France Modern History

After Napoleon

After Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo and as a consequence of the Congress of Vienna, the French monarchy was reinstated, but with new constitutional limitations.

Although the political organization of France oscillated between republic, empire and monarchy for 75 years after the First Republic fell after Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup, the truth is that the revolution marked the final end of absolutism and gave birth to a new regime where the bourgeoisie, hegemonized the struggle of the popular masses and became the dominant political force in the country.

In 1830, the constitutional monarchy of July was restored, which lasted until 1848. The short-lived Second French Republic ended in 1852 when Napoleon III proclaimed the Second French Empire.

During this new empire there is a considerable development of means of transport, as well as an economic boom. The banking network is increased and a free trade agreement is signed with England in 1860 that encourages international trade. However, foreign policy had a series of important failures such as the second French intervention in Mexico and especially the resounding defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 in which Napoleon III was completely defeated and his regime was replaced by the Third Republic. French.

Second World War

Although ultimately victorious in World War I, as a country that is a member of European Union defined by, France suffered enormous human and material losses that weakened it for decades to come. The 1930s were marked by a variety of social reforms introduced by the Popular Front government. France and UK declared war on Germany Nazi the 3 of September of 1939 under a treaty signed with Poland, whose territory had been invaded by the Wehrmacht, the German army. At the beginning of World War II, France carried out a series of unsuccessful rescue campaigns in Norway., Belgium and the Netherlands between 1939 and 1940. After the blitzkrieg of Nazi Germany between May and June 1940 and its ally, the Italian fascist political leadership of France signed the Armistice of the 22 June 1940. The Germans established an authoritarian regime under the tutelage of Marshal Philippe Petain known as Vichy France, which pursued a policy of collaboration with Nazi Germany. Opponents of the regime formed the state of Free France Outside of France, they supported the French resistance and added more and more colonial territories to their cause. Continental France was liberated with the common effort of the Allies, Free France, and the French resistance in 1944.

Second half of the 20th century

The debate over maintaining control of Algeria, then home to a million European settlers, weakened the country and led to near civil war. In 1958, the weak and unstable Fourth Republic led to the French Fifth Republic, which was supported by a strong executive branch. Charles de Gaulle held the country together while taking the road to the end of the war.

The Algerian War and the civil war that broke out in Algeria between the supporters of leaving the colony and the settlers who clung to maintaining the French presence, ended in 1962, with Evian’s declaration that included the holding of a self-determination referendum. The war of liberation of the Algerian people was fought by the French army with methods that included mass torture and murder.

General de Gaulle also had to face another ordeal in May 1968 with the student insurrection that came to paralyze the country with the support of the unions. De Gaulle emerged triumphant in the early elections called in June of the same year.

In 1981, François Mitterrand was elected President of France, and he ruled from 1981 to 1995. Later, Jacques Chirac would be elected president of France, ruling between 1995 and 2007. In that year Nicolas Sarkozy is elected president. France supported the United States in the first Gulf War in 1990, as well as in the military intervention in Afghanistan.

XXI century

Dominique de Villepin, at the head of French diplomacy, led the block of countries that opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, threatening to use its veto in the Security Council, leading the way to a cooling of relations with the George W. Bush administration.

The candidate of the conservative right, Nicolas Sarkozy won the elections of the 6 of maypole of 2007 to the presidency of the French Republic, succeeding Jacques Chirac and reconciling France with the United States increasing its presence in NATO.

France had withdrawn from NATO’s integrated military command in 1966 by decision of then-president Charles de Gaulle, who believed that in this way he ensured the country’s independence from the United States. However, France remained a political member of NATO, the Atlantic alliance it helped found in 1949, and participated in many of its military operations, including the one in Afghanistan.

Attack on Libya

According revelations Franco Bechis journalist, on 21 October of the 2010, the French secret services prepared a revolt in the Libyan city of Benghazi, which began the civil war in that country. Nuri Mesmari, head of Gaddafi’s protocol offered his services to the foreign power and revealed a large number of secrets of the Libyan defense.

At the end of February 2011 the political situation in Libya deteriorated rapidly. Numerous demonstrations against Colonel Gaddafi followed one another across the country, encouraged by Western governments.

In a decision that provoked an angry protest from the Libyan government authorities [1] and some criticism from its own NATO allies, France on March 10 recognized the National Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people [2] . The following day the insurgents were forced to leave Ras Lanuf under attack by artillery and forces loyal to Colonel Gadaffi [3] .

On March 19, 2011, the United States, France and Great Britain began a military offensive against Libya. At the end of June 2011, France decided to send weapons to Libyan opponents, an action that NATO had previously been informed of and which, according to that organization, “strictly” complies with the UN mandate. [4]

On October 20, 2011, Gadaffi, who was leaving Sirte, after an offensive by the NATO-supported forces of the CNT, was wounded by an Alliance bombardment of the motorcade in which he was traveling [5] . Captured by the rebels of the CNT, he was assassinated and his body taken to Misrata, where he was publicly displayed in a refrigerated chamber, along with that of his son Mutassim Gaddafi and the former head of the armed forces Abu Bakr Younu Jabr ; to finally be buried in an anonymous tomb in the desert.

The president of France, Nicolás Sarkozy, declared then that:

Gaddafi’s death is a new page for the people of Libya; it is the beginning of a process towards democracy. [6]

Hollande Government

The 6 of maypole of 2012, the Socialist candidate Francois Hollande defeated then – French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round of the presidential elections of that year. A week later, on Tuesday, 15 of maypole of 2012, Hollande was sworn in as the second president of socialist after François Mitterand origin. In his first speech as president, the socialist declared:

I address a message of confidence to the French. We are a great country that always knew how to overcome challenges (…) I measure the weight of the problems that we must face: massive debt, weak growth, high unemployment, degraded competitiveness, a Europe that suffers to get out of the crisis.

France Modern History