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Encyclopedia > France in the twentieth century
History of France
Ancient times
  Celtic Gaul
  Roman Gaul
  Ancient Franks (pre 481)
France in the Middle Ages
  Merovingians (481–751)
  Carolingians (751–987)
  Capetians (987–1328)
  Valois (direct) (1328–1498)
Early Modern France (1492-1792)
  Valois-Orléans (1498–1515)
  Valois-Angoulême (1515–1589)
  Bourbon Dynasty (1589–1792)
Modern France I & Modern France II
  First Republic (1792–1804)
    National Convention (1792–1795)
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    Consulate (1799–1804)
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  July Monarchy (1830–1848)
  Second Republic (1848–1852)
  Second Empire (1852–1870)
  Third Republic (1870–1940)
  Vichy France (1940–1944)
  France after Libération (1944–1946)
    Provisional Government (1944–1946)
  Fourth Republic (1946–1958)
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Topical
  Historical French provinces
  Economic history
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  Military history
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Timeline of French history
French Portal

The History of France from 1914 to the present, includes the later years of the Third French Republic (1871-1941), the Vichy Regime (1940-1944), the years after Libération (1944-1946), the French Fourth Republic (1946-1958) and the French Fifth Republic (since 1958) and also includes World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945). The History of France has been divided into a series of separate historical articles navigable through the template to the right. ... Ancient history is the study of significant cultural and political events from the beginning of human history until the Early Middle Ages. ... Map of Gaul circa 58 BC Gaul (Latin Gallia, Greek Galatia) was the region of Western Europe occupied by present day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ... Gaul in the Roman Empire Roman Gaul consisted of an area of provincial rule in what would become modern day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and western Germany. ... For other uses, see Franks (disambiguation). ... France in the Middle Ages roughly corresponds to modern day France from the death of Charlemagne in 814 to the middle of the 15th century. ... Also see: France in the Middle Ages. ... Also see: France in the Middle Ages. ... The direct Capetian Dynasty followed the Carolingian rulers of France from 987 to 1328. ... The Valois Dynasty succeeded the Capetian Dynasty as rulers of France from 1328-1589. ... Early Modern France is the portion of French history that falls in the early modern period from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century (or from the French Renaissance to the eve of the French Revolution). ... The Valois Dynasty succeeded the Capetian Dynasty as rulers of France from 1328-1589. ... The Valois Dynasty succeeded the Capetian Dynasty as rulers of France from 1328-1589. ... This article or section should include material from France: Wars of Religion - Bourbon Dynasty The House of Bourbon dates from at least the beginning of the 13th century, when the estate of Bourbon was ruled by a Lord, vassal of France. ... The History of France from 1789 to 1914 (the long 19th century) extends from the French Revolution to World War I and includes the periods of the First French Empire, the Restoration under Louis XVIII and Charles X (1814-1830), the July Monarchy under Louis Philippe dOrléans (1830... The French people proclaimed Frances First Republic on 21 September 1792 as a result of the French Revolution and of the abolition of the French monarchy. ... This article is about a legislative body and constitutional convention during the French Revolution. ... Executive Directory (in French Directoire exécutif), commonly known as the Directory (or Directoire) held executive power in France from November 2, 1795 until November 10, 1799: from the end of the Convention to the beginning of the Consulate. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The First French Empire, commonly known as the French Empire or the Napoleonic Empire, covers the period of the domination of France and much of continental Europe by Napoleon I of France. ... Following the ouster of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814, the Allies restored the Bourbon Dynasty to the French throne. ... The July Monarchy was established in France with the reign of Louis Philippe of France. ... The French Second Republic (often simply Second Republic) was the republican regime of France from February 25, 1848 to December 2, 1852. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... A map of France under the Third Republic, featuring colonies. ... Presidential flag of Vichy France For other uses of Vichy, see Vichy (disambiguation). ... Between 1944 and 1946 France was ruled by the Provisional Government of the French Republic (Gouvernement provisoire de la République française). ... The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946. ... The Fourth Republic existed in France between 1946 and 1958. ... The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, which was introduced on October 5, 1958. ... The Kingdom of France was organized into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the département system superseded provinces. ... Since World War Two, France enjoyed 30 years of economical growth, called the Trente Glorieuses. ... It has been suggested that French people be merged into this article or section. ... Henry IV at the Battle of Ivry, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... Map of the first (light blue) and second (dark blue — plain and hachured) French colonial empires. ... This entry concerns French artists working in visual or plastic media (plus, for some artists of the 20th century, performance art). Please go elsewhere for information on French literature, French music, French Cinema and French Culture. ... French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak other traditional non-French languages. ... Masterpiece painting by Eugène Delacroix called Liberty Leading the People portrays the July Revolution using the stylistic views of Romanticism. ... This is a timeline of French history. ... The French Third Republic, (in French, Troisième Republique, sometimes written as IIIème Republique) (1870/75-1940/46), was the governing body of France between the Second French Empire and the Fourth Republic. ... Vichy France (French: now called Régime de Vichy or Vichy; called itself at the time État Français, or French State) was the French state of 1940-1944 which was a puppet government under Nazi influence, as opposed to the Free French Forces, based first in London and later in Algiers. ... Between 1944 and 1946 France was ruled by the Provisional Government of the French Republic (Gouvernement provisoire de la République française). ... The Fourth Republic existed in France between 1946 and 1958. ... The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, which was introduced on October 5, 1958. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...


