List of Presidents of France

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This is a list of presidents of France. The first President of France is considered to be Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III), who was elected in the 1848 election, under the French Second Republic. The current President is François Hollande, since 15 May 2012. He took office following the 2012 election.

First French Republic (1792–1804)[edit]

Second French Republic (1848–1852)[edit]

President of the Provisional Government of the Republic[edit]

Executive Commission (10 May 1848 – 24 June 1848)[edit]

Chief of the Executive Power[edit]

President[edit]

Political Party:       Bonapartist

PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office;
Electoral mandates
Political PartyRef.
1Napoleon-3.jpgLouis-Napoléon Bonaparte
(1808–1873)
20 December 18482 December 1852Bonapartist[1]
1848
Nephew of Napoléon I. Elected first President of the French Republic, in the 1848 election against Louis-Eugène Cavaignac. He provoked the French coup of 1851, and proclaimed himself Emperor the following year. (2 December 1852 – 4 September 1870)

Third French Republic (1870–1940)[edit]

President of the Government of National Defense[edit]

Chief of the Executive Power[edit]

Presidents[edit]

Political Party:       Radical       Independent       Independent (moderate Republican)       Republican (AD & predecessors)       Monarchist (Legitimist)

PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Term of OfficePolitical PartyRef.
2Adolphe Thiers Nadar 2.JPGAdolphe Thiers
(1797–1877)
31 August 187124 May 1873former Orléanist;
moderate Republican
[2]
Initially a moderate monarchist, named President following the adoption of the Rivet law. He became a Republican during his term, and resigned in the face of hostility from the Assemblée nationale, largely in favour of a return to monarchy.
3Patrice de Mac Mahon.jpgPatrice de Mac-Mahon,
duc de Magenta

(1808–1893)
24 May 187330 January 1879Legitimist[3]
A Marshal of France, he was the only monarchist (and only Duke) to serve as President of the Third Republic. He resigned shortly after the Republican victory in the 1877 legislative elections, following his decision to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies. During his term, the French Constitutional Laws of 1875 that served as the Constitution of the Third Republic were passed, and he therefore became the first President under the constitutional settlement that would last until 1940.
4Jules Grevy.jpgJules Grévy
(1807–1891)
30 January 18792 December 1887Opportunist Republican;
Left Republican
[4]
The first President to complete a full term, he was easily re-elected in December 1885. He was nonetheless forced to resign, following an honours scandal in which his son-in-law was implicated.
5Marie Francois Sadi Carnot.jpgMarie François Sadi Carnot
(1837–1894)
3 December 188725 June 1894Opportunist Republican;
Left Republican
[5]
His term was marked by boulangist unrest and the Panama scandals, and by diplomacy with Russia. †Assassinated (stabbed) by Sante Geronimo Caserio a few months before the end of his mandate, he is interred at the Panthéon, Paris.
6Jean Casimir-Perier.jpgJean Casimir-Perier
(1847–1907)
27 June 189416 January 1895Opportunist Republican;
Left Republican
[6]
Perier's was the shortest Presidential term: he resigned after six months and 20 days.
7Felix Faure.jpgFélix Faure
(1841–1899)
17 January 189516 February 1899Opportunist Republican;
Progressive Republican
[7]
Pursued colonial expansion and ties with Russia. President during the Dreyfus Affair. †Four years into his term he died of apoplexy at the Élysée Palace, allegedly in flagrante.
8Emile Loubet.jpgÉmile Loubet
(1838–1929)
18 February 189918 February 1906Democratic Republican Alliance[8]
During his seven-year term, the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State was adopted, and only four Presidents of the Council succeeded to the Hôtel Matignon. He did not seek re-election at the end of his term.
9Armand Fallieres.jpgArmand Fallières
(1841–1931)
18 February 190618 February 1913Opportunist Republican;
ARD-PRD
[9]
President during the Agadir Crisis, when French troops first occupied Morocco. He was a party to the Triple Entente, which he strengthened by diplomacy. Like his predecessor, he did not seek re-election.
10Raymond Poincaré 1914.jpgRaymond Poincaré
(1860–1934)
18 February 191318 February 1920PRD-ARD[10]
President during World War I. He subsequently served as President of the Council 1922–1924 and 1926–1929.
11Paul Deschanel 01.jpgPaul Deschanel
(1855–1922)
18 February 192021 September 1920ARD-PRDS[11]
An intellectual elected to the Académie française, he overcame the popular Georges Clemenceau, to general surprise, in the January 1920 election. He resigned after eight months due to mental health problems.
12Alexandre Millerand, 12e président de la République française.jpgAlexandre Millerand
(1859–1943)
23 September 192011 June 1924Independent[12]
An "Independent Socialist" increasingly drawn to the right wing, he resigned after four years following the victory of the Cartel des Gauches in the 1924 legislative elections.
13Gaston Doumergue 1924.jpgGaston Doumergue
(1863–1937)
13 June 192413 June 1931Radical[13]
The first Protestant President, he took a firm political stance against Germany and its resurgent nationalism. His seven-year term was marked by ministerial discontinuity.
14Paul Doumer 1931.jpgPaul Doumer
(1857–1932)
13 June 19317 May 1932Radical[14]
Elected in the second round of the 1931 election, having displaced the pacifist Aristide Briand. †Assassinated (shot) by the mentally unstable Paul Gorguloff.
15Albert Lebrun 1932 (2).jpgAlbert Lebrun
(1871–1950)
10 May 193211 July 1940
(de facto)
Democratic Alliance[15]
Re-elected in 1939, his second term was interrupted de facto by the rise to power of Marshal Philippe Pétain.

