May 1968, Events of
- The Events of May 1968 were an economic, social, political, and cultural crisis that cut across France's fifth republic. The sense of confrontation, existing since 1967 in the student milieu, in France as well as abroad, was openly manifested in early spring 1968, with the birth at the university of Nanterre of the Mouvement du 22 mars (begun by daniel cohen-bendit), which violently questioned the role and purpose of higher education. The unrest brought about the closing of the university of Nan-terre (May 2) then of the sorbonne (May 3), provoking confrontations between students and the police (riots and barricades during the night of May 10 and 11 in the Latin Quarter in Paris). The movement won over the workers and, on May 13, on the call of the main labor unions, there was an important demonstration in Paris, accompanied by a general strike that paralyzed the country for a few days. Meanwhile, a break occurred between the "leftist" movements (Trotskyites, Maoists, Anarchists) and the CGT (Confédération générale du travail) and the PCF (Parti communiste française), which, condemning all "adventurism," sought to limit the conflict to social demands. The signing of the Grenelle Accords (May 27) between the government and the representatives of the labor unions was not welcomed by certain elements who staged a demonstration on the same day. After being assured of the support of the army, General charles de gaulle announced the dissolution of the National Assembly and reshuffled the government, while his supporters staged a demonstration in his favor on the Champs-Elysées on May 30. Work resumed progressively during the month of June. The crisis in fact strengthened the government, which won a large victory in the legislative elections of June 23-30 that year. Nonetheless, the Events of May 1968, revealed the existence of a profound malaise and, by questioning traditional values, had important consequences for the development of society as a whole.
France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.
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