For specific information on today's France, see France and Portal:France.

Contents


France and the French after 1914

Geography

In 1914, the territory of France was different from today's France in two important ways : most of Alsace and the northeastern part of Lorraine had been annexed by Germany in 1870, and the North-African country of Algeria had been established as an integral part of France (a "département") in 1848. France would reacquire Alsace-Lorraine at the end of World War I (and lose them again, temporarily, to Germany during World War II). Calls for Algerian indepedence became common after 1945, but with one million Europeans living there, France refused to grant indepedence until a bloody colonial war (the Algerian War of Independence) had turned into a French political and civil crisis; Algeria was given its independence in 1962, unleashing a massive wave of immigration from the former colony back to France. Capital Strasbourg Land area¹ 8,280 km² Regional President Adrien Zeller (UMP) (since 1996) Population  - Jan. ... Lorraine coat of arms Lorraine (French: Lorraine; German: Lothringen) is a historical area in present-day northeast France. ... 1870 (MDCCCLXX) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Template:France divisions levels, Junkyard Willie The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to British counties. ... Imperial Province of Elsaß-Lothringen Alsace-Lorraine (French: Alsace-Lorraine; German: Elsass-Lothringen) was a territory disputed between the nation states of France and Germany. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... The Algerian War of Independence (1954–62) was a period of guerrilla strikes, maquis fighting, terrorism against civilians on both sides, and riots between the French army and colonists, or the colons as they were called, in French special département Algeria and the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale...


Demographics

Unlike other European countries, France did not experience a strong population growth in the mid and late 19th century and first half of the 20th century (see Demographics of France). This would be compounded by the massive French losses of World War I -- roughly estimated at 1.4 million French dead including civilians (see World War I casualties) (or nearly 10% of the active adult male population) and four times as many wounded (see World War I#Aftermath) -- and World War II -- estimated at 593,000 French dead (one and a half times the number of U.S. dead), of which 470,000 were civilians (see World War II casualties). From a population of around 39 million in 1880, France still had only a population of 40 million in 1945. The post-war years would bring a massive "baby boom", and with immigration, France reached 50 million in 1968. This growth slowed down in 1974. It has been suggested that French people be merged into this article or section. ... Pie chart showing deaths by alliance and military/civilian. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Piechart showing percentage of military and civilian deaths by alliance during World War II. World War II was the single deadliest conflict the world had ever seen, causing many tens of millions of deaths and many millions of wounded. ...


Since 1999, France has seen an unprecedented growth in population. In 2004, population growth was 0.68%, almost reaching North American levels (2004 was the year with the highest increase in French population since 1974). France is now well ahead of all other European countries in population growth (except for the Republic of Ireland) and in 2003, France's natural population growth (excluding immigration) was responsible for almost all the natural growth in European population (the population of the European Union increased by 216,000 inhabitants (without immigration), of which 211,000 was the increase in France's population alone, and 5,000 was the increase in all the other countries of the EU combined).


Today, France, with a population of 60 million (or 63 million with overseas territories) is the third most populous country of Europe, behind Russia and Germany.


