Charles de Gaulle

18th President of the French Republic

Charles Andrรฉ Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led the Free French Forces against Nazi Germany in World War II, and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to re-establish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement as President of the Council of Ministers. He rewrote the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France later that year, a position to which he was reelected in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969. He was the dominant figure of France during the early part of the Cold War era; his memory continues to influence French politics.

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