Charles de Gaulle
|18th President of the French Republic|
January 8, 1959 – April 28, 1969
|Preceded by||René Coty|
|Succeeded by||Georges Pompidou|
|149th Prime Minister of France|
1 June 1958 – 8 January 1959
|Preceded by||Pierre Pflimlin|
|Succeeded by||Michel Debré|
|Born||22 November 1890|
|Died||9 November 1970 (aged 79)|
|Spouse(s)||Yvonne de Gaulle|
General Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (22 November 1890 - 9 November 1970) was a French military and political leader. He was president of France from 1959 to 1969. He was a founding member and leader of the French Resistance during the Second World War.
In 1958, he came out of retirement: the Algerian War was happening. He rewrote the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after it was by a referendum. He was elected President of France later that year, a position to which he was re-elected in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969.
The National Assembly brought him back to power in May 1958. He granted independence to Algeria. 900,000 French people in Algeria (called les pieds-noire) left for France. The Organisation armée secrète (OAS) tried to kill him. Frederick Forsyth used this incident as a basis for his novel The Day of the Jackal.
After the Algerian conflict, de Gaulle wanted to improve the French economy, and have an independent foreign policy. This was called by foreign observers the "politics of grandeur" (politique de grandeur). See Gaullism.
The French economy recorded high growth rates. In 1964, for the first time in nearly 100 years, France's GDP overtook that of the United Kingdom. This period is still remembered in France with some nostalgia as the peak of the Trente Glorieuses ("Thirty Glorious Years" of economic growth between 1945 and 1974).
- His most famous saying was: "L'etat? c'est moi!", roughly "The State? it's me!"
Death[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Kolodziej, Edward A (1974). French International Policy under de Gaulle and Pompidou: The Politics of Grandeur. p. 618.
- Haine, W. Scott (1974). Culture and Customs of France. Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-313-32892-3.
- Jackson, Julian. 1999. General de Gaulle and his enemies: Anti-Gaullism in France since 1940. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6th Ser., vol. 9, pp. 43–65. JSTORE 
- Berstein, Serge, and Peter Morris. The Republic of de Gaulle 1958–1969 (The Cambridge History of Modern France) (2006) excerpt and text search