Immigration in the 20th century differed significantly from that of the previous century. The 1920s saw great influxes from Italy and Poland; in the 1930-50s immigrants cames from Spain and Portugal. Since the 1960s however, the greatest waves of immigrants have been from former French colonies: Algeria (1 million), Morocco (570,000), Tunisia (200,000), Senegal (45,000), Mali (40,000), Cambodia (45,000), Laos (30,000), Vietnam (35,000). Much of this recent immigration was initially economical, but many of these immigrants have remained in France, gained citizenship and integrated into French socety. Estimates vary, but of the 60 million people living in France today, close to 4 million claim foreign origin. This massive influx has created tensions in contemporary France, especially over issues of "integration into French society" and the notion of a "French identity", and in recent years the most controversal issues have been with regards to muslum populations (at 7%, Islam is the second largest religion in today's France; see Islam in France). All these statistics must be taken with some caution: since 1872, the French Republic does not require religion or ethnic origin in its census information or other official polls. ...


Eastern-European and North-African Jewish immigration to France largely began in the mid to late 19th century. In 1872, there was an estimated 86,000 Jews living in France, and by 1945 this would increase to 300,000. Many Jews integrated (or attempted to integrate) into French society, although French nationalism lead to anti-semitism in many quarters. The Vichy regime's collaboration with the Nazi holocaust lead to the extermination of 76,000 French Jews (the Vichy authorities however gave preferencial treatment to "integrated" Jews who had been in France from two to five generations and who had fought in World War I or held important administrative positions in the government), and of all other Western European countries, this figure is second only to Germany; but many Jews were also saved by acts of heroism and administrative refusal to participate in the deportation (three quarters of France's Jewish population was spared, a higher proportion than any other European country touched by the holocaust). Since the 1960s, France has experienced a great deal of Jewish immigration from the Mediterranean and North Africa, and the Jewish population in France is estimated at around 600,000 today. Vichy France (French: now called Régime de Vichy or Vichy; called itself at the time État Français, or French State) was the French state of 1940-1944 which was a puppet government under Nazi influence, as opposed to the Free French Forces, based first in London and later in Algiers. ... Concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust The Holocaust was Nazi Germanys systematic genocide (ethnic cleansing) of various ethnic, religious, national, and secular groups during World War II. Early elements include the Kristallnacht pogrom and the T-4 Euthanasia Program established by Hitler that killed some 200,000 people. ...


At the turn of the century almost half of all Frenchmen depended on the land for their living, and up until World War II, France remained a largely rural country (roughly 25% of the population worked on the land in 1950), but the post-war years also saw an unprecedented move to the cities: only around 4% of the French continue to work in farms and 73% live today in large cities. By far the largest of these is Paris, at 2.1 million inhabitants (11 million in the Parisian region), followed by Lille, Lyons, Marseille (upwards of 1.2 million inhabitants each). Much of this urbanization takes place not in the traditional center of the cities, but in the suburbs (or "banlieues") that surround them (the cement and steel housing projects in these areas are called "cités"). With immigration from poorer countries, these "cités" have been the center of racial and class tensions since the 1960s. The Eiffel Tower, the international symbol of the city, with the skyscrapers of La Défense business district 5 km/ 3 mi behind. ... City motto: – City proper (commune) Région Nord-Pas de Calais Département Nord (59) Mayor Martine Aubry (PS) (since 2001) Area 39. ... Lyons), see Lyons (disambiguation). ... City motto: Actibus immensis urbs fulget Massiliensis. ...


French Identity

The loss of regional and traditional culture (language and accent, local customs in dress and food), the poverty of many rural regions and the rise of modern urban structures (housing projects, supermarkets) have created tensions in modern France between traditionalists and progressives. Compounding the loss of regionalisms is the role of the French capital and the centralized French State.


Independentist movements sprung up in Brittany, Corsica and the Basque regions, while the Vichy Regime (echoing Nazi racial propaganda) actively encouraged local "folk" traditions and Catholicism which they saw as truer foundations for the French nation. Traditional coat of arms This article is about the historical kingdom, duchy and French province, as well as one of the Celtic Nations . ... Capital Ajaccio Land area¹ 8,680 km² President of the Executive Council Ange Santini (UMP) (since 2004) Population   - Jan. ... The Basque Country (Euskal Herria in Basque) straddles the western Pyrenees mountains that define the border between France and Spain, extending down to the coast of the Bay of Biscay. ... Vichy France (French: now called Régime de Vichy or Vichy; called itself at the time État Français, or French State) was the French state of 1940-1944 which was a puppet government under Nazi influence, as opposed to the Free French Forces, based first in London and later in Algiers. ...