Acting presidents[edit]

Under the Third Republic, the President of the Council served as Acting President whenever the office of President was vacant.

The office of President of the French Republic did not exist from 1940 until 1947.

French State (1940–1944)[edit]

Chief of State[edit]

Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–1947)[edit]

Chairmen of the Provisional Government[edit]

Fourth French Republic (1947–1959)[edit]

Presidents[edit]

Political Party:       Socialist (SFIO)       Centre-right (CNIP)

PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office;
Electoral mandates
Political PartyRef.
16VincentAuriol.pngVincent Auriol
(1884–1966)
16 January 194716 January 1954French Section of the Workers' International[16]
1947
First President of the Fourth Republic, his term was marked by the First Indochina War.
17René Coty en 1948.JPGRené Coty
(1882–1962)
16 January 19548 January 1959National Centre of Independents and Peasants[17]
1953
Presidency marked by the Algerian War; appealed to Charles de Gaulle to resolve the May 1958 crisis. Following the promulgation of the Fifth Republic, he resigned after five years as President, giving way to de Gaulle.

Fifth French Republic (1959 – present)[edit]

Presidents[edit]

Political Party:       Socialist (PS)       Centrist (CD)       Republican (UDF)       Gaullist (UNR; UDR; RPR)       Liberal Gaullist (UMP)

PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office;
Electoral mandates
Political PartyRef.
18Charles de Gaulle-1963.jpgCharles de Gaulle
(1890–1970)
8 January 195928 April 1969Union for the New Republic
(renamed Union for the Defence of the Republic in 1968)
[18]
1958, 1965
President of the Provisional Government 1944–1946. Appointed President of the Council by René Coty in May 1958, to resolve the crisis of the Algerian War. He adopted a new Constitution, thus founding the Fifth Republic. Easily elected President in the 1958 election by electoral college, he took office the following month; he was re-elected by universal suffrage in the 1965 election. In 1966, he withdrew France from NATO integrated military command, and expelled the American bases on French soil. Having refused to step down during the crisis of May 1968, he finally resigned following the failure of the 1969 referendum on regionalisation.
Alain Poher en 1968.JPGAlain Poher (interim)
(1909–1996)
28 April 196920 June 1969Democratic Centre[19]
Interim President, as President of the Senate. Defeated by Georges Pompidou in the second round of the 1969 election.
19Georges Pompidou - Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F020538-0006.jpgGeorges Pompidou
(1911–1974)
20 June 19692 April 1974Union for the Defence of the Republic
(renamed Union of Democrats for the Republic in 1971)
[20]
1969
Prime Minister under Charles de Gaulle 1962–1968. Elected President in the 1969 election against the centrist Alain Poher. Favoured European integration. Supported economic modernisation and industrialisation. Faced the 1973 oil crisis. †Died in office of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, two years before the end of his mandate.
Alain Poher en 1968.JPGAlain Poher (interim)
(1909–1996)
2 April 197427 May 1974Democratic Centre[19]
Interim President, as President of the Senate. Did not stand against Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in the 1974 election.
20Valéry Giscard d’Estaing 1978(3).jpgValéry Giscard d'Estaing
(1926– )
27 May 197421 May 1981Independent Republicans (until 1977)
Republican Party (from 1977)
(within Union for French Democracy from 1978)
[21]
1974
Founder of the FNRI and later the UDF in his efforts to unify the centre-right, he served in several Gaullist governments. Narrowly elected in the 1974 election, he instigated numerous reforms, including the lowering of the age of civil majority from 21 to 18, and the legalisation of abortion. He soon faced a global economic crisis and rising unemployment. Although the polls initially gave him a lead, he was defeated in the 1981 election by François Mitterrand, partly due to the disunion within the right wing.
21Reagan Mitterrand 1984 (cropped 2).jpgFrançois Mitterrand
(1916–1996)
21 May 198117 May 1995Socialist Party[22]
1981, 1988
Candidate of a united left-wing ticket in the 1965 election, he founded the Socialist Party in 1971. Having narrowly lost the 1974 election, he was finally elected in the 1981 election. He instigated several reforms (abolition of the death penalty, a fifth week of paid leave for employees). After the right-wing victory in the 1986 legislative elections, he named Jacques Chirac Prime Minister, thus beginning the first cohabitation. Re-elected in the 1988 election against Chirac, he was again forced to cohabit with Édouard Balladur following the 1993 legislative elections. He retired in 1995 after the conclusion of his second term. He was the first President elected twice by universal suffrage, he was the first left-wing President of the Fifth Republic, and his Presidential tenure was the longest of the Fifth Republic.
22Jacques Chirac.jpgJacques Chirac
(1932– )
17 May 199516 May 2007Rally for the Republic (until 2002)
Union for a Popular Movement (from 2002)
[23]
1995, 2002
Prime Minister 1974–1976; on resignation, founded the RPR. Eliminated in the first round of the 1981 election, he again served as Prime Minister 1986–1988. Beaten in the 1988 election, he was elected in the 1995 election. He engaged in social reforms to counter "social fracture". In 1997, he dissolved the Assemblée nationale; a left-wing victory in the 1997 legislative elections, forced him to name Lionel Jospin Prime Minister for a five-year cohabitation. Presidential terms reduced from seven to five years. In 2002, he was re-elected against the leader of the extreme right-wing Jean-Marie Le Pen. Opposed the Iraq War. He did not run in 2007, he retired from political life and returned to the Conseil constitutionnel.
23Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP Summit October 2010 (105).jpgNicolas Sarkozy
(1955– )
16 May 200715 May 2012Union for a Popular Movement[24]
2007
Served in numerous ministerial posts 1993–1995 and 2002–2007. Leader of the UMP since 2004. In the 2007 election, he topped the first round poll, and was elected in the second round against Ségolène Royal. Soon after taking office, he introduced the French fiscal package of 2007 and other laws to counter illegal immigration and recidivism. President of the Council of the EU in 2008, he defended the Treaty of Lisbon and mediated in the South Ossetia War; at national level, he had to deal with the financial crisis and its consequences. Following the 2008 constitutional reform, he became the first President since Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte to address the Versailles Congress on 22 June 2009. President of the G8 and the G20 in 2011. Defeated in the 2012 election.
24François Hollande — Septembre 2011.jpegFrançois Hollande
(1954– )
15 May 2012IncumbentSocialist Party[25]
2012
Served as Deputy for Corrèze 1 1988–1993, 1997; and as First Secretary of the Socialist Party 1997–2008. He was Mayor of Tulle 2001