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French Fourth Republic
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French Fourth Republic

History of France series
Gaul * Franks * France in the Middle Ages * Valois Dynasty * Bourbon Dynasty * French Revolution * First French Empire * French Restoration * Second Republic * Second French Empire * Third Republic * France during World War II * Fourth Republic * Fifth Republic

The Fourth Republic existed in France between 1946 and 1958. It was the period when the French were under France's fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic which had ruled before the Second World War. France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic on October 13, 1946.

Some attempts were made to strengthen the executive to prevent the unstable situation that had existed before the war, but the instability remained and the Fourth Republic saw frequent changes in government.

These problems came to a head in 1958 because of the Algerian War, which pitted Algerian colonists, the army, and the far right, against the left and those who wanted peace. To deal with this problem the nation turned to WWII hero Charles de Gaulle who assumed power under the precondition that a new constitution would be introduced creating a powerful presidency. These changes were introduced and the Fifth Republic was born.