Viviani, René (rənāˈ vēvyänēˈ) [key], 1863–1925, French statesman. He entered politics as a Socialist and joined Jean Jaurès in founding the journal Humanité and in forming (1905) the united French Socialist party. He headed (1906–9) the newly created labor ministry in the cabinet of Georges Clemenceau and also in the Aristide Briand cabinet (1909–10). Viviani became premier in June, 1914. At the start of World War I his appeal for a "sacred union" of all parties resulted in the formation of a coalition defense cabinet. He resigned as premier in 1915, but served as minister of justice until 1917. In 1921–22 he represented France at the naval conference in Washington.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies