De Gaulle’s Legacy: The Art of Power in France’s Fifth by William R. Nester (auth.)

By William R. Nester (auth.)

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Additional info for De Gaulle’s Legacy: The Art of Power in France’s Fifth Republic

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57 While reformers cheered these votes for reform, the National Assembly results troubled many of them. 5 percent and 29 seats. The National Assembly voted unanimously for de Gaulle to be president on November 21, 1945. The Communist Party then demanded three ministries in his government with at least one in defense, interior, or foreign affairs. After eight days of haggling, de Gaulle granted the Communist Party the ministries of economy, labor, and armaments, while its chair, Maurice Thorez, became a minister without portfolio.

Ironically, the Americans and Russians set aside their Cold War animosities and briefly united to demand that foreign troops withdraw from Egypt. The French, British, and Israelis reluctantly complied. France suffered the worst consequences, as its political defeat encouraged nationalists in its remaining colonies to press for independence. In the late 1950s, the French rapidly shed their African empire. The Fourth Republic began by recognizing the independence of Tunisia and Morocco on June 3, 1955, and March 2, 1956, respectively.

The French had three years to decide whether to remain or return to France. During these three years, the French army would remain in Algeria, cooperating with the FLN to uphold public order. Algeria would remain in the franc zone. France would retain control over the Sahara’s natural resources for five years before Algeria took over. The French navy would keep its base at Mers-el-Kebir for 15 years. 4 percent abstained, and 4 percent of ballots were spoiled. 72 percent of French and Arab Algerians who voted favored independence.

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