France 1944-1949
Intellectual Life

France 1959-1968
Intellectual Life
France 1949-1959
the Economy
France 1949-1959
Foreign Policy

Fourth Republic, 1949-1959 : Intellectual Life

After World War II, France was exposed to a world seemingly dominated by Anglo-American language, culture and lifestyle, with an intensity not seen before. While ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC became very popular among France's youth, Anglo-American popular music as well as comic strips and fast food were, and in part still are, widely resented in France; COCA COLA even was banned from the French market in the early 1950es. When facing the choice which foreign language to learn, most French high school students opted for German or Spanish - a decision reflecting an anti-English sentiment. The fact that English became the world language hurt the feelings of many citizens of LA GRANDE NATION.
Algerian-born novelist ALBERT CAMUS was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1957. Existentialist JEAN-PAUL SARTRE was widely regarded the leading philosopher of his time. France's film industry was very productive; stars SIMONE SIGNORET, JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO, ROMY SCHNEIDER, BRIGITTE BARDOT, YVES MONTAND gained worldwide fame, as did directors such as FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT, ROBERT BRESSON, CLAUDE CHABROL etc.
Responding to the onslaught of American comic strips, a French-language comic culture emerged in Belgium and France; the character of ASTERIX was created by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo in 1959.
On stage, EDITH PIAF continued to have success with her chansons; CHARLES AZNAVOUR (Armenian) and JACQUES BREL (Belgian) added to the fame of French chansons.

In 1958, the French national soccer team, in the World Cup held in Stockholm, took third place, having lost to champion Brazil in the semifinal.

Biography of Jean-Paul Sartre, from nobel e-museum, from Books and Writers
Sartre Online
Biography of Albert Camus, from Books and Writers
Biography of Simone de Beauvoir, from Books and Writers
REFERENCE Roger Price, A Concise History of France, Cambridge Concise Histories, 1993, pp.228-246
Article : France, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.300-303, 1951 pp.306-309, 1952 pp.298-301, 1953 pp.293-297, 1954 pp.292-296, 1955 pp.339-342, 1956 pp.277-280, 1957 pp.339-342, 1958 pp.274-278, 1959 pp.270-275, 1960 pp.271-274 [G]
Article : France, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.167-170 [G]
Article : France, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.296-302 (on events of 1956) [G]

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

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