Provisional Government of the French Republic
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (September 2012)|
|Political structure||Provisional government|
|-||1944–1946||Charles de Gaulle|
|-||1946||Félix Gouin (SFIO)|
|-||1946||Georges Bidault (MRP)|
|-||1946–1947||Léon Blum (SFIO)|
|Historical era||World War II|
|-||Disestablished||14 October 1946|
The Provisional Government of the French Republic (gouvernement provisoire de la République française or GPRF) was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic.
Following the Battle of France in 1940, the state of Vichy France was established under the rule of Philippe Pétain. However, after Operation Overlord, the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Falaise pocket, the Vichy regime dissolved. Then, as the Allied front lines moved through France, jurisdiction was seized by the provisional government under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle.
The GPRF was dominated by the tripartisme alliance between the French Communist Party (PCF), claiming itself to be the parti des 75,000 fusillés ("party of the 75,000 shot") because of its leading role in the Resistance (though actual dead were much fewer), the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO, socialist party) and the Christian democratic Popular Republican Movement (MRP), led by Georges Bidault. This alliance between the three political parties lasted until the May 1947 crisis during which Maurice Thorez, vice-premier, and four other Communist ministers were expelled from the government, both in France and in Italy. Along with the acceptance of the Marshall Plan, refused by countries who had fallen under the influence of the USSR, this marked the official beginning of the Cold War in these countries.
Although the GPRF was active only from 1944 to 1946, it had a lasting influence, in particular regarding the enacting of labour laws which were put forward by the National Council of the Resistance, the umbrella organisation which united all resistance movements, in particular the communist Front National. The Front National was the political front of the Franc-tireurs et partisans (FTP) resistance movement. In addition to de Gaulle's edicts granting, for the first time in France, right of vote to women, the GPRF passed various labour laws, including the 11 October 1946 act establishing occupational medicine. It also appointed commissioners to fulfill its aims.
The provisional government considered that the Vichy government had been unconstitutional and that all its actions had thus been illegal. All statutes, laws, regulations and decisions by the Vichy government were thus made null and void. However, since mass cancellation of all decisions taken by Vichy, including many that could have been taken as well by republican governments, was impractical, it was decided that any repeal was to be expressly acknowledged by the government. A number of laws and acts were however explicitly repealed, including all constitutional acts, all laws discriminating against Jews, all acts against "secret societies" (e.g. Freemasons), and all acts creating special tribunals.
The provisional government also took steps to replace local governments, including governments that had been suppressed by the Vichy regime, through new elections or by extending the terms of those who had been elected no later than 1939.
List of Chairmen
- Charles de Gaulle, 1944–1946
- Félix Gouin (SFIO), 1946
- Georges Bidault (MRP), 1946
- Léon Blum (SFIO), 1946–1947