Born: 28 March 1862, Nantes, France
Died: 7 March 1932, Paris, France
Residence at the time of the award: France
Role: Part-originator of Locarno Pact and Briand-Kellogg Pact, Foreign Minister
Prize share: 1/2
The French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand shared the Peace Prize for 1926 with the German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann. They were awarded the Prize for reconciliation between Germany and France after World War I.
Aristide Briand pursued a career in the French Socialist Party after having read law at the Sorbonne. He entered the government in 1906 and spearheaded the devolution of France's state church. From 1909 on, he was Prime Minister for various periods, including during the war.
The war convinced Briand that a peace treaty must not lay the foundations for a revanchist war. He accordingly opposed the harsh treatment meted out to Germany after the war. Briand was also critical of the French occupation of parts of Germany as a means of obtaining war indemnity. In 1925 he signed a reconciliation agreement with Germany in the Swiss town of Locarno. Briand later made unsuccessful attempts to persuade the USA to guarantee France's security.