Gaulle, Charles de

   military figure, statesman
   The architect of the fifth republic and its first president (1959-69), Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille and educated at saint-cyr. During World War I, he served with distinction at verdun (1916) and was wounded and taken prisoner. After the war, he served as aide-de-camp to Marshal Philippe pétain. De Gaulle gained prominence early as a result of his writings (Vers l'Armée de métier, 1934), in which he advocated a highly mechanized army. At the beginning of World War II, he attained the rank of brigadier general. After the fall of France to Germany (1940), he escaped to London, where he announced the formation of a French National Committee in Exile. In 1942, it was officially recognized by both the resistance leaders and the Allied governments. As president of the Free French, de Gaulle commanded all French forces. in September 1940, de Gaulle's forces, including French colonials and a part of the French fleet, made an unsuccessful attack on Dakar, Senegal. In however, they took Madagascar. in June de Gaulle joined the Committee of National Liberation in Algiers as copresident, with General Henri giraud. Later, as sole president, de Gaulle moved the committee's headquarters to London (1944), then to Paris (August 1944), after the Liberation. in November 1945, de Gaulle became provisional premier-president, but he resigned two months later because of disputes with the legislature over the issue of executive power. in 1947, he organized a new political movement—the rassemblement du peuple français (RPF)—that in the 1951 elections won the majority in the National Assembly. The party strove to centralize the government and promote private enterprise, but by 1953, the movement had declined and de Gaulle went into retirement. In May 1958, when France was confronted with the threat of civil war because of the Algerian question (see Algeria), de Gaulle was recalled to serve as premier. He was granted the power to rule by decree for six months and to supervise the drafting of a new constitution. This new document greatly increased the executive powers. it was overwhelmingly approved in a plebiscite, and de Gaulle was elected president in December 1958 of the newly created Fifth Republic. During his first term, de Gaulle initiated government and economic reforms and negotiated Algerian independence. France also joined the European Economic Community. He sponsored a unilateral nuclear armaments program for France and renewed French ties with the Soviet Union and mainland China, while French influence increased worldwide. in 1965, de Gaulle was elected to a second term as president. At this time, he advocated the autonomy of French Canada and the return to an international gold standard. in 1967, he withdrew French forces but not France itself from NATO. In May 1968, de Gaulle faced the greatest crisis of his presidency when striking students and workers brought the nation almost to a complete halt. in the next month, however, de Gaulle won in the presidential elections, but in April 1969, he resigned the presidency following defeat in a national referendum. He retired to his home in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises to continue work on his memoirs until his death. His other writings include La Discorde chez l'ennemi (1924), Le Fil de l'épée (1932), and Vers l'armée de métier (1934). De Gaulle's determination and strength helped to inspire his nation through the world war and occupation and in the difficult postwar years. His brilliant military ability translated into strong political leadership, and his independent stance in foreign affairs enhanced France's position in the world.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gaulle, Charles de — ▪ president of France Introduction in full  Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle  born November 22, 1890, Lille, France died November 9, 1970, Colombey les deux Églises  French soldier, writer, statesman, and architect of France s Fifth Republic …   Universalium

  • Gaulle, Charles de — ► (1890 1970) General y político francés. Fue presidente de la República en 1958 69. Durante la Primera Guerra Mundial fue hecho prisionero por los alemanes en la batalla de Verdún. Promovido a coronel en 1937, recibió el mando de una división e… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gaulle, Charles (-André-Marie-Joseph) de — (22 nov. 1890, Lille, Francia–9 nov. 1970, Colombey les Deux Églises). Soldado y estadista francés, arquitecto de la Quinta República. Se incorporó al ejército en 1913 y combatió con distinción en la primera guerra mundial. Fue ascendido al… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • De Gaulle, Charles — VER Gaulle, Charles de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • de Gaulle, Charles AndréJoseph Marie — de Gaulle (də gōlʹ, gôlʹ), Charles André Joseph Marie. 1890 1970. French general and politician. During World War II he gained enormous popularity as the leader of Free French forces in exile. Later, after years of self imposed retirement, he… …   Universalium

  • de Gaulle, Charles (-André-Marie-Joseph) — born Nov. 22, 1890, Lille, France died Nov. 9, 1970, Colombey les Deux Églises French soldier, statesman, and architect of France s Fifth Republic. He joined the army in 1913 and fought with distinction in World War I. He was promoted to the… …   Universalium

  • de Gaulle, Charles —  (1890–1970) President of France (1944–1946, 1959–1969) …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Gaulle — Gaulle, Charles de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Charles DeGaulle — Charles de Gaulle Pour les articles homonymes, voir Charles de Gaulle (homonymie), famille de Gaulle et CDG …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charles De Gaulle — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Charles de Gaulle (homonymie), famille de Gaulle et CDG …   Wikipédia en Français

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