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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