Vichy 1940-1944 France, 1949-1959
Foreign Policy
France 1944-1949
Intellectual Life

France 1944-1949 : Foreign Policy

Germany was not given a peace treaty, thus France was not granted any reparations. The SAARLAND was separated from Germany and included in the French customs region (the French Franc was introduced there). France was alocated an occupation zone in Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate, southern Baden, sourhern Wuerttemberg and Hohenzollern, Lindau) as well as in Austria (Vorarlberg, Tirol) and sectors in Berlin and Vienna. France was thus treated as one of the 5 victorious Allies, and given a permanent seat on the prestigious UN SECURITY COUNCIL, with veto-right.
Yet the French were very much aware that they were not treated like an equal partner by the British and the US. Charles de Gaulle remembered that the western allies once questioned if they should continue to support his Free French administration or support another political organization; France's status as one of the 5 powers was rather the result of British and US policy to counterbalance Soviet position on the European continent than an expression of French power.
As a consequence, French foreign policy pursued the aim of reestablishing a French profile, as distinct from its western allies.
In contrast to British and US policy in their respective south Asian possessions, which were released into independence, France intended to hold on to FRENCH INDOCHINA, where French administration had been reestablished in 1946. France faced determined resistance by HO CHI MINH's VIETCONG. The policy of suppression required a considerable investment of both capital and men.
France offered its colonies the option of integration into the French Republic instead; in 1946 colonies were renamed OVERSEAS TERRITORIES and given representation in France's national assembly. This policy, however, found limited resonance in the ex-colonies.
In 1949 France joined NATO, which established its headquarters in Paris.

Timeline French Foreign Policy : 4th Republic, 1945-1958, from France Diplomatie
REFERENCE Roger Price, A Concise History of France, Cambridge Concise Histories, 1993, pp.228-246
W. Scott Haine, The History of France, Greenwood Histories of Modern Nations, 2000, pp.172-179
Article : France, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1945 pp.297-300, 1946 pp.325-328, 1947 pp.340-343, 1948 pp.325-329, 1949 pp.281-285 [G]
Article : France, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1946 pp.176-179 [G]
Article : France, in : Americana Annual 1947 pp.267-272 (on events of 1946) [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on March 30th 2007

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