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The Fifth Republic (french: Cinquième République) is
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
's current
republican system
republican system
of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
. It was established 4 October 1958 by
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led against in and chaired the from 1944 to 1946 in order to reestablish democracy in . In 1958, he came out of retire ...
under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic.. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the Fourth Republic, replacing the former
parliamentary republicThe Parliamentary Republic can refer to: * A republican form of government with a Parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (o ...
with a
semi-presidential A semi-presidential system or dual executive system is a system of government in which a president exists alongside a prime minister and a cabinet, with the latter being responsible to the legislature of the state. It differs from a parliam ...
(or dual-executive) system that split powers between a
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
as
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
and a
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
as
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presi ...
. 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 ("the spirit of the nation"). The Fifth Republic is France's third-longest-lasting political regime, after the
hereditary Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of traits Trait may refer to: * Phenotypic trait in biology, which involve genes and characteristics of organisms * Trait (computer programming), a model for str ...
and
feudal monarchies Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society aroun ...
of the
Ancien Régime The '' Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark the end of the ''Ancien Régime''; watercolour by Jean-Pierre Houël The Ancien Régime (; ; literally "old rule"), also known as the Old Regime, was the political and soc ...
(
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical comp ...
– 1792) and the parliamentary Third Republic (1870–1940). The Fifth Republic will overtake the Third Republic as the second-longest-lasting regime and the longest-lasting French republic by 11 July 2028 if it remains in place.


Origins

The trigger for the collapse of the
Fourth French Republic The French Fourth Republic (french: Quatrième république française) was the republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associ ...
was the Algiers crisis of 1958. France was still a
colonial Colonial or The Colonial may refer to: * Colonial, of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colony (biology) Architecture * American colonial architecture * French Colonial * Spanish Colonial architecture Automobiles * Colonial (1920 auto ...

colonial
power, although conflict and revolt had begun the process of
decolonization Decolonization (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ( ...
.
French West Africa French West Africa (french: Afrique-Occidentale française, links=no, AOF) was a federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or ...

French West Africa
,
French Indochina French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China; french: Indochine française; vi, Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, , lit. 'East Ocean under French Control; km, សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន), officially known as the Indochi ...
, and
French Algeria French Algeria (french: Alger to 1839, then afterwards; unofficially , ar, الجزائر المستعمرة), also known as Colonial Algeria, refers to the France, French colonisation of Algeria. French rule in the region began in 1830 with t ...
still sent representatives to the French parliament under systems of limited suffrage in the
French Union French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to ** , which originated in France, and its various dialects ** , a nation and ethnic group identified with France ** , cooking traditions and practices Arts a ...

French Union
. Algeria in particular, despite being the colony with the largest French population, saw rising pressure for separation from
Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (french: France métropolitaine or ''la Métropole''), also known as European France, is the area of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily l ...

Metropolitan France
. The situation was complicated by those in Algeria, such as
European settlers
European settlers
, native
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...
, and
Harkis ''Harki'' (adjective from the Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey ...

Harkis
(native Muslims who were loyal to France) who wanted to maintain the union with France. The
Algerian War The Algerian War, also known as the Algerian Revolution or the Algerian War of Independence,( ar, الثورة الجزائرية '; '' ber, Tagrawla Tadzayrit''; french: Guerre d'Algérie or ') and sometimes in Algeria as the War of 1 November, ...
was not just a
separatist Separatism is the advocacy of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. As with secession, separatism conventionally refers to full political separation. Groups simply seeking greater ...
movement but had elements of a
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
. Further complications came when a section of the
French Army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force The French Air and Space Force (AAE) (french: Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace, ) is the air File:Atmosphere gas ...
rebelled and openly backed the movement to defeat separation.
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led against in and chaired the from 1944 to 1946 in order to reestablish democracy in . In 1958, he came out of retire ...
, who had retired from politics a decade before, placed himself in the midst of the crisis, calling on the nation to suspend the government and create a new constitutional system. De Gaulle was carried to power by the inability of the parliament to choose a government, popular protest, and the last parliament of the Fourth Republic voting for their dissolution and the convening of a constitutional convention. The Fourth Republic suffered from a lack of political consensus, a weak executive, and governments forming and falling in quick succession since 1946. With no party or coalition able to sustain a parliamentary majority, prime ministers found themselves unable to risk their political position with unpopular reforms. De Gaulle and his supporters proposed a system of strong
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
s elected for seven-year terms. The president, under the proposed constitution, would have executive powers to run the country in consultation with a
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
whom he would appoint. On 1 June 1958, Charles de Gaulle was appointed
head of the government The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet (gover ...
; on 3 June 1958, a constitutional law empowered the new government to draft a new
constitution of France The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and it replaced the Constitution of the Fourth Republic, of 1946. Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie ...
, and another law granted Charles de Gaulle and his cabinet the power to
rule by decree Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political or personal control by someone with authority or power * Business rule, a rule pertaining to the structure or behavior internal to a business * School rule, a rule that i ...
for up to six months, except on certain matters related to the basic rights of citizens (criminal law, etc.). These plans were approved by more than 80% of those who voted in the referendum of 28 September 1958. The new constitution was signed into law on 4 October 1958. Since each new constitution established a new republic, France moved from the Fourth to the Fifth Republic. The new constitution contained transitional clauses (articles 90–92) extending the period of rule by decree until the new institutions were operating.
René Coty Jules Gustave René Coty (; 20 March 188222 November 1962) was President of France The president of France, officially the president of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the head of state A hea ...
remained president of the Republic until the new president was proclaimed. On 21 December 1958, Charles de Gaulle was elected
president of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state ( ...
by an
electoral college An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example: * to be ...
. The provisional constitutional commission, acting in lieu of the constitutional council, proclaimed the results of the election on 9 January 1959. The new president began his office on that date, appointing as prime minister. The 1958 constitution also replaced the French Union with the
French Community The French Community (french: Communauté française) was an association of former French colonies, most of which in French Africa. In 1958 it replaced the French Union, which had itself succeeded the French colonial empire in 1946. The Commu ...
, which allowed fourteen member territories (excluding Algeria) to assert their independence. 1960 became known as the "
Year of Africa is referred to as the Year of Africa because of a series of events that took place during the year—mainly the independence of seventeen African nations—that highlighted the growing Pan-Africanism, Pan-African sentiments in the continent. The ...
" because of this wave of newly independent states.
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
became independent on 5 July 1962.


