Paul Henri Benjamin Balluet d'Estournelles de Constant, Baron de Constant de Rebecque
The Nobel Peace Prize 1909
Born: 22 November 1852, La Flèche, France
Died: 15 May 1924, Paris, France
Residence at the time of the award: France
Role: Member, French Parliament (Sénateur), Founder and President of French parliamentary group for voluntary arbitration, Founder, Committee for the Defense of National Interests and International Conciliation
Prize motivation: “for their prominent position in the international movement for peace and arbitration”
Prize share: 1/2
Diplomat, Politician and Internationalist
Despite his aristocratic title, d'Estournelles was a radical republican. He believed that the cultured peoples of Europe should join together in the united states of Europe. Good organization of the international community was the best guarantee of peace. d'Estournelles began his career as a diplomat, but was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1895; for the last twenty years of his life he was a Senator.
d'Estournelles supported binding arbitration between states, and on a visit to the USA he persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to make use of the International Court at the Hague. He also urged Andrew Carnegie to donate money to the Peace Palace. Before World War I he worked for reconciliation between Germany and France. In 1918 he wanted a just peace with Germany, and was critical of the Versailles Treaty which in his view was too harsh. He pinned high hopes on the new League of Nations.