Developed from the French Revolution (itself an improvement on the centralized state of the absolute monarchy), the centralized French State in the 20th century has had expansive powers in all aspects of French daily life (social security, industry, education, employment, transportation).


The post-war years also saw the state take control of a number of French industries. The modern political climate has however been for increasing regional power ("decentralization") and for reduced state control in private enterprise ("privatization").


Historical Overview

World War I (1914-1918) and its aftermath

Main articles: World War I and Aftermath of World War I
A French bayonet charge in World War I
A French bayonet charge in World War I

World War I (1914-1918) brought great losses of troops and resources. Fought in large part on French soil, it lead to approximately 1.4 million French dead including civilians (see World War I casualties), and four times as many casualties.The stipulations of the Treaty of Versailles (1919) were severe: Alsace and Lorraine were returned to France; Germany was required to take full responsibility for the war and to pay war reparations; the German industrial Saarland, a coal and steel region, was occupied by France. Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Woodrow Wilson and the American peace commissioners during the negotiations on the Treaty of Versailles. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (874x523, 137 KB) Summary This image was scanned from The Story of the Great War, Volume III, Francis Joseph Reynolds et al, 1916. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (874x523, 137 KB) Summary This image was scanned from The Story of the Great War, Volume III, Francis Joseph Reynolds et al, 1916. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Pie chart showing deaths by alliance and military/civilian. ... The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was the peace treaty which officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ... War reparations refer to the monetary compensation provided to a triumphant nation or coalition from a defeated nation or coalition. ... Saarland is one of the 16 states of Germany. ...


France in the 1920 and 1930s

Main article: French Third Republic

In the congress of Tours in 1920, the socialist party (SFIO) was split in two and the majority broke away and formed the French Communist Party (Section française de l'internationale communiste). The remaining minority, led by Léon Blum, "kept the old house" and stayed in the SFIO. In 1924 and again in 1932, the Socialists joined with the Radical-Socialist Party in the "Coalitions of the Left" (Cartels des Gauches), but refused actually to join the non-Socialist governments led by the Radicals Edouard Herriot and Edouard Daladier. Daladier resigned under pression of the far-right leagues after the February 6, 1934 crisis, and conservative Gaston Doumergue was appointed president of the Council. The left-wing had feared a fascist coup d'état as those that had taken place with the 1922 March on Rome and events in Germany. Therefore, under the Comintern's influence, the Communists changed their line and adopted an "antifascist union" line, which led to the Popular Front (1936-38), which won the 1936 elections and brought Blum to power as France's first socialist prime minister. The Popular Front was composed of radicals and socialists, while the communists supported it without participating in it (in much the same way that socialists had supported radicals' governments before World War I without participating in them). Within a year, however, Léon Blum's government collapsed over economic policy, opposition from the bourgeoisie (the famous "200 hundreds families") and also over the issue of the Spanish Civil War (Blum decided that he couldn't afford to support the Spanish Republicans, which led to huge deceptions among the French left-wing, while Hitler and Mussolini unashamedly armed and supported Franco's troups). A map of France under the Third Republic, featuring colonies. ... Location within France Tours Cathedral: 15th century Flamboyante Gothic west front with Renaissance pinnacles, 1547 Tours Cathedral. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... The Section Française de lInternationale Ouvrière (SFIO), founded in 1905, was the French section of the Second International. ... The French Communist Party (French: Parti communiste français or PCF) is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism. ... Léon Blum Léon Blum (9 April 1872 - 30 March 1950), was the Prime Minister of France three times: from 1936 to 1937, for one month in 1938, and from December 1946 to January 1947. ... A number of political organizations have called themselves the Radical Party, or have Radical as part of their name. ... Categories: Politics stubs | Liberal related stubs | 1872 births | 1957 deaths | Members of the Académie française | Prime ministers of France | Alumni of the École Normale Supérieure ... French politician Édouard Daladier Édouard Daladier (June 18, 1884 - October 10, 1970) was a French politician, and Prime Minister of France at the start of the Second World War. ... The February 6, 1934 crisis refers to an anti-parliamentarist demonstration organised in Paris by far-right leagues (antiparliamentarian militias), which finished by a riot on Place de la Concorde. ... Gaston Doumergue, French statesman Pierre-Paul-Henri-Gaston Doumergue (August 11, 1863 at Aigues-Vives, France-June 18, 1937 at Aigues-Vives, France) was a French politician of the Third Republic. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A coup détat (pronounced ), or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government through unconstitutional means by a part of the state establishment that mostly replaces just the top power figures. ... For the movie by Dino Risi, see March on Rome (film) The March on Rome was the name given to the coup détat by which Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy in late October 1922. ... The Comintern (from Russian Коммунистический Интернационал (Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional) – Communist International), also known as the Third International, was an independent international Communist organization founded in March 1919 by Vladmir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and the Russian Communist Party (bolshevik), which intended to fight by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of... Popular Fronts comprise broad coalitions of political and other groups, often made up of oppositioners or left wingers, and often united against particularly stringent circumstances. ... bourgeoisie is basically a trem that meens middle class. ... The Spanish Civil War (July 18, 1936–April 1, 1939) was a conflict in which the incumbent Second Spanish Republic and political left-wing groups fought against a right-wing nationalist insurrection led by General Francisco Franco, who eventually succeeded in ousting the Republican government and establishing a personal dictatorship. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Benito Mussolini created a fascist state through the use of propaganda, total control of the media and disassembly of the working democratic government. ... The name Franco may refer to: Francisco Franco, Dictator of Spain from 1936 to 1975 Francois Luambo Makiadi, a Congolese musician and founder of the band OK Jazz active from the 1950s to 1980s ...


