stronger than Gabriel Attal | EUROtoday

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IHis identify was William. Last identify: Pitt. Nickname: The Young One. Not a lot as a result of he was appointed Prime Minister of the British Crown at an age that may make the brand new tenant of Matignon appear like an previous wolf, however as a result of he adopted his father, additionally named William Pitt, former holder of the workplace, and who was subsequently entitled to the appellation of Elder. William Pitt the Younger grew to become Prime Minister of the world’s main energy on the age of 24. Here is Gabriel Attal already overwhelmed soundly…

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Some proof explains this document of precocity. An Obelix syndrome: William had fallen very younger into the pot of energy. When he was born, his father* was answerable for colonial affairs within the Seven Years’ War in opposition to France. He shall be one of many first nice servants of King George III who will later name his son. On his mom’s facet, his uncle additionally served as Prime Minister.

However, the age of the applicant is the discuss of the city. A nursery rhyme begins which mocks the king’s thoughtlessness in having entrusted the keys to the dominion “to a schoolboy”. A superb schoolboy who entered Cambridge University at 14, a lawyer at 20, who took his first steps in politics at 21 within the House of Commons. “Trained from an early age by his father to speak, his Maiden Speech, his baptism of fire in the Commons, left an unforgettable memory,” confides Edmond Dziembowski, who revealed a biography of the 2 Pitts.

Three years later, he grew to become the king’s fundamental collaborator, who supported him by thick and skinny. When he ascended to this place, he was predicted to have a really restricted lifespan. Get by the winter? You don’t belive it. However, he remained in energy for seventeen years in a row, till 1801.

William Pitt, some parallels with Gabriel Attal

A formidable politician, he was ready, regardless of his younger age, to weaken his fundamental opponent, Fox, inside the Whig occasion, the reforming occasion which opposed the omnipotence of a nonetheless dominant king. However, he isn’t an bold younger man with lengthy tooth. He refused two presents from the sovereign earlier than giving in to his insistence: “The king, who wanted to get rid of his majority, had no one on hand, he took him by default, but he considers him like a child” , analyzes Edmond Dziembowski.

And to focus on some parallels with the state of affairs of Gabriel Attal: “William Pitt, at the start, did not have a majority: he had to deal with old hands who hardly respected him, govern with hostile votes; the deputies are screaming because he is not resigning. He is the first to dare to maintain his position in this way, he is playing the card of exhausting the opposition. It is true that he has public opinion with him, because he embodies renewal, the desire for reform, the fight against corruption and oligarchy. »

A year later, having obtained the right to dissolve the Commons, he obtained a comfortable majority. “He was able to get England out of one of its most serious political crises. » His longevity will make him, in English history, the true builder of the office of Prime Minister. “It was in the 1790s, by establishing himself among his ministers as well as the king, that he inaugurated a new function at a time when the king was subject to his first bouts of madness. »

The first banknotes

We hardly study the history of our neighbors across the Channel. But those familiar with Bonaparte remember that William Pitt the Younger was one of his fierce adversaries. He inherited from his father a radical distrust of France and its power, constantly hastening the end of the war of independence with the United States to revive trade and control its financial policy. To protect gold reserves, he launched the first banknotes. To stabilize revenues, he introduced the income tax. “He attacks contraband, administrative sinecures, he reorganizes the debt system. In 1783, England, ruined by the war with the United States, experienced much more serious financial problems than France; in 1789, it was the opposite. »

With its finances cleaned up and strengthened, England will thus be able to approach in a better position the major conflict with France which will occupy it for twenty years. Successes that we wish to the new Dauphin of the Élysée.

From 1789, France became William Pitt’s big business. Until then, he had gotten along with her and with Necker, but faced with the military successes of the revolutionary troops in Belgium – Jemmapes – he declared war on her in 1793. In Paris the wildest rumors were circulating: William Pitt had sent spies to destabilize the revolution. “So much so that the Convention, by decree, designates him “enemy of the human race”. » Qualification that one wouldn’t want on one’s fiercest… enemy.

When republican actions arose in England, his style for reform didn’t forestall him from repressing them very firmly. Convinced that the battle in opposition to France could be rapidly received, he tiptoed into motion, preferring financial conflict the place he sought to grab French islands and buying and selling posts in useless. In 1797, he opened peace talks in Lille, however the coup d’état of Fructidor 18 brought about them to fail.

Very early drinker

The outcomes weren’t with out shadows. He didn’t reform Parliament, to broaden the bottom of suffrage, and likewise to ban the observe of slavery to which he had opposed. After having managed to realize the union between England and Ireland – after the horrible revolt of 1798 – his tolerance, thought-about too nice by the king, in direction of the Catholics earned him his dismissal by a typically understanding sovereign. scrambled. When he returned to energy in 1804, the English wonderboy noticed his luck abandon him: to his credit score, he needed to confront Napoleon on the top of his navy genius. Trafalgar weighs little in comparison with Austerlitz which, Dziembowski believes, was a “real shock for Pitt and got the better of his already failing health”. To inform the reality, he drank dry – the cartoonists had a area day – having additionally been, by way of alcoholism, a mannequin of precocity. “Falling sick as a baby, the physician prescribed him to drink a number of glasses of port a day, an dependancy which degenerated. » He died on the job at 46 years previous. Moral of the story: politics, regardless of the age, rapidly wears out its man.

* The historian Edmond Dziembowski has simply devoted a chapter to him within the collective Great Diplomats, masters of worldwide relations, from Mazarin to the current day, beneath the route of Hubert Védrine (ed. Perrin).