France Between 1949 and 1959 Part VIII

The consequences of the advent of De Gaulle were also felt among the parties. A new formation grouping the different Gaullist movements took the name of Union pour la nouvelle république (UNR). In dissent with Pflimlin, Bidault founded, with little luck, the Mouvement de la démocratie chrétienne; on the opposite side, elements of the socialist left, minorities of the SFIO (who later left the party), radicals led by Mendès-France, and the UDSR with Mitterand founded the Union des forces démocratiques, which took the lead of the democratic opposition. Gaillard became president of the Orthodox radical party.

On 28 September the metropolis and the associated territories were called to pronounce themselves, by referendum, on the constitutional project prepared by a special advisory committee and approved by the Council of Ministers. It introduced some important innovations: an organization of public authorities which constituted a moderate form of presidential regime, a parliament reduced in powers and functions, and a free community between France and the overseas territories.

According to oxfordastronomy, the referendum resulted in a great personal success for gen. De Gaulle. Out of just under 46 million voters, 36 and a half million voted, of which 31,066,502 for the “yes” and 5,419,749 for the “no”. In Algeria, where the army organized the vote not always impartially, there were 3,357,763 “yes”, 118,631 “no”, and a million abstentions. Guinea was an exception and, by voting “no” (1.136.324 against 56.981 yes), proclaimed itself independent and refused to enter the Community. Between November and December there were the proclamations of the republics of Madagascar, Sudan, Congo, Niger, Senegal, Mauritania, Chad, Gabon, Central Africa (Ubanghi-Sciari), etc., but all in the context of the Community.

De Gaulle continued in his work of radical transformation of the country’s political physiognomy. He approved an electoral law with a two-shift single-member majority system, intended to isolate the Communists. The elections, held on 23 and 30 November, confirmed De Gaulle’s personal triumph: the UNR obtained, in the second round, 28.1% of the votes, the Communists 20.5, the SFIO 13.8, independent and moderate 18.5 and radicals 5.7%. But to understand the impact of the electoral system well, one must take into account the number of elected deputies: who were 189 for the UNR, 130 for the independents and moderates, 40 for the SFIO, 57 for the MRP, 13 radical socialists and just 10 communists. Among others, Mendès-France, Edgar Faure, Pineau, Moch, A. Gazier, Morice, Mitterand, G. Defferre, Duclos were not elected.

Restoration of state authorityThe evolution of the Community. – On January 8, 1959, René Coty passed on the powers of President of the Republic to gen. De Gaulle: powers, as has been said, much wider than those enjoyed by the former head of state. Former Minister of Justice Michel Debré was called to lead the new government, formed by a coalition of UNR, MRP, independents and technicians (but absent the SFIO): Couve de Murville remained for Foreign Affairs, Pinay for Finance, while Soustelle became deputy minister with the prime minister, with special expertise on nuclear research and the development of the Sahara (oil). The government program was approved by the National Assembly with 453 votes to 53,

Meanwhile, De Gaulle set up the institutes provided for by the constitution: he chaired the first meeting of the Community’s executive committee at the Elysée (3 February), attended the inauguration of the Constitutional Council (5 March) and began a series of contacts with the populations of the French provinces, and of the countries of the Community. If the popularity of the head of state only increased, the opposite is true for that of the government: the municipal elections (March 8-15) marked a regression of the UNR. The resumption of traditional political formations was confirmed by the senatorial elections, conducted with the second degree system: 85% of the outgoing senators were re-elected. While the National Assembly chose a new president in the person of J. Chaban-Delmas, Gaston Monnerville was re-elected to the presidency of the Senate. In mid-July the Senate of the Community met for the first time, the only new assembly created by the 1958 constitution: G. Monnerville assumed the presidency. With the autumn resumption of parliamentary work, the Debré government encountered the first difficulties in terms of budget. Even greater difficulties caused the government’s school project, which revived the inevitable controversy between Catholics and secularists. The Minister of National Education, the independent socialist Boulloche, resigned due to disagreements with Prime Minister Debré (December 23). Nevertheless, the parliament ended up adopting the government project (24 and 30 December). which revived the inevitable controversy between Catholics and secularists. The Minister of National Education, the independent socialist Boulloche, resigned due to disagreements with Prime Minister Debré (December 23). Nevertheless, the parliament ended up adopting the government project (24 and 30 December). which revived the inevitable controversy between Catholics and secularists. The Minister of National Education, the independent socialist Boulloche, resigned due to disagreements with Prime Minister Debré (December 23). Nevertheless, the parliament ended up adopting the government project (24 and 30 December).

Even the creation of the Community, replacing the French Overseas Union, proved difficult and insufficient and ended up entering into serious crisis (see French community, in this App.)

France Between 1949 and 1959 8