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"France and the Fourth Republic"

Course of Our Times, Series III

VHS; U-Matic; 16mm film


Program Number

Date Aired
ca. 1970

30 min.

The tasks of reconstruction for France after the devastation and the humiliation of World War II was infinitely more difficult than after 1919. Now, in 1945, it was necessary to wipe out the shame of defeat, the Vichy nightmare, and to renew not only the political and economic fabric, but the very soil of France, starved and poisoned for five long years. Charles de Gaulle took initial responsibility, but when he was not given his way he resigned in a huff and waited 12 years to be vindicated. France went back to its petty political bickering, floundering with 13 governments in the first seven years since liberation. Only Pierre Mendes-France stood out with the statesmanship that the times required. At last, when internal problems seemed insolvable, and colonial dominions were everywhere in turmoil, a revolt was triggered in North Africa and Charles de Gaulle was recalled and given the mandate to inaugurate the Fifth Republic.

Recording Location
WGBH, Boston

1 VHS use copy [In Sachar Personal Papers, Box 23]
2 U-Matic copies [In Sachar Personal Papers, Box 27]
5 16 mm films [All B&W; in Sachar Film Collection]