French Union

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French Union

Union française
1946–1958
Motto: "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"
"Liberty, equality, brotherhood"
Anthem:  La Marseillaise
French Union.svg
CapitalParis
Common languages French
Historical era Cold War
27 October 1946
5 October 1958
Currency French franc
CFA franc
CFP franc
French Indochinese piastre
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg Provisional Government of the French Republic
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg French colonial empire
French Community Flag of France.svg
Kingdom of Laos Flag of Laos (1952-1975).svg
State of Vietnam Flag of South Vietnam.svg
North Vietnam Flag of North Vietnam 1945-1955.svg
Kingdom of Cambodia Flag of Cambodia.svg
French Guinea Flag of France.svg

The French Union (French : Union française) (1946–1958) was a political entity created by the French Fourth Republic to replace the old French colonial system, colloquially known as the "French Empire" (Empire Français). It was the formal end of the "indigenous" ( indigène ) status of French subjects in colonial areas.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

French Fourth Republic government of France between 1946 and 1958

The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic that was in place from 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War to 1940 during World War II, and suffered many of the same problems. France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic on 13 October 1946.

Contents

Composition

The French Union had five components:

  1. Metropolitan France, which included French Algeria.
  2. 'Old' colonies, notably those of the French West Indies in the Caribbean that became overseas departments in 1946.
  3. 'New' colonies, renamed overseas territories.
  4. Protectorates of French Indochina. It had been expected that other protectorates would become part of the French Union, but the rulers of French Morocco and French Tunisia refused to become members and never belonged. [1]
  5. United Nations Trust Territories, such as French Cameroons and French Togoland, successors of the League of Nations mandates.

History

The French Union was established by the French constitution of October 27, 1946 (Fourth Republic). Under it, it was said that there were no French colonies, but that metropolitan France, the overseas departments, and the overseas territories combined to create a single French Union, or just one France. [2]

The goal of this union was "assimilation of the overseas territories into a greater France, inhabited by French citizens, and blessed by French culture". [3] Whereas the British colonial system had local colonial governments which would eventually evolve into separate national governments; France wanted to create a single government under a single French state. [3]

This French Union had a President, a High Council and an Assembly. The President was the President of the Republic. The Assembly of the Union had membership from the Council of the Republic, from the National Assembly and from regional assemblies of the overseas territories and departments but ultimately had no power. [4] The High Council ultimately met only three times, first in 1951. [5] The Assembly was the only actually functioning institution that could manage legislation within the overseas territories. [3]

Council of the Republic (France)

The Council of the Republic was the name of the upper house of the legislature of the French Fourth Republic (1946–1958). It was replaced by the Senate when the constitution of the French Fifth Republic came into force.

National Assembly (France) lower house of the French Parliament under the Fifth Republic

The National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate. The National Assembly's members are known as députés.

In reality, the colonial areas had representation but all power remained in the French Parliament and thus was centralized. [3] The colonies had local assemblies but these had only limited local power. [3] Instead, various natives of the overseas territories in metropolitan France grew into a group of elites, known as evolués. [3]

On January 31, 1956, hoping to having peace in Algiers, the system changed, abandoning assimilation in favor of autonomy, allowing territories to develop their own local government and to eventually gain their independence. [6] This would not succeed however and in 1958 the French Union was replaced by the French Community by Charles de Gaulle 's Fifth Republic wherein France was now a federation of states with their own self-government. [7]

French Community

The French Community was an association of former French colonies, mostly from Africa. In 1958 it replaced the French Union, which had itself succeeded the French colonial empire in 1946.

Charles de Gaulle 18th President of the French Republic

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to establish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement when appointed President of the Council of Ministers by President René Coty. He was asked to rewrite the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France later that year, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969. He was the dominant figure of France during the Cold War era, and his memory continues to influence French politics.

French Fifth Republic fifth and current republican constitution of France since 1958

The Fifth Republic, France's current republican system of government, was established by Charles de Gaulle under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the Fourth Republic, replacing the former parliamentary republic with a semi-presidential, or dual-executive, system that split powers between a Prime Minister as head of government and a President as head of state. De Gaulle, who was the first French President elected under the Fifth Republic in December 1958, believed in a strong head of state, which he described as embodying l'esprit de la nation.

Withdrawals from the French Union

See also

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References

  1. Charles-Robert Argeron, La décolonisation française, Armand Colin, Paris, 1994, p. 73.
  2. Simpson, Alfred William Brian (2004). Human Rights and the End of Empire: Britain and the Genesis of the European Convention. Oxford University Press. p. 285. ISBN   0199267898.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Simpson, Human Rights (2004), p. 286
  4. Simpson, Human Rights (2004), p. 285–286
  5. Simpson, Human Rights (2004), p. 286 fn. 33
  6. Simpson, Human Rights (2004), p. 286-287
  7. Simpson, Human Rights (2004), p. 287
  8. [ Displaying Abstract ] (26 September 1955). "Cambodia severs tied with France; Declares Her Independence - Prince Norodom Takes the Post of Premier" . The New York Times . Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  9. "Pentagon Papers Part IV A 3" (PDF). National Archives and Records Administration. 1954–1960. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-05.
  10. "Laos". Worldvisitguide.com.

Further reading