Naquet, Alfred Joseph

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NAQUET, ALFRED JOSEPH (1834–1916), French chemist and republican politician. Born at Carpentras, Vaucluse, Naquet became professor of chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute at Palermo in 1863 and later professor of medicine in Paris. He participated in the 1867 Peace Conference at Geneva, where he spoke out against the French Empire and was imprisoned for 15 months. Naquet was again imprisoned following the publication of Réligion, Propriété, Famille in 1869, in which he opposed religious marriage, and was also deprived of his civic rights. Following his release he went to Spain but returned to France in 1870, working for the republican government in Tours. In 1871 he was elected deputy for Vaucluse, and from 1882 was a member of the senate. Naquet represented the left wing of the Assembly and the Senate and repeatedly pressed for legislation on divorce, the laws of 1884 being known as the "loi Naquet." His support for General Boulanger in 1888 did considerable harm to his career, and following allegations of complicity in the Panama scandal, he fled to England. Although subsequently vindicated, Naquet did not take any further part in French politics. His writings include Principes de chimie fondés sur les théories modernes (1865); Le Divorce (1877); L'Humanité et la patrie (1901); La République radicale (1873); and Socialisme collectiviste et socialisme libéral (1890).

[Samuel Aaron Miller]