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HIS388H1 (6)
Lecture 10

Lecture 10.doc

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Nathalie Fournier

Allies liberated France - DeGaul said that France was nation of resistors o This was essentially not true, very few were active resistors - France did enough during war to maintain trappings of Great Power Status o France became permanent member of UN on security council o France was given share of Germany o Myth of Degaul played role in enabling France to maintain great power status - British and Americans had motive for giving France great power status since it was democratic Western European power - France was given some Germany land since occupation was costly - Terrible condition of France in 1944-45 - In WWI damage was more intensive and localized, in WWII the damage was extensive o Except for south-west most of country saw some fighting o Germans systematically looted France for 4 years - France lost export market - Fuel was in short supply and food - Country remained on rationing till 1949 - Tremendous inflation o 420 francs to the dollar after the war - There was a purge upon liberation o 10,000 French citizens were executed for collaborating with Germans  Including Pierre Laval  Petain was guilty of treason, lived out rest of life in prison, buried in prison graveyard  Charles Maurras was sentenced to life in prison upon which he proclaimed, it is the revenge of Dreyfus. o Renewed ideals of French revolution  Sense that resistance leaders would be new leaders of Europe - Elections for new constitutive assembly in October 1945 o Electorate was diverse, included men, returned prisoners of war, and for first time, women o Degaul had given women right to vote in Algeria in 1944 o France lagged behind on equal rights for women  This is because of influential philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau who in Emile depicted women as unfit for political life, they belong in private and domestic sphere  Most revolutionaries followed Rousseau’s line • Napoleonic code – Women did not have full rights with men, - The conflict between Church and State had been in conflict since 1789 o Women tended to be more active in church because of place in family life, o Republicans were reluctant to give women vote, because they were thought to be conservative and that would strengthen Bonapartism and Monarchists - Due to this tradition France lagged behind - Degaul’s mother was very successful, he thought women would support him if he gave them vote, but they probably would’ve gotten it anyway due to WWII where they were responsible in resistance and learned to cope independently - Consensus in France that the Third Republic should be reformed, o General shift in politics to the left o Three major political parties after 1945, all of which were on left or moderate left  Communist party was popular due to role it played in resistance • They had strong influence over trade unions • Maurice Thorez was the leader and urged workers to support reconstruction, and abandoned independence for colonies, they were being moderate – 25% of vote  SFIO – Socialist party led by Leon Blum had 25% of vote  The third group was new political party MRP – Movement Republican Popular – made up of mainly Catholics, part of trend of Christian democracy • In contrast with pre-war right wing Catholics, they were centrist and even slightly left party o Accepted the role of Church in society, didn’t divide French politics • MRP received large share of votes from women – one of leaders was Robert Schuman – German officer in Germany army in Alsace, but once it was returned to France he was on their side - Catholics believed that Europe should be unified, this was captured by election as pope of 1958 John XXIII o Represented this trend, he was most left-wing pope ever, - France voted 20-1 to ban third Republic - Degaul was very popular in 1945, most popular French man since Napoleon o He refused to associate himself with any one party - Degaul wanted strong presidency, to save France and guide it o This was not popular idea however, reaction against authoritarian leaders o Degaul in this sense was out of step with the times o He resigned in 1946, - French people supported parliamentarians - The left looked back to original revolution - Jacobin revolution – and they wanted one chamber government but MRP opposed it thinking it would lead to communist leadership - 1946 public voted and sided with MRP o They became most popular party in France - Drew up chamber of deputies, upper house, president chosen by parliamentarians th rd - Ironicallyth4 Republic constitution was pretty similar to 3 Republic rd o 4 republic had same sort of revolving door of governing that 3 Republic had o This was formula for bureaucracy to have a lot of power o 4 republic was least respected republic o Dominated by series of coalitions between MRP and Socialist party - As cold war tensions grew, people began to fear the communist party - Americans were also suspicious of communist party - In 1947 Americans announced Marshall plan, it provided economic subsidies for countries will to work together in coordinated economic planning – this meant capitalist planning o Formula for excluding communist - America created NATO, this solved huge problem of national security for France since 1870***** o Grand coalition to safeguard Western Europe, headquarters were in Paris - Relations between France and America were complicated o American soldiers were not welcome in France, American GI’s engaged in illegal activities in France – drunk driving, prostitution, black market, robbery  Americans were angry that French were gouging them and not showing enough gratitude, - After WWII the threat of Soviet Union, Americans felt compelled to stay in Europe o Anti-communism trumped Franco-American relations o Communist party was opposed to alliance with Americans, they were anti NATO, anti Germany, anti American - Anti-Americanism became popular with French left o Coca Cola was symbol of American tyranny o Denounced capitalism and imperialism 
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