The Bayeux speeches
The Bayeux speeches are two speeches delivered by General Charles de Gaulle of France in the context of liberation after the Normandy landings in June 1944 and in the immediate postwar period in June 1946.
They were spoken in a public square in Bayeux (formerly Place du Château, since 1946 Place de Gaulle).
First Bayeux Speech
A few days after the Normandy invasion, de Gaulle wanted to symbolically set foot on his native soil in one of the first towns liberated. He also sought to thwart American intentions to create a currency in Europe subject to their influence.
On 14 June 1944, he delivered a speech in Bayeux. The enthusiastic reception by the population confirmed the legitimacy of their struggle and dissuaded the United States to place France under their administration. De Gaulle was able to form a provisional government after the Liberation.
Second Bayeux speech
The speech of 16 June 1946 is one of De Gaulle's most important speeches. Two years after the Normandy invasion, in this symbolic city - the first city in continental France liberated by Allies - where he set foot on French soil in June 1944, Charles de Gaulle gave a speech where he talked about the shape that the French Constitution would have to take.
When De Gaulle appeared on the balcony of the town hall in Bayeux, the public greeted him with cries of "Take power!"
De Gaulle advocated a reduction in the power of parliament, going as far as to say ""It goes without saying that the parliament, which is composed of two chambers and which exercises legislative power, cannot be the source of executive power." He said he was in favor of a bicameral parliament with a head of state standing above the parties. In a state of emergency, this head of state would be the guarantor of national independence and the treaties signed by France.
The ideas that he put forward in his speech would inspire the 1958 Constitution.
- Flood, Christopher (2001-12-13). Political Myth. Routledge. p. 202.
- Van Der Eyden, APJ (2003-01-01). Public Management of Society: Rediscovering French Institutional Engineering in the European Context. IOS Press. p. 292. ISBN 1-58603-291-7.
- Jackson, Julian (2003-07-14). De Gaulle (Life and Times). Haus Publishing. p. 43.