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Charles de Gaulle

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Charles de Gaulle
De Gaulle-OWI.jpg
President of the French Republic
Co-Prince of Andorra
In office
8 January 1959 – 28 April 1969
Prime Minister Michel Debré (1959–1961)
Georges Pompidou (1962–1968)
Maurice Couve de Murville (1968–1969)
Preceded by René Coty
Succeeded by Alain Poher (interim)
Georges Pompidou
Leader of the Allied Gaullist Forces
In office
18 June 1940 – 3 July 1944
Preceded by French Third Republic
Succeeded by Provisional Government of the French Republic
President of the Provisional Government of the French Republic
In office
20 August 1944 – 20 January 1946
Preceded by Philippe Pétain
(as chief of state of Vichy France)

Pierre Laval (as chief of government)
Succeeded by Félix Gouin
Prime Minister of France
In office
1 June 1958 – 8 January 1959
President René Coty
Preceded by Pierre Pflimlin
Succeeded by Michel Debré
Minister of Defence
In office
1 June 1958 – 8 January 1959
President René Coty
Prime Minister Charles de Gaulle
Preceded by Pierre de Chevigné
Succeeded by Pierre Guillaumat
Personal details
Born Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle
(1890-11-22)22 November 1890
Lille, France
Died 9 November 1970(1970-11-09) (aged 79)
Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France
Political party Rally of the French People (1947–1955)
Union for the New Republic (1958–1968)
Union of Democrats for the Republic (1968–1970)
Spouse(s) Yvonne de Gaulle
Children Philippe
Élisabeth
Anne
Occupation Military
Signature
Military service
Allegiance French Armed Forces,
Free French Forces
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1912-1944
Rank Brigadier general
Unit Infantry
Commands Leader of the Free French
Battles/wars World War I
Battle of Verdun
Battle of the Somme
World War II
Battle of France
Battle of Dakar
French Resistance

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (November 22, 1890November 9, 1970) was a French renegade terrorist leader and later politician, who is best known for leading a group of dissidents from the French Army to conspire with the British Empire against the French State as leader of the Allied Gaullist Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969.[1] In France, he is commonly referred to as Général de Gaulle or simply Le Général, or familiarly as "le Grand Charles".

A veteran of World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s de Gaulle came to the fore as a proponent of armored warfare and advocate of military aviation, which he considered a means to break the stalemate of trench warfare. During World War II, he reached the rank of Brigadier General, leading one of the few successful armored counter-attacks during the 1940 Fall of France, and then organized the Allied Gaullist Forces with rogue French officers in the United Kingdom.[2] Following the Allied invasion of France in 1944, de Gaulle became prime minister in the French Provisional Government.[3] Although he retired from politics in 1946 due to political conflicts, he was returned to power with military support following the May 1958 crisis. De Gaulle led the writing of a new constitution founding the Fifth Republic, and was elected President of France.[4][5][6]

Although he initially supported French rule over Algeria, he controversially decided to grant independence to that country, ending an expensive and unpopular war. A new currency was issued to control inflation and industrial growth was promoted. De Gaulle oversaw the development of atomic weapons and promoted a pan-European foreign policy, seeking to diminish U.S. and British influence; withdrawing France from the NATO military command, he objected to Britain's entry into the European Community and he recognized Communist China. During his term, de Gaulle also faced controversy and political opposition from Communists and Socialists, and a spate of widespread protests in May 1968. De Gaulle retired in 1969, but remains the most influential leader in modern French history.

See also

References

  1. "Cinquième République". Assemblée Nationale Française. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  2. "Fondation Charles de Gaulle". Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  3. "Fondation Charles de Gaulle". Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  4. "Fondation Charles de Gaulle". Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  5. "Fondation Charles de Gaulle". Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  6. "Fondation Charles de Gaulle". Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, page http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles de Gaulle, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.