Marshal Marie Esme Patrice Maurice de MacMahon, 1st Duke of Magenta (13 June 1808 – 17 October 1893), was a French general and politician with the distinction Marshal of France. He served as Chief of State of France from 1873 to 1875 and as the first president of the Third Republic, from 1875 to 1879. He won national renown and the presidency on the basis of his military actions in the war against the Germans. The man was a devout conservative Catholic, a traditionalist who despised socialism and strongly distrusted the secular Republicans. He took very seriously his duty as the neutral guardian of the Constitution, and rejected suggestions of a monarchist coup d'état. He also refused to meet with Gambetta, the leader of the Republicans. He moved the Third Republic the system whereby the government selected by the assembly ruled France, but he also insisted on an upper chamber. At one point he overstepped his authority and to solve the Chamber of Deputies, with the result that Republicans won the election and McMahon soon resigned and retired to private life.