De Gaulle and Since: 1944-1962


Fourth Republic

1946 - 1958


Of Post-World War II and the Cold War


1944 - 1949

1944-49: Legal purging; collaborationists arrested and put on trial for their crimes against France.
1944-45: Savage purging; illegal but common. Particularly the case for women who were seen to be shaved and marked with a swastika.

Libération de Paris

August 25, 1944

French Resistance fighters rose up against the Nazis occupying the city as the US Army approached. Together they took back the city.
Charles de Gaulle asserts himself as the interim leader of France.

Jour de la Victoire

8 May 1945

The end of WWII.


October 1945

The start of a new tri-party government; PCF win the vote with 26,2% but share with Mouvement républicain populaire and SFIO. The extreme right is exiled.

De Gaulle resigns

January 1946

After pressure from all three parties, de Gaulle resigns from his lack of power and inability to realise his dream of a Presidential Republic.

Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech


Bread ration


April: Daily bread ration is introduced and set at 250g per person. Reduced to 200g in September.

Le début de la Guerre Froide


Harry Truman's Doctrine outlining his goal to halt the geopolitical spread of Communism and Soviet rule begins the Cold War.

May 1947 Crises

5 May 1947

The start of the Cold War: the exclusion of Communist ministers in French parliament under Paul Ramadier due to governmental and party conflicts over policies such as wage freezing and the reconquest of Vietnam.

Plan Marshall

1948 - 1952

The investment of $2.7 billion into European aid to revitalise the economy, industry and prevent the spread of communism.

Le coup d'état de Tchecoslovaquie

February 1948

The communist party, with the backing of the Soviet Union, assumed undisputed control of the country and its parliament.

Le blocus de Berlin

24 June 1948 - 12 May 1949

Soviet troops block a trade route to allied controlled bases in Berlin. They attempted this so that the Allies would retract the newly implemented Deutsche mark.

La grêve des mineurs

October 1948

Energy crisis and nationalisation of the mines. As a rebuttal against the Lacoste decrees which ordained a reduction in their salary, rights and work force. 6 died and more than 3000 imprisoned or fired.

Le boom économique

  1. Production levels return to that of pre-war.
  2. Bread ration ends.

Les Mains Sales

La naissance de Sartre

21 Juin 1905

Le marriage de sa mère


To a man that Sartre would never stop hating. Moves to La Rochelle. A delicate and studious boy but the victim of bulling and harassment.

Henri-IV Lycée


Meets Paul Nizan who becomes a close friend at L'école normale supérieure. Two brililant young men, and they have their first taste of rebellion and provocation.

Met Simone de Beauvoir


Taught in Le Havre


Assassination of Léon Trotsky


In Mexico, by an agent of Stalin.


May 1940

First in Nancy and then in the Stalag.

L'être et le néant


Les Mains Sales


Written in 1947 but put on in 1948.

Le Deuxième Sexe

May 1949

Simone de Beauvoir's integral text on feminism.

L'insurrection hongroise

November 1956

Student-led uprising against the Hungarian government and its Soviet-let policies. After it gained in traction, the Soviets agreed to negotiate, then changed its mind and sent in the tanks. Deeply unpopular move that lost a lot of Communist members.

Réfus du Prix Nobel


"aucun homme ne mérite d'etre consacré de son vivant." - Didn't want to be defined by his life whilst he was still alive and could have done more to change his perception.

La mort de Sartre

15 April 1980

La Guerre d'Algérie

Le massacre de Sétif

8 May 1945

French population in Algeria


La population "francaise" ne constitue que 10% de la population totale de l'Algérie.

Guerre d'Algérie

1 November 1954 - 1962

Also known as "Opérations de maintien de l'ordre", not until 1999 would the war be officially recognised.

Le toussaint rouge

1 November 1954

Known as the starting date of the Algerian war, created by attacks on white French civlians by members of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN).

Bataille d'Algers

1956 - 1957

Bombs planted in Algers to stir up sentiment among the urban Muslims as well as shootings - mostly all conducted by the FLN. General Jacques Massu won the battle by breaking the general strike and the FLN's infrastructure but by using dubious tactics including torture and quadrillage. This put doubt into the France about their position in Algeria.

Les "pouvoirs spéciaux"

March 1956

L'Assemblée Nationale votent les "pouvoirs spéciaux" qui donnent à la police, les pouvoirs qui lui rendent capables de gérer la tension croissainte. Un acte dubieux à cause de l'air vague de ses pouvoirs.

Arrestation à Algiers

October 1956

Les principaux représentants du FLN sont arretés a Algiers par la police francaise. Cet acte renforce la position du FLN contre la France.

Pierre Pflimlin

8 May 1958

Appointed as PM, favourable because he wanted to begin negotiations again and a ceasefire. 58% of French wanted this in Jan 1958.

Coup d'état

13 May 1958

General Massu seizes control of Algeria after peaceful protests against the killing of three French soldiers in Tunisia turned to riots. Salan becomes the head of a "Comité du salut public".

Opération Corse

24 May 1958

The CSP takes over the island of Corsica.

Réne Coty's appeal

29 May 1958

He appeals au "plus illustre des Francais" to be the last Président of the 4th Republic.

de Gaulle reinstated

1 June 1958

and his new government officially ratified by the Assemblée Nationale.

"Vive l'Algérie Francaise"

4 June 1958

De Gaulle's visit to Algeria raises the hopes of the pieds-noirs and others to still be a part of France.

de Gaulle's reversal of stance

19 September 1959

Becomes more and more sceptical about an Algerian integration into France, he tuns towards auto-determination in wanting Algeria to decide for themselves.

The generals' putsch

April 1960

Ceasefire and end of the war

19 March 1962

But the L'OAS attempt to sabotage the ceasefire using plastic missiles.

Algerian Independence

3 July 1962

de Gaulle declares Algeria an independent country.