Download France since 1945 by Robert Gildea PDF

By Robert Gildea

The final fifty years of French heritage have visible monstrous demanding situations for the French: developing a brand new ecu order, construction a latest financial system, trying to find a sturdy political approach. It has additionally been a time of tension and doubt. The French have needed to come to phrases with the legacy of the German career, the lack of Empire, the political and social implications of the inflow of overseas immigrants, the increase of Islam, the destruction of rural lifestyles, and the specter of Anglo-American tradition to French language and civilization.

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When Massu was recalled to Paris in January  for attacking self-determination, pied-noir extremists launched a general strike in Algiers in what became known as ‘the week of the barricades’. De Gaulle appeared on television in military uniform to recall the rebels to order. With a freer hand he pressed on with his policy, calling upon the ‘liberating genius of France’, which in  was in the process of emancipating its sub-Saharan colonies, and obtained  per cent support for the principle of selfdetermination in a referendum of January .

For some the French failed to see that liberation might also mean the rejection of French definitions of liberty and civilization in favour of others and resorted to methods of barbarism that allowed them, the people of , to be attacked for being no better than Nazis. Others continued to believe that they had fought in good faith for the values of civilization and that terrorism had to be met by legitimate force. On trial in  for crimes against humanity, Maurice Papon was also confronted by claims that he was responsible for the killing of demonstrating Algerians in Paris on  October .

Supporters of the EDC argued rationally that German rearmament would come sooner or later, and that the EDC offered an institutional way to control it; it would also keep Germany out of NATO by a European solution linked to NATO. Unfortunately, the debate was in no sense rational, and opponents of the EDC were able to prey on painful memories of the German occupation and of Nazi atrocities, revived once again in  in the Oradour trial. They argued that the EDC would not control German rearmament but actually resurrect the Wehrmacht, and that the Wehrmacht, as in the Bismarck era, would forge a united German Reich.

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