Who was the first President of the French Third Republic?
Marie Joseph Louis Adolphe Thiers (15 April 1797 – 3 September 1877) was a French statesman and historian. He was the second elected President of France and the first President of the French Third Republic.
Thiers was a key figure in the July Revolution of 1830, which overthrew the Bourbon monarchy, and the French Revolution of 1848, which established the Second French Republic. He served as a prime minister in 1836, 1840 and 1848, dedicated the Arc de Triomphe, and arranged the return to France of the ashes of Napoleon from Saint-Helena. He was first a supporter, then a vocal opponent of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (who served from 1848 to 1852 as President of the Second Republic and then called himself Emperor Napoleon III, reigning from 1852 to 1871).
When Napoleon III seized power, Thiers was arrested and briefly expelled from France. He then returned and became an opponent of the government.