The French far right expanded greatly and theories of race and anti-semitism proliferated in many quarters. Numerous far-right and anti-parliamentarian leagues, similar to the fascist leagues, sprang up, including colonel de la Rocque's Croix-de-Feu 1927-1936 which, like its larger rival the monarchist Action Française (founded in 1898, condemned by Pope Pius XI in 1926, Action Française supported a restoration of the monarchy and of Roman Catholicism as the state religion) advocated national integralism (the belief that society is an organic unity) and organized popular demonstrations in reaction to the Stavisky Affair 1934, hoping to overthrow the government (see February 6, 1934 crisis). The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... Fascio (plural: fasci) is an Italian word which in the 1890s came to refer to radical political groups. ... Croix de Feu was a French nationalist group of the Interwar period. ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Action Française is a French Monarchist movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras. ... Pius XI (Latin: ), born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti (May 31, 1857 – February 10, 1939), reigned as Pope from February 6, 1922 and sovereign of Vatican City from 1929 until his death on February 10, 1939. ... 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Integralism is a belief that society is an organic unity. ... The Stavisky Affair was a series of demonstrations and riots in Paris, which occurred on February 6, 1934 against the Socialist government in France at the time. ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... The February 6, 1934 crisis refers to an anti-parliamentarist demonstration organised in Paris by far-right leagues (antiparliamentarian militias), which finished by a riot on Place de la Concorde. ...


In the 1920s, France established an elaborate system of border defences (the Maginot Line) and alliances (see Little Entente) to offset resurgent German strength and in the 1930s, the massive losses of the war lead many in France to choose a policy guaranteeing peace, even in the face of Hitler's violations of the Versailles treaty and (later) his demands at Munich in 1938; this would be the much maligned policy of appeasement. In some milieus in France, including people in the government and the army, there was also a defeatist movement which saw in Hitler's Germany not a rival that France should confront, but a force that France should accommodate. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Social issues of the 1920s. ... The Maginot Line (IPA: [maÊ’ino], named after French minister of defense André Maginot) was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defenses which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy in the wake of World War II. Generally the term... Little Entente was the name of an alliance formed in 1920 and 1921 by Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia with the purpose of defending against Hungarian irredentism and preventing the Habsburg restoration. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Munich (German: München, (pronounced listen) is the capital of the German Federal State of Bavaria. ... Appeasement is a strategic maneuver, based on either pragmatism, fear of war, or moral conviction, that leads to the known acceptance of imposed conditions in lieu of armed resistance. ...


Also see: 1920 in France.


