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République française
French Republic
Provisional government



Flag Coat of arms
Capital Paris
Language(s) French
Political structure Provisional government
 - 1944-1946 Charles de Gaulle
 - 1946 Félix Gouin (SFIO)
 - 1946 Georges Bidault (MRP)
 - 1946-1947 Léon Blum (SFIO)
Legislature National Assembly
Historical era World War II
 - Established August 1944
 - Disestablished October 14, 1946
Currency French Franc
History of France
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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 had been established under the rule of Philippe Pétain. However, after Operation Overlord, the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Chambois pocket, the Vichy regime dissolved. Jurisdiction was then seized by the Provisional Government under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle in the wake of the Allied front lines moving through France.



The GPRF was dominated by the tripartisme alliance between the French Communist Party (PCF), claiming itself by exaggeration to be the parti des 85,000 fusillés ("party of the 85,000 shot") because of its leading role in the Resistance, 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 most important political parties after the war — the Radical-Socialists and the conservative, right-wing parties, such as the Democratic Republican Alliance (ARD), had lost their legitimacy due to their collaboration during Vichy and to their attitude before the war — 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, reserved to countries who had not 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 envisioned by the National Council of the Resistance, the umbrella organisation which united all Resistant movements, in particular the Communist Front National. The Front National was the political front of the Franc-tireurs et partisans (FTP) Resistance movement. Beside de Gaulle's ordinances granting, for the first time in France, right of vote to women, the GPRF passed various labour laws, including the October 11, 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 thus that all its actions had been illegal. All statutes, laws, regulations and decisions by the Vichy government were thus made null and devoid of effects. 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 cancellation 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.[1]

Collaborationist paramilitary and political organizations, such as the Milice and the Service d'ordre légionnaire, were also disbanded.[1]

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.[2]

List of Chairmen of the Provisional Government of the French Republic

See also




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