History of France
French Revolution

What important events happened in France between 1919-2000?

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July 17, 2015 5:34PM

2005 Riots in Paris, Algeria War, War in Indochina, etc.

After the first World war, France knew what we call "Les années folles", a period when the people enjoyed life with carefreeness.

Then, in 1929, France knew the Depression. This led to the election, in 1936, of a left wing party called "Le Front Populaire" with a great liberal policy : The first Congés payés (payed holidays) are the great symbol of this social progression.

The 2nd World war : The french army is easily defeated by the Germans, the country is separated in two parts, North annexed by Germany, and the south led by the collaboration government of Vichy.

After being liberated, France knew a transition with the "gouvernement provisoire" (temporary government). The times are hard, the country has to be rebuilt and the "épuration" occured. The "épuration" is the "witch-hunt" against former collaborators', during which summary executions without trails were common. The revenge sentiment made people denouncing their neighbors.

The Fourth republic. 1946 - 1958

A new constition was voted by referendum. France had been politically instable during the fourth republic, with a strong government turnover.

the war in Indochine in the 1950ies and the war in Algeria.

The first ended in 1954 with the separation of Indochine in two Vietnams, the North communist and the south independent.

The second ended in 1962, with the proclamation of the independance of Algeria.

The fifth republic : 1958 - ??

In order to avoid the political instability, the constitution of the fifth republic is adopted. Giving more power to the executive power (president and government), it had allowed more efficient policies. The Marshall Plan began to produce its effects and France will know the "Trente Glorieuses" (the glorious thirty), thirty years of great economical whealth. The oil crisis in 1974 ended this period. Since these years then, France has economically known a more "normal" growth.

The 1968 events. Called "Mai 1968", those events were students riots which had turned into a political and a social "revolution". The workers, by striking, joined the students in revendications. The country had been blocked for a month. They led to the resignation of President De Gaulle.

Those events are considered in France as a libertarian revolution, revendications made were about salaries, woman conditions, education ....

Fondation and construction of The European Union :

France and five other countries (Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy) founded the European union in 1951. With times, the Union has grown and is now composed of 27 countries.

Concerning the 2005's riots, these events were not important and are quite anecdotic, they were actually given a too great deal of media attention, especially by the neocon medias in the US in response of the french refusal to the War in Irak.

Of course this topic deserves to be improved, and is not exhaustive in the events depicted.