World War II

Main articles: World War II, Vichy France, and French Resistance

In September, 1939 Hitler invaded Poland, and France and England declared war. Both armies were mobilized to the Western Front, but for the next 8 months neither side made a move: this would be called the "Phony War". The German Blitzkrieg began its attack in May 1940, and in six weeks of savage fighting the French lost 130,000 (twice the number of American loses at Normandy in 1944) and the British army was routed (the Dunkirk boat lift). France surrendered to Nazi Germany on June 24, 1940. Nazi Germany occupied three fifths of France's territory (the Atlantic seaboard and most a France north of the Loire), leaving the rest to the new Vichy collaboration government established on July 10, 1940 under Henri Philippe Pétain. Its senior leaders acquiesced in the plunder of French resources, as well as the sending of French forced labor to Nazi Germany; in doing so, they claimed they hoped to preserve at least some small amount of French sovereignty. After an initial period of double-dealing and passive collaboration with the Nazis, the Vichy regime passed to active participation (largely the work of prime minister Pierre Laval). The Nazi German occupation proved costly as Nazi Germany appropriated a full one-half of France's public sector revenue. Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... Presidential flag of Vichy France For other uses of Vichy, see Vichy (disambiguation). ... The French Resistance is the name used for resistance movements that fought military occupation of France by Nazi Germany and the Vichy France undemocratic regime during World War II after the government and the high command of France surrendered in 1940. ... Download high resolution version (1049x1461, 141 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1049x1461, 141 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945) was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 and Führer (Leader) of Germany from 1934 until his death. ... June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 191 days remaining. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... British Ministry of Home Security Poster The Phony War, or in Winston Churchills words the Twilight War, was a phase in early World War II marked by few military operations in Continental Europe, in the months following the German invasion of Poland. ... Blitzkrieg relies on close co-operation between infantry and panzers (tanks). ... Location of Dunkirk in the arrondissement of Dunkirk Location within France Dunkirks seafront Map of Dunkirk courtesy of the Calgary Highlanders. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... June 24 is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 190 days remaining. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Loire is a département in the east-central part of France occupying the Loire Rivers upper reaches. ... Presidential flag of Vichy France For other uses of Vichy, see Vichy (disambiguation). ... Collaboration (co+labor+ation) refers abstractly to all processes wherein people work together —applying both to the work of individuals as well as larger collectives and societies. ... July 10 is the 191st day (192nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 174 days remaining. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Philippe Pétain Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain (April 24, 1856 - July 23, 1951), generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain, was a French soldier and leader of Vichy France. ... Pierre Laval, prime minister of Vichy France Pierre Laval (June 28, 1883 – October 15, 1945) was a French politician and thrice Prime Minister of France, the final time being under the Vichy government. ...


On the other hand, those who refused defeat and collaboration with Nazi Germany, such as Charles de Gaulle, organized the Free French Forces in UK and coordinated resistance movements in occupied and Vichy France. Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle ( ) (22 November 1890 - 9 November 1970), in France commonly referred to as le général de Gaulle, was a French military leader and statesman. ... The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters in World War II, who decided to continue fighting against Axis forces after the surrender of France and German occupation, following the call of General De Gaulle, and the de jure government (Free French Government) of France... The French Resistance is the name used for resistance movements that fought military occupation of France by Nazi Germany and the Vichy France undemocratic regime during World War II after the government and the high command of France surrendered in 1940. ...


After four years of occupation and strife, Allied forces, including Free France, liberated France in 1944. Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944. On September 10, 1944, Charles de Gaulle installed his provisional government in Paris. This time he remained in Paris until the end of the war, refusing to abandon even when Paris was temporarily threatened by German troops during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters who decided to go on fighting against Germany after the Fall of France and German occupation and to fight against Vichy France in World War II. General Charles de Gaulle was a member of the French Cabinet in... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... August 25 is the 237th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (238th in leap years), with 128 days remaining. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years). ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle ( ) (22 November 1890 - 9 November 1970), in France commonly referred to as le général de Gaulle, was a French military leader and statesman. ... Combatants United States United Kingdom Germany Commanders Dwight D. Eisenhower Gerd von Rundstedt Strength Dec 16 - start of the Battle: about 83,000 men; 242 Sherman tanks, 182 tank destroyers, and 394 pieces of corps and divisional artillery. ...


