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French Fourth Republic

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Fifth Republic

The Fourth Republic existed in France between 1946 and 1958. It was the period when the French were under France's fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic which had ruled before the Second World War. France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic on October 13, 1946.

Some attempts were made to strengthen the executive to prevent the unstable situation that had existed before the war, but the instability remained and the Fourth Republic saw frequent changes in government. The ineffective government prosecuted the First Indochina War half-heartedly, with the United States' backing, until the defeat of Dien Bien Phu and the subsequent armistice.

The instability and uneffectiveness problems of the Fourth Republic came to a head in 1958 because of the Algerian War, which pitted Algerian colonists, the army, and the far right, against the left and those who wanted peace. To deal with this problem the nation turned to WWII hero Charles de Gaulle who assumed power under the precondition that a new constitution would be introduced creating a powerful presidency. These changes were introduced and the Fifth Republic was born.

Prime Ministers of France during the Fourth Republic

Prime Minister from to Party
Charles de Gaulle June 1, 1958 January 8, 1959 UNR
Pierre Pflimlin May 13, 1958 June 1, 1958 MRP
Félix Gaillard November 6, 1957 May 13, 1958 Radical
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury June 12, 1957 November 6, 1957 Radical
Guy Mollet January 31, 1956 June 12, 1957 SFIO
Edgar Faure February 23, 1955 January 31, 1956 Radical
Christian Pineau February 17, 1955 February 23, 1955 Radical
Pierre Mendès-France June 18, 1954 February 17, 1955 Radical
Joseph Laniel June 27, 1953 June 18, 1954 CNIP
René Mayer January 8, 1953 June 27, 1953 Radical
Antoine Pinay March 8, 1952 January 8, 1953 CNIP
Edgar Faure January 20, 1952 March 8, 1952 Radical
René Pleven August 11, 1951 January 20, 1952 UDSR
Henri Queuille March 10, 1951 August 11, 1951 Radical
René Pleven July 12, 1950 March 10, 1951 UDSR
Henri Queuille July 2, 1950 July 12, 1950 Radical
Georges Bidault October 28, 1949 July 2, 1950 MRP
Henri Queuille September 11, 1948 October 28, 1949 Radical
Robert Schuman September 5, 1948 September 11, 1948 MRP
André Marie July 26, 1948 September 5, 1948 Radical
Robert Schuman November 24, 1947 July 26, 1948 MRP
Paul Ramadier January 22, 1947 November 24, 1947 SFIO

Last updated: 02-07-2005 21:31:12
Last updated: 03-02-2005 13:25:23