Algeria, De Gaulle, and the Birth of the French Fifth Republic

Daniel Gagnon, Providence College


This paper explores the role of the French Army and the role of General Charles de Gaulle in the Crisis of May 1958, and how the Crisis marked the end of the French Fourth Republic. The role of civilians in starting the uprising in Algeria is highlighted, and it is emphasized that the French Army joined the revolt once it was in progress. Although General de Gaulle had been out of public life for a decade, it was he who came to power because of the Crisis and it was he who went on to create the new French Fifth Republic.

This paper was selected as the winner of the first annual Providence College Undergraduate Research Prize in 2014.