippolyte Carnot lived at first in exile with his father, returning to France only in 1823. Unable then to enter active political life, he turned to literature and philosophy, publishing in 1828 a collection of Chants helléniques translated from the German of W. Müller, and in 1830 an Exposé de la doctrine Saint-Simonienne, and collaborating in the Saint-Simonian journal Le Producteur. He also paid several visits to England and travelled in other countries of Europe. In March 1839, after the dissolution of the chamber by Louis Philippe, he was elected deputy for Paris (re-elected in 1842 and in 1846), and sat in the group of the Radical Left, being one of the leaders of the party hostile to Louis Philippe. On the 24th of February 1848 he pronounced in favour of the republic. Lamartine chose him as minister of education in the provisional government, Carnot set to work to organize the primary school systems, proposing a law for obligatory and free primary instruction, and another for the secondary education of girls. But he declared himself against purely secular schools, holding that "the minister and the schoolmaster are the two columns on which rests the edifice of the republic." By this attitude he alienated both the Right and the Republicans of the Extreme Left, and was forced to resign on the 5th of July 1848. He was one of those who protested against the coup d'état of the 2nd of December 1851, but was not proscribed by Louis Napoleon. He refused to sit in the Corps Législatif until 1864, in order not to have to take the oath to the emperor. From 1864 to 1869 he was in the republican opposition, taking a very active part. He was defeated at the election of 1869. On the 8th of February 1871 he was named deputy for the Seine et Oise, and participated in the drawing up of the Constitutional Laws of 1875. On the 16th of December 1875, he was named by the National Assembly senator for life. He died on the 16th of March 1888, three months after the election of his elder son, M.F.S. Carnot (q.v.), to the presidency of the republic. He had published Le Ministère de l'instruction publique et des cultes du 24e février au 5e juillet 1848, (1849), Mémoires sur Lazare Carnot (2 vols., 1861-1864), Mémoires de Barère (with David Angers, 4 vols., 1842-1843). His second son, Marie Adolphe Carnot (b. 1839), became a distinguished mining-engineer and director of the Ecole des Mines (1899), his studies in analytical chemistry placing him in the front rank of French scientists. He was made a member of the Academy of Sciences in 1895.

See Vermorel, Les Hommes de 1848, (3rd ed., 1869); E. Spuller, Histoire parlementaire de la Seconde République (1891); P. de la Gorce, Histoire du Second Empire (1894 et seq.).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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