Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord – (1754-1838)

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord was a French statesman and diplomat, born in Paris on Feb. 2, 1754. He came from a princely family. Being lame his rights as the oldest son were passed over. He was educated for the Church, a career he abandoned immediately. His fascinating manners, wit, and cynicism gave him an unusual place in the society of his time. He was chosen as a deputy to the States General in 1789 and soon became one of its outstanding members.
As Bishop of Autun, he was very interested in the Church. He exercised the dominant influence in confiscating Church property and the civil rights of the clergy. For this, he was excommunicated in 1791. In 1792 he was sent as a special envoy to England. However, with the rise of the power of the radicals, Talleyrand fled into exile, traveling to America where he took out citizenship papers.
In 1796 he returned to France, joined Napoleon, and became his minister of foreign affairs. In this capacity, he participated in Napoleon’s sweeping changes in Europe’s state system and was made Prince de Benevento in 1806. Three years later having quarreled with Napoleon over his Spanish and Russian policies Talleyrand resigned. With Napoleon’s overthrow, he became active in bringing back the Bourbons and served as Louis XVIII’s representative at the Congress of Vienna. He quickly won a place in France.
In 1830 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord was again in the small inner circle that manipulated the choice of Louis Philippe as king and was in turn sent as French ambassador to London. As part of his visit, he participated in the London conference on Belgian affairs. He supported the plan for Belgian independence and neutrality, which he considered his own.
One of the ablest and shrewdest diplomats of Europe, Talleyrand after serving every government in France except the Convention and the Terror, approached the end of his long career amid widespread popular esteem, forgiven by the Church and in favor of the government. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord died an old alert man at 84, in Paris on May 17, 1838.
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Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord was a French statesman and diplomat, born in Paris on Feb. 2, 1754.
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord was a French statesman and diplomat, born in Paris on Feb. 2, 1754. Photo Credit – Thomas Hawk

Originally posted 2023-10-16 06:53:59.