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  1. Postwar France and Italy.mp4    




    Using ONLY the material provided in the lecture, thoroughly discuss in as much detail as you can provide the material discussed in lecture 8, which deals with the postwar period in France and Italy.

    Here is the link to Lecture 8:


Subject History Pages 3 Style APA


Post War France and Italy


The Second World War affected countries in various aspects. Many countries took many years to reconstruct their economy and political system (Pearl, 2021, lecture). Italy and France were at the center of the war. Though the two countries were in different alliances during the Second World War, they both experienced difficulties regaining their systems after the war. Various events happened in France and Italy after the Second World War that affected their economy, politics, and women’s role.

After Germany defeated France in 1940, the country was divided into northern and southern regions. Charles Gaulle became the temporary president of France in the immediate aftermath of the war. He later became the architect of the Fifth Republican and served as a legitimate president from 1958-1969. In 1946, The Fourth Republican was created (Pearl, 2021, lecture). The country was to choose between the presidential and the parliamentary system of government. Most people did not have faith in Charles as the man who would steer the country forward, forcing him to exit. The French constitutional referendum was held, and the parliamentary system won by 53.24%, making France officially a parliamentary state. 

In 1947, France experienced myriads of problems, and the period was named the May 1947 crisis. The country’s economy was doing poorly, and became subject to international aid, which came with conditions. For instance, through the Truman doctrine fund, the US government gave a request to the French government to disengage the communists from the affairs of its government. In the same year, Jean Monnet came up with an economic reconstruction plan (Pearl, 2021, lecture). The plan included nationalizing key industries and improving social services. Technocrats and specialists were to take critical roles in the operation of the economy. Besides, the country was to operate a free market economy. However, after 1948, the economy of the country began to take. The country realized increased ownership of automobiles, homeowners, refrigerators, and television. It was the beginning of the age of affluence. Traveling on paid vacations also increased, especially among the working-class Frenchmen.

The French overseas colonies in Africa and Asia became the source of hope after the war. They called it the French Union. At the center of French interest in sub-Saharan Africa was Algeria. In 1958, The Fifth Republican was created and Charles Gaulle becomes president of France. He had the challenge of salvaging Algeria from the Pied Noirs’ activities (Pearl, 2021, lecture). In 1961, the Paris massacre occurred, where Algerian Muslims living in Paris were massacred for holding peaceful demonstrations. The civil war intensified, and the Pier Noir had to leave Algeria.

Italy also experienced many changes in the post-war era. For instance, the country was faced with the challenge of having a monarchial government or a republic. While some thought monarchy was the best for the country, other people wanted a republic (Pearl, 2021, lecture). Thus, the country went into a referendum, and the majority voted in favor of creating a republican. Italy had post-war coalitions such as Christian democrats, socialists, and communists. The Christian Democrats were the party of the rights. Socialists and communists were leftists. In the 1948 election, there were fears that communists would not leave power if they form the government (Pearl, 2021, lecture). However, Palmiro Pogliatti, the leader of the communist, party committed the party to democracy and made people believe that the party was different from what people see in the Soviet Union. However, the Christian democrats won most elective posts in the elections. The communist lost to the social democrats since many Italians still did not trust the formation even after the speech. It was the first time women voted in Italy. Most females voted in favor of the democrats. 

The rumor of involvement of the US in the election was confirmed. The United States funded the democrats and provided election experts to help them win. Nonetheless, they instructed Italian Americans to write to their relatives to vote against the communist party. They did that following the events in Czechoslovakia, where communists took over the control of the country (Pearl, 2021, lecture). America wanted to reduce the influence of communism in the region. After 1948, the Italian economic miracle began to happen. The production sector became vibrant. It expanded its automobile and cloth industry. Today, some of the world’s globally recognized brands, such as Gucci, have their operational headquarters in the country. Post-war Italy became culturally diverse, and cinema becomes a crucial cultural product. The culture influenced tourism in the country. Many people traveled to understand Italian culture as depicted in cinemas (Pearl, 2021, lecture). Italy’s international relations increased, and trade became a significant source of foreign exchange. Second World War disrupted major activities among European countries, and the reconstruction process was met with many challenges. 




Pearl, K. (2021). lecture: Post war France and Italy mp4

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