The Post-War Period

Main articles: France after Libération (1944–1946), French Fourth Republic, and French Fifth Republic

France emerged from World War II to face a series of new problems. After a short period of provisional government initially led by General Charles de Gaulle, a new constitution (October 13, 1946) established the Fourth Republic under a parliamentary form of government controlled by a series of coalitions. The mixed nature of the coalitions and a consequent lack of agreement on measures for dealing with colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria caused successive cabinet crises and changes of government. The war in Indochina ended with French withdrawal in 1954. Between 1944 and 1946 France was ruled by the Provisional Government of the French Republic (Gouvernement provisoire de la République française). ... The Fourth Republic existed in France between 1946 and 1958. ... The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, which was introduced on October 5, 1958. ... Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle ( ) (22 November 1890 - 9 November 1970), in France commonly referred to as le général de Gaulle, was a French military leader and statesman. ... October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years). ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... The Fourth Republic existed in France between 1946 and 1958. ... French Indochina was a federation of protectorates in Southeast Asia, part of the French colonial empire. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The May 1958 seizure of power in Algiers by French army units and French settlers opposed to concessions in the face of Arab nationalist insurrection led to the fall of the French government and a presidential invitation to de Gaulle to form an emergency government to forestall the threat of civil war. Swiftly replacing the existing constitution with one strengthening the powers of the presidency, he became the elected president in December of that year, inaugurating France's Fifth Republic. 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Map of Algeria showing Algiers province Algiers (French Alger, (Arabic: ولاية الجزائر) El-Jazair, The Islands) is the capital and largest city of Algeria in North Africa. ... The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, which was introduced on October 5, 1958. ...

Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French in World War II and President of France from 1958 to 1969
Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French in World War II and President of France from 1958 to 1969

In 1959, in an occasion marking the first time in the 20th century that the people of France went to the polls to elect a president by direct ballot, de Gaulle won re-election with a 55% share of the vote, defeating François Mitterrand. Image File history File links Charles_de_Gaulle. ... Image File history File links Charles_de_Gaulle. ... Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle ( ) (22 November 1890 - 9 November 1970), in France commonly referred to as le général de Gaulle, was a French military leader and statesman. ... The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters who decided to go on fighting against Germany after the Fall of France and German occupation and to fight against Vichy France in World War II. General Charles de Gaulle was a member of the French Cabinet in... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... The President of France, known officially as the President of the Republic (Président de la République in French), is Frances elected Head of State. ... (help· info) (October 26, 1916 – January 8, 1996) was a French politician. ...


However, French society grew tired of the heavy-handed, patriarchal Gaullist approach. This led to the events of May 1968, when students revolted, with a variety of demands including educational, labor and governmental reforms, sexual and artistic freedom, and the end of the Vietnam War. The student protest movement quickly joined with labor and mass strikes erupted. At one point, de Gaulle went to see troops in Baden-Baden, possibly to secure the help of the army in case it were needed to maintain public order. However, the June 1968 legislative elections saw a majority of Gaullists in parliament. Still, May 1968 was a turning point in French social relations, in the direction of more personal freedoms and less social control, be it in work relations, education or in private life. May 1968 poster: Be young and shut up. ... Students attending a lecture at the Helsinki University of Technology The word student is etymologically derived through Middle English from the Latin second-type conjugation verb stŭdērĕ, meaning to direct ones zeal at; hence a student is one who directs zeal at a subject. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) United States of America South Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand the Philippines Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) Strength ~1,200,000 (1968) ~420,000 (1968) Casualties South Vietnamese dead: 230,000 South Vietnamese wounded: 300,000 US dead... Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Baden-Baden is a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. ...


In April 1969, de Gaulle resigned following the defeat in a national referendum of government proposals for the creation of 21 regions with limited political powers. Succeeding him as president of France have been: 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ...

While France continues to revere its rich history and independence, French leaders increasingly tie the future of France to the continued development of the European Union (EU). During President Mitterrand's tenure, he stressed the importance of European integration and advocated the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty on European economic and political union, which France's electorate narrowly approved in September 1992. Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou (July 5, 1911 – April 2, 1974) was President of France from 1969 until his death in 1974. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1974 calendar). ... This article needs to be updated. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1974 calendar). ... (help· info) (October 26, 1916 – January 8, 1996) was a French politician. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jacques René Chirac (born November 29, 1932), French politician, is President of the French Republic. ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Maastricht Treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union) was signed on 7 February 1992 in Maastricht between the members of the European Community and entered into force on 1 November 1993, under the Delors Commission. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ...


