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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 Fifth Republic

The Fifth Republic

(p.83) 9 The Fifth Republic
The French Republic

Martin Schain

Cornell University Press

This chapter showcases the achievements and difficulties faced by the Fifth Republic—popularly termed the “de Gaulle Republic”—as it weathered through a series of challenges to its legitimacy that left its durability uncertain until the 1970s. During its first four years, the new regime faced two military revolts, an underground terrorist movement, at least three assassination attempts against President de Gaulle, two periods of emergency government, numerous shuffles and changes of government and the successful censuring of the government by parliamentary majority, and a major constitutional revision of dubious legality. Yet the Fifth Republic's new political system featured a more radical solution to the problem of authority than had any of France's four previous republican regimes. It created a powerful executive (President and prime minister) that—once in place—was well protected from the vicissitudes of changing parliamentary majorities.

Keywords:   Fifth Republic, Charles de Gaulle, de Gaulle Republic, executive branch, parliament, French government, Fifth Republic's political system

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