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The French RepublicHistory, Values, Debates$
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Edward Ducler Berenson, Vincent Duclert, and Christophe Prochasson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449017

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449017.001.0001

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The Fourth Republic

The Fourth Republic

(p.73) 8 The Fourth Republic
The French Republic

Rosemary Wakeman

Cornell University Press

This chapter asserts that, far from being a dysfunctional abyss, the Fourth Republic was a force for republican resurgence and for the modernization of social, political, and cultural life. In fact, it was positioned at the epicenter of extraordinary changes in France. These twelve years from October 1946, when the Fourth Republic's Constitution was ratified, to the regime's demise in June 1958, were the stage for the full flowering of the Cold War, the painful process of decolonization, the French economic miracle, the construction of Europe, and a social metamorphosis that created a new French middle class. The Fourth Republic was able to weather these storms, however briefly, by constructing a polymorphous political center at the core of governance.

Keywords:   Fourth Republic, republicanism, modernization, Fourth Republic's Constitution, Cold War, decolonization, French governance

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