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BIOGRAPHIES

FORCADE LA ROQUETTE, Jean Louis Victor Adolphe de

(1820-1874)


Adolphe de Forcade La Roquette (also written Forcade de la Roquette) was born in Paris on 8 April, 1820. He studied law and earned a doctorate, before becoming a lawyer at the Appeal Court in Paris. He was committed supporter of the coup d'état of 2 December, 1851. As a result of his family relations with the war minister Maréchal Leroy de Saint Arnaud (his half brother), Adolphe was appointed Maître des Requêtes to the Conseil d'Etat in January, 1852. Very soon afterwards he became Director of forests at Bordeaux, and then in 1857 he was promoted to Director general of forests, in Paris. He was also for some months director of customs and indirect contributions during 1859. With the support of Rouher he was nominated to succeed Magne as the finance minster in November 1860, thus completing a remarkable rise in the French administration. However he was very soon relieved from this post by Achille Fould following the Fould Report, of which de Forcade La Roquette disapproved. As a consolation prize he was then appointed Senator. In October 1863 he became Vice-President of the Conseil d'Etat, and earlier in the year (in March) he had embarked on a mission to Algeria to study the issues of colonisation and commerce. He then returned to government in 1867 to become Minister for Agriculture, Public Works and Commerce. In this position, Adolphe created chambres syndicales and introduced legislation to ensure that contracts between workers and their employers were equally binding for both parties. He then succeeded Pinard as Minster of the Interior in December 1868. His occupancy of this position was marked by his introduction of strict laws on the press and the droit de réunion. He also reorganised the constituencies in the Empire's favour for the elections in 1869. On the 8 March, 1869, he made a speech to the députés defending the governmental practice of providing official candidates, and he rearranged the constituency boundaries with a regard to the coming legislative elections. He retained his ministerial position after the reshuffle in July, but adopted a more liberal policy, remaining in office until the change of government at the end of December. In the political upheaval following the Battle of Sedan, de Forcade La Roquette abandoned the Senate, opting for the greater influence of the Corps legislatif, to which he was elected on 10 January 1870. After the fall of the Empire he spent six months in Spain before retiring to Gironde. He died in Paris on 15 August 1874. He was described during his career by an editor of the Times (quoted by Pierre Larousse) as being "...an administrator, he is not a Minister; he is the head of a state department, but he is not a statesman...".
 
Sources:
 
Eric Anceau, Dictionnaire des députés du Second Empire, Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 1999, p. 150-1, s.v., « Forcade de la Roquette »

Pierre Larousse, Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe siècle, Paris: Adminstration du Grand Dictionnaire Universel, 1873 [Reprint Slatkine: Geneva-Paris, 1982], vol. 8 (pt. 1), p. 587, s.v., « Forcade-Laroquette »

Adolphe de Forcade La Roquette, http://www.napoleontrois.fr/dotclear/index.php?post/2006/03/30/75-adolphe-de-forcade-la-roquette, Francis Choisel in Le Dictionnaire des Ministres, Perrin, 1990, dir. B. Yvert., consulted on 3 November, 2011

Forcade la Roquette (Adolphe de),
http://www.comite-histoire.minefi.gouv.fr/admin_eco/ministere/xixe/notices-biographiques/copy2_of_copy_of_les-ministres-des-finances-de-/forcade--la-roquette-adolphe-, 07/04/2010, consulted on 3 November 2011
 
Ed. PH and AM
 
Nov. 2011

 
     
 
 

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