Politics and government of france
Summary of the politics and governance of France
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics and government of france
Politics andGovernmentof FRANCE
Points to discuss: Historical background: The evolution of French democracy French State Institutions: Parliament, The constitutional council, civil service, local government and decentralization, political parties Political figures: Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, Lionel Jospin
The Evolution Of FrenchDemocracy Evolved in along process and it did not take place in straight line. French democracy suffered a succession of failures. Instead of a fairly steady evolution, it suffered a convulsive revolution.
Tortuous roads to stabledemocracy A long history of non-democratic institution, characterized by a strong centralized state and weak parliamentary traditions. Prolonged influence of authoritarian elites. A prominent role for the state in promoting national wealth despite substantial private enterprise, especially in non- democratic regimes. French nationalism centered on state and its authority and not on people. Middle class that did not constitute a steady source of support for democracy. Prolonged difficulties integrating the working class, the disadvantaged class resulting to political alienation of many workers. Emergence of revolutionary socialist parties A turbulent international environment that at various times suppressed, destroyed, or threaten to destroy democracy.
The French state* A succession of monarchs had ruled the country since the late tenth century (Bourbon dynasty-1589) .KING LOUIS XIV-determined to fortify royal authority through a firm application of the divine right of kings.KING LOUIS XIII- Centralized state institution
During the time of LOUIS XIV French state were strengthened and monarchs autocratic power was enhanced. LOUIS XV- heir of LOUIS XIV Chief ministers:- Cardinal Richelieu – LOUIS XIII- Cardinal Giulio Mazarin – LOUIS XIV- Jean Baptiste Colbert
King Philip IV (1302)-called for meeting @ Notre dam “estates” –prominent persons*First estate- the nobility*second estate- roman Catholic clergy*third estate- people of France- They were called “states general”• He denied the “great ordinance”
The Revolution Causes:-centuries of absolutism-absence of parliamentary representation-disaffected nobility with little influence over the monarch and his ministers-financial mismanagement-unfair tax system-decaying urban and rural poverty
King LOUIS XVI – convene the first meeting with the states general in 175 years. The newly assembled parliament was led by the middle-class deputies elected to represent the 3rd estate.-600 demanded for CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY-the State General quickly reconstituted itself as a UNICAMERAL NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.
The CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY (legislature) immediately drafted FRANCE’S FIRST WRITTEN CONSTITUTION.-Its preamble was a “ DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN”.*Jacobins – political club favored abolishing the monarchy altogether and establishing a republic.*August 1972- Jacobin orchestrated a rebellion in Paris that drove the king from power.
September 1792 – a new legislature was elected known as CONVENTION. One of it’s first act is to proclaim France a REPUBLIC(first) in September 1792. The assembly was divided into three: the left, the right, and the center. The left ( mountains ) – a minority who persuaded the convention to put the king (LOUIS XVI) in trial. 721 deputies, 394 voted January 1793 – the king died on a Guillotine.
The king’s execution set in motion an orgy of bloodletting known in French history as, “THE TERROR”. The convention planned a new constitution but was never implemented. JACOBINISM became synonymous with highly centralized form of government. Middle class revolutionist abolished the committee on public safety and put an end to the Terror.- DIRECTORY- its executive government but it did not last long.
1799 – authoritarian regime under Napoleon Bonaparte.AFTER THE REVOLUTION: From Bonaparte to the Vth Republic BONAPARTE – proclaimed himself as the FIRST CONSUL of France and assumed the crown of Emperor in 1804. France was under dictatorship during his regime. 1841- alliance of European powers destroyed his regime and he was put into exile.
The oust of Bonaparte into power paved way to the restoration of the BUORBON DYNASTY. LOUIS XVIII – agreed to a constitution permitting an elected legislature but his ROYAL powers were substantial. CHARLES X – replaced Louis XVIII King louis-philippe of the House of Orleans – next to Charles X The working class uprising swept king Louis_Philippe into power which gave birth to the SECOND republic.
Due to failure of governance of the 2nd republic leaders, MILITARY seized power under Louis Napoleon. His capture during the Franco – Prussian war gave birth to the THIRD republic (1870) It promulgated a new constitution in 1875. The 3rd republic has the longest run of French regime since the revolution (1870-1940), it was no model of governmental stability.
The 3rd rep. said to produce no fewer than 180 governments. When Hitler’s army defeated the French, the 3rd republic collapsed and perished. France fell under the NAZI occupation. They divided France into two:-North – direct rule-South – Puppet government Two antagonistic camps: Collaborationists and resistants. 1944- Nazi rule finally ended.
1946 – the FOURTH republic was inaugurated. It is a parliamentary system with ceremonial presidency and a bicameral legislature. 1958 – the FIFTH republic was organized. A majority of National Assembly delegates voted to confer the power to de Gaulle. It is a Presidential-Parliamentary type of government and its constitution remains in force at the present.
French Nationalism (conceptionsof national identity) Before revolution, “the nation” referred mainly to the royal government rather than the people. The revolution made decisive changes in French national consciousness. French tended to think of “the people” as a collective entity.
Social class and Democracy Impediment towards stable democracy.*THE NOBILITY Neglected and powerless.*THE MIDDLE CLASS Relationship between the middle class and democracy was complicated in France.
*THE WORKING CLASS Main disadvantaged social class. They were exploited that they took up arms against King Louis-Philippe. SFIO – French Section Of the Socialist International 1936 – Great Depression boosted unemployment - SFIO and PCF - Socialist dominated government