Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 207–219 | Cite as

The Fourth Republic and NATO, 1946–1958: alliance partnership or idiosyncratic nationalism?

  • Jenny RaflikEmail author


The French Fourth Republic (1946–1958) has long been caricatured as a weak regime beholden to American influence. Yet, its negative image has been vastly overdrawn, all the more as it now stands in marked contrast to the depiction of a strong and independent Fifth Republic led by General Charles de Gaulle. Indeed, not only did the creation of NATO coincide with the very existence of the Fourth Republic, but France played an original and decisive role during the first years of the alliance, which is important if one wishes to understand its subsequent relations with NATO. This article will focus on the growing frustration of the Fourth Republic’s political and military leadership with transatlantic institutions. How this frustration translated into tangible policy will be highlighted in order to illuminate subsequent relations between France and NATO. Indeed, hidden behind the Fourth Republic’s apparently unwavering loyalty to the Atlantic alliance were national claims that actually preceded those of the Gaullist regime.


France Fourth Republic NATO transatlantic relationship Georges Bidault 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cergy-PontoiseParisFrance

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