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Charles de Gaulle

Page history last edited by DeGaulle 12 years, 2 months ago

Charles de Gaulle


              Born in 1890, Charles de Gaulle was president of France from 1958 to 1969. He died in 1970[1].


     Charles de Gaulle was a French war soldier and leader. He took many posts and commands in both of the World Wars. However, he is most famous for his creation of the Fifth Republic in France. The First Republic was a monarchy led by Napoleon Bonaparte until he was defeated in Russia[2]. The Second Republic  was an Empire, the Third Republic was created after France was defeated by Germany in World War I, and the Fourth Republic was declared in 1946[3]. During all these different republics, France was going through many difficult times, trying to claim more territory and keep themselves from being invaded. Citizens of Algeria , which was then controlled by France, were starting to rebel, wanting their independence. The French did not want to give up its occupation and control of the country. Finnally, in 1958, France was on the brink of a civil war. Charles de Gaulle was viewed as the only person that could stop anything chaotic from occurring. The president in France gave complete control to de Gaulle for six months to enable him to create a new government and quiet the hostilities in France. Charles de Gaulle designed a constitution that provided the president, elected by an electoral college every seven years, with broad powers. However, this constitution did not solve all the problems in France. The French were still angered at the idea of Algeria being its own country. De Gaulle was elected president, and he eventually convinced France that rebellions and wars would not end unless Algeria was granted independence. Algeria became its own country in 1962 after riding over many bumpy roads[4].



     Charles de Gaulle definitely deserves his place in the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire." First, he put an end to the reckless fighting and rebelions that were occurring between Algeria and France and within France. Had he not been elected president, who can say how long it all would have lasted, or if there would have been any major wars that might have taken place. Secondly, he established a solid government for France that put an end to any possible dictatorships. With a strong central government and president, France was on the road to becoming a stable country. Without Charles de Gaulle leading the way, no one knows whether  France would be the sturdy, independent country that it is now.


  1. http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/extmedia?id=ar208640&st=france&sc=8&em=lr002050
  2. http://online.culturegrams.com/world/world_country_sections.php?contid=5&wmn=Europe&cid=55&cn=France&sname=History&snid=2
  3. http://online.culturegrams.com/world/world_country_sections.php?contid=5&wmn=Europe&cid=55&cn=France&sname=History&snid=2
  4. http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article?id=ar208640&st=france&sc=8

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