Decazes, Élie ālē´ dəkäz´ [key], 1780–1860, French statesman, a favorite of King Louis XVIII, who made him a duke in 1820. A lawyer and judge, Decazes was made minister of police in 1815 and was influential in the French government even before he became (1819) premier. His government maintained a precarious balance between the ultraroyalists and the radicals, as he emerged as a leader of the moderates supporting a constitutional government. His downfall came when the ultraroyalists accused him of complicity in the assassination (1820) of the duc de Berry . He resigned, but Louis XVIII sent him as ambassador to England (1820–21). Decazes continued to figure in politics until the February Revolution of 1848.
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