Current President Jacques Chirac assumed office May 17, 1995, after a campaign focused on the need to combat France's stubbornly high unemployment rate. The center of domestic attention soon shifted, however, to the economic reform and belt-tightening measures required for France to meet the criteria for Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) laid out by the Maastricht Treaty. In late 1995, France experienced its worst labor unrest in at least a decade, as employees protested government cutbacks. Jacques René Chirac (born November 29, 1932), French politician, is President of the French Republic. ... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... An 1837 political cartoon about unemployment in the United States. ... In economics, a monetary union is a situation where several countries have agreed to share a single currency among them. ...

President Chirac and United States President George W. Bush talk over issues during the 27th G8 summit, 21 July 2001.
President Chirac and United States President George W. Bush talk over issues during the 27th G8 summit, 21 July 2001.

On the foreign and security policy front, Chirac took a more assertive approach to protecting French peacekeepers in the former Yugoslavia and helped promote the Dayton Agreement negotiated in Dayton, Ohio and signed in Paris in December 1995. The French have stood among the strongest supporters of NATO and EU policy in the Balkans. Image File history File links President Bush and President Chirac of France talk over issues during the G-8 sessions, July 21, 2001. ... Image File history File links President Bush and President Chirac of France talk over issues during the G-8 sessions, July 21, 2001. ... The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States and a former governor of Texas. ... Official family picture The 27th G8 summit took place in Genoa, Italy, in July 2001. ... July 21 is the 202nd day (203rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 163 days remaining. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, i. ... Skyline of Dayton from the north, across the Great Miami River. ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance or the Western Alliance, is an international organisation for collective security established in 1949, in support of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, DC, on 4 April 1949. ...


French colonies

Map of the first (light blue) and second (dark blue — plain and hachured) French colonial empires. ... Colonialism in 1945 Decolonization is the process by which a colony gains its independence from a colonial power, a process opposite to colonization. ... // French rule in Algeria, 1830–1962 Most of Frances actions in Algeria, not least the invasion of Algiers, were propelled by contradictory impulses. ... Algerian Nationalism A new generation of Muslim leadership emerged in Algeria at the time of World War I and grew to maturity during the 1920s and 1930s. ... The Algerian War of Independence (1954–62) was a period of guerrilla strikes, maquis fighting, terrorism against civilians on both sides, and riots between the French army and colonists, or the colons as they were called, in French special département Algeria and the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale... French Equatorial Africa (Afrique Équatoriale Française, AEF) was the federation of French colonial possessions in Middle Africa, extending northwards from the Congo River to the Sahara Desert. ... French West Africa (Afrique occidentale française, or AOF) was a federation of eight French territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), Guinea, Côte dIvoire, Niger, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Dahomey (now Benin). ... French Indochina was a federation of protectorates in Southeast Asia, part of the French colonial empire. ... Combatants French Republic Viet Minh Commanders Strength 500,000  ? Casualties 94,581 dead 78,127 wounded 40,000 captured 300,000+ dead 500,000+ wounded 100,000 captured The First Indochina War (also called the French Indochina War) was fought in Southeast Asia from 1946 through 1954 between the nation... // French Colonial Occupation In October of 1887, the French announced the formation of the Union Indochinoise (Indochinese Union), which at that time comprised Cambodia, already an autonomous French possession, and the three regions of Vietnam (Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina. ... The French Community was the political entity which replaced the French Union, which in turn was the descendant of the French Empire following the Second World War. ...

Economy

Main articles: Economic history of France and Economy of France

Since World War Two, France enjoyed 30 years of economical growth, called the Trente Glorieuses. ... With a GDP of 1. ...

Literature

Main article: French literature of the 20th century

French literature of the twentieth century is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in French from (roughly) 1895 to 1990. ...

Art

Main article: French art of the 20th century

The following is an overview of French art of the 20th century. ...

Political crisis

The February 6, 1934 crisis refers to an anti-parliamentarist demonstration organised in Paris by far-right leagues (antiparliamentarian militias), which finished by a riot on Place de la Concorde. ... May 1968 poster: Be young and shut up. ...

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