Evolution

The president was initially elected by an electoral college but in 1962 de Gaulle proposed that the president be directly elected by the citizens and held a referendum on the change. Although the method and intent of de Gaulle in that referendum were contested by most political groups except for the
Gaullists Gaullism (french: link=no, Gaullisme) is a Politics of France, French political stance based on the thought and action of World War II French Resistance leader General Charles de Gaulle, who would become the founding President of France, President ...
, the change was approved by the French electorate. The Constitutional Council declined to rule on the constitutionality of the referendum. The president is now elected every five years, changed from seven by a constitutional referendum in 2000, to reduce the probability of
cohabitation Cohabitation is an arrangement where two people are not married but live together. They are often involved in a romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of t ...
due to former differences in the length of terms for the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
and presidency. The president is elected in one or two rounds of voting: if one candidate gets a majority of votes in the first round that person is president-elect; if no one gets a
majority A majority, also called a simple majority to distinguish it from similar terms (see the "Related terms" section below), is the greater part, or more than half, of the total.See dictionary definitions of "majority" aMerriam-Webster
in the first round, the two candidates with the greatest number of votes go to a second round. Two major changes occurred in the 1970s regarding constitutional
checks and balances Separation of powers refers to the division of a state (polity), state's government into branches, each with separate, independent power (social and political), powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict ...
. Traditionally, France operated according to
parliamentary supremacy Parliamentary sovereignty (also called parliamentary supremacy or legislative supremacy) is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty Sovereignty is th ...
: no authority was empowered to rule on whether statutes passed by Parliament respected the constitutional rights of the citizens. In 1971, however, the Constitutional Council, arguing that the preamble of the constitution referenced the rights defined in the 1789
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (french: Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789, links=no), set by France's National Constituent Assembly in 1789, is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most ...
and the preamble of the 1946 constitution, concluded that statutes must respect these rights and so declared partially unconstitutional a statute because it violated
freedom of association Freedom of association encompasses both an individual's right to join or leave groups voluntarily, the right of the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of its members, and the right of an association to accept or decline memb ...
. Only the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or the president of either house of Parliament could ask for a constitutional review a statute was signed into law—which greatly reduces the likelihood of such a review if all these officeholders happened to be from the same side of politics, which was the case at the time. Then in 1974, a
constitutional amendment A constitutional amendment is a modification of the of a , or other type of . Amendments are often interwoven into the relevant sections of an existing constitution, directly altering the text. Conversely, they can be appended to the constitut ...
widened this prerogative to 60 members of the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
or 60 members of the
senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
. From that date, the opposition has been able to have controversial new statutes examined for constitutionality. Alain Lancelot,
La réforme de 1974, avancée libéral ou progrès de la démocratie ?
'


Presidents of the Fifth Republic

Source:


President image gallery

File:Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F010324-0002, Flughafen Köln-Bonn, Adenauer, de Gaulle-cropped.jpg,
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led against in and chaired the from 1944 to 1946 in order to reestablish democracy in . In 1958, he came out of retire ...

(1890–1970)
Served 1959–1969 File:23.04.1969. A Poher. (1969) - 53Fi3443 (cropped).jpg,
(1909–1996)
Served 1969, 1974 (as ''interim'') File:Georges Pompidou (cropped 2).jpg,
Georges Pompidou Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou ( , ; 5 July 19112 April 1974) was a French politician who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française) ...

(1911–1974)
Served 1969–1974 File:Valéry Giscard d’Estaing 1978(2).jpg,
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing The French name Valery () is a given name or surname of Germanic origin ''Walaric'' (see Walric of Leuconay), that has often been confused in modern times with the Latin name ''Valerius The gens Valeria was a patrician (ancient Rome), patricia ...

