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    France History
    Source: France Ministry of Foreigh Affairs, The Library of Congress Country Studies and other sources.

    General Charles de Gaule.

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    Second World War

    France suffered badly in the world depression of the 1930's and could muster neither political nor military energy to offer effective opposition to the rise of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

    France was a participant in the Munich Agreement of 1938, which sealed the fate of central Europe. When World War II broke out in 1939, Hitler initially held off his attack on France, but when it came in May-June 1940, France was swiftly and ignominiously defeated.

    During World War II, northern France was under German occupation, while in the south a collaborationist, semifascistic state was organized, with its capital at Vichy.

    Meanwhile, in London, Gen. Charles de Gaulle rallied the Free French forces, which fought on the Allied side in various campaigns. After the liberation of Paris a “provisional government” of various Resistance groups combined with de Gaulle's supporters drew up a constitution for the Fourth French Republic.

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    NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of French History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France History should be addressed to The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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    Revised 26-Jul-05
    Copyright © 2005 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)