This thesis focuses on the role foreign policy played in legitimizing the early French Fifth Republic from 1958 to 1960. I argue that President Charles de Gaulle employed foreign policy in the service of gaining public support for his new government and the new republic. Many historians have argued previously that his foreign policy of grandeur, as it came to be called, was used to recast international politics and France's role in them. My work diverges from these previous interpretations by arguing that Gaullist foreign policy served, in many instances, overarching domestic goals, not French international interests. I see foreign policy as inseparable from the broader domestic ambition to craft a persuasive narrative of renewal and national unity under Gaullist stewardship. In the process, my study puts de Gaulle's foreign policy into the context of his larger aspiration to precipitate constitutional reform and, thereafter, ensure popular support. De Gaulle exploited opportunities to use foreign policy in order to shape public opinion, both domestically and internationally. These efforts, as my research reflects, helped foster public support for the new regime and, by portraying national renewal, further discredited the preceding Fourth Republic.
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Lyons, Amelia H.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Fedorka, Drew, "Legitimizing the "republican monarch" a reexamination of French foreign policy in the Atlantic Alliance, 1958-1960" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1263.