(1926–2020)
Served 1974–1981 File:President Mitterand bij slotzitting Europa Congres Mitterand, kop, Bestanddeelnr 934-2444 (portrait crop).jpg,
François Mitterrand François Marie Adrien Maurice Mitterrand (26 October 19168 January 1996) was a French statesman who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la Républiqu ...

(1916–1996)
Served 1981–1995 File:ChiracUSA.jpg,
Jacques Chirac Jacques René Chirac ( , , ; 29 November 193226 September 2019) was a Politics of France, French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was previously Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to ...

Jacques Chirac

(1932–2019)
Served 1995–2007 File:Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP Summit October 2010 (105).jpg,
Nicolas Sarkozy Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa (; ; born 28 January 1955) is a French politician who served as the 23th President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la ...

Nicolas Sarkozy

(b. 1955)
Served 2007–2012 File:Francois Hollande 2015.jpeg,
François Hollande François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande (; born 12 August 1954) is a French politician who served as president of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République fran ...

François Hollande

(b. 1954)
Served 2012–2017 File:Emmanuel Macron (cropped).jpg,
Emmanuel Macron Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (; born 21 December 1977) is a French politician who has been serving as the president of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la R ...

(b. 1977)
Incumbent since May 2017


Prime Ministers of the Fifth Republic

Source:


Institutions of the Fifth Republic


See also

*
1958 Guinean constitutional referendum A constitutional referendum was held in Guinea on 28 September 1958 as part of a 1958 French constitutional referendum, wider referendum across the French Union (and France itself) on whether to adopt the new Constitution of France, French Constitu ...
*
French colonial empire The French colonial empire () comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and League of Nations mandate, mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. A distinction is generally made between the "First French Co ...
*
List of French possessions and colonies From the 16th to the 17th centuries, the First French colonial empire stretched from a total area at its peak in 1680 to over , the second largest empire in the world at the time behind only the Spanish Empire. During the 19th and 20th centurie ...
*
Politics of France The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the Constitution of France, French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, laïcité, secular, ...


Notes


References


Further reading

* Atkin, Nicholas. ''The Fifth French Republic'' (European History in Perspective) (2005
excerpt and text search
* Bell, David S. and John Gaffney, eds. ''The Presidents of the French Fifth Republic'' (
Palgrave Macmillan #REDIRECT Palgrave Macmillan #REDIRECT Palgrave Macmillan#REDIRECT Palgrave Macmillan Palgrave Macmillan is a British academic and trade publishing company headquartered in the London Borough of Camden. Its programme includes textbooks, journals, ...
, 2013) * Bell,David, et al. ''A Biographical Dictionary of French Political Leaders since 1870'' (1990) * Bell, David S., and Byron Criddle. ''Exceptional Socialists: The Case of the French Socialist Party'' (2014) * Berstein, Serge, and Jean-Pierre Rioux. ''The Pompidou Years, 1969–1974'' (The Cambridge History of Modern France) (2000
excerpt
* Brouard, Sylvain et al. ''The French Fifth Republic at Fifty: Beyond Stereotypes'' (French Politics, Society and Culture) (2009) * Chabal, Emile, ed. ''France since the 1970s: History, Politics and Memory in an Age of Uncertainty'' (2015
Excerpt
* Cole, Alistair. ''François Mitterrand: A study in political leadership'' (1994) * Corbett, Anne, and Bob Moon, eds. ''Education in France: continuity and change in the Mitterrand years 1981–1995'' (Routledge, 2002) * Fenby, Jonathan ''The General: Charles de Gaulle and the France He Saved'' (2010) pp. 375–635. * Fenby, Jonathan ''France: A Modern History from the Revolution to the War with Terror'' (2016) pp. 359–484 * Gaffney, John. ''Political Leadership in France. From Charles de Gaulle to Nicolas Sarkozy'' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) * * Jackson, Julian. ''De Gaulle'' (2018) 887pp; the most recent major biography * Kulski, W. W. ''De Gaulle and the World: The Foreign Policy of the Fifth French Republic'' (1966
online free to borrow
* Lewis-Beck, Michael S., et al. eds. ''French Presidential Elections'' (Palgrave Macmillan; 2012) * Nester, William R. ''De Gaulle's Legacy: The Art of Power in France's Fifth Republic'' (2014) * Praud, Jocelyne and Sandrine Dauphin, eds. ''Parity Democracy: Women's Political Representation in Fifth Republic France'' (2011) * Raymond, Gino G., ''The French Communist Party During Fifth Republic: A Crisis of Leadership and Ideology.'' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) * Rogoff, Martin A. ''French Constitutional Law: Cases and Materials'' (Durham, Carolina Academic Press, 2010. * Short, Philip. ''Mitterrand: A Study in Ambiguity'' (2013) * Thody, Philip. ''The Fifth French Republic: Presidents, Politics and Personalities: A Study of French Political Culture'' (1998
excerpt and text search
* Wall, Irwin. ''France Votes: The Election of François Hollande'' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.) * Williams, Charles. ''The Last Great Frenchman: A Life of General De Gaulle'' (1997) ; In French *


External links



{{Authority control Contemporary French history Republic 5 Republicanism in France 1958 establishments in France States and territories established in 1958 Republic 5 21st century in France