Official portrait: Patrice de Mac Mahon
Patrice de Mac Mahon
© La Documentation française. Photo Eugène Appert

13 July 1808
Marie Edme Patrice Maurice de Mac Mahon, of Irish origin, was born in the Château of Sully, near Autun.

He attended the École Militaire de Saint-Cyr.

He participated in the Invasion of Algiers.

He was appointed Captain.

He was the aide-de-camp of the Duc de Nemours, second son of Louis Philippe.

13 October 1837
He was wounded during the Siege of Constantine.

He was appointed Colonel (posted in Morocco).

He was appointed Brigadier-General.

14 March 1854
He married Élisabeth de la Croix de Castries.

8 September 1855
He took Fort Malakoff during the Crimean War.

He was appointed Senator of the Empire.

He was appointed High Commander of the Army and Navy in Algeria (new title for governor duties).

4 June 1859
In Italy, he led the victory of Magenta against the Austrians. Napoleon III makes him Marshal and Duc de Magenta on the battlefield.

18 October 1861
He represented France at the coronation of William I of Prussia.

He returned to Algeria where he became Governor-General.

23 July 1870
He took command of the main French Army of the Rhine.

4 and 6 August 1870
He suffered defeats in Wissembourg and Friischwiller.

1 September 1870
He fought in the Battle of Sedan and was wounded.

29 September 1870-15 March 1871
He was a prisoner of the Prussians.

8 April 1871
He became head of the Versaillaise Army and repressed the Paris Commune.

24 May 1873
He was known for his legitimist opinions. He was elected President of the Republic after the resignation of Adolphe Thiers, awaiting a restoration of the monarchy. The Duc de Broglie, Vice-Prime Minister and responsible for Foreign Affairs, formed a Government of “moral order”.

20 November 1873
A seven-year term-of-office was established.

30 January 1875-16 July 1875
A series of constitutional laws were passed that laid the foundations of the Third Republic.
He became the first to take the title of Prime Minister in the Government of Armand Dufaure (moderate Republican).

December 1876
At the time of the Jules Simon Government, the President did not get along with Jules Simon and sent him, on 16 March 1877, a letter which was so harsh the Prime Minister resigned.

May 1877
He appointed de Broglie as head of the Government for the second time.

25 June 1877
The President dissolved the Chamber of Deputies, but the new vote supported the Republican majority.

October 1877
Jules Dufaure became Prime Minister for a second time. Mac-Mahon, in conflict with the Government, must recognize the constitutional nature of its irresponsibility and independence of ministers.

January 1879
There was a Republican majority in the Senate. The Government made several changes in the senior civil service.

30 January 1879
President Mac-Mahon resigned.

8 October 1893
He died at the Château de La Forest near Montargis.

22 October 1893
A national funeral was held at the Invalides.

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Updated : 15 December 2022