Thursday, 30 October 2008

French Facts: The French Fifth Republic

I have offered wondered about the orgin of this term.  I was aware that France had established its first republic around the same time that they invented the guillotine and then ol' Napoléon went on and declared himself emperor but how did they get from one to five.  I was curious.. time to consult wikipedia.
First Republic
1792 - 1804
France established a republic after the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution in 1789.
This lasted only 15 years until Napoléon seized control making himself First Consul (1799) and later Emperor.
Second Republic 1848 - 1852
After Napoléon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the French monarchy was re-established.
In 1830, a civil uprising led to a constitutional Monarchy but a further uprising in 1848 saw the creation of the 2nd Republic.
This republic lasted only 4 years until 1852 when Napoléon's son Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte proclaimed the Second Empire.
Third Republic
1870 - 1940
Louis-Napoléon was unseated following defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and his regime was replaced by the Third Republic.
Through its seventy-year history, the Third Republic stumbled from crisis to crisis.  It officially ended on July 10, 1940 after the invasion of Hitler's army and was replaced by the regime of Vichy ("the French state").
Fourth Republic
1946 - 1958
The Fourth Republic was established after World War II, however in these times France struggled to maintain its hold of its colonial empire and suffered defeat in French Indochina and Algeria.
Fifth Republic
1958 -
The constitution of the Fifth Republic was approved by referendum on 28 September 1958. It greatly strengthened the authority of the executive in relation to parliament.
The executive branch itself has two leaders: the President of the Republic, who is Head of State and is elected directly by universal adult suffrage for a 5-year term (formerly 7 years), and the Government, led by the president-appointed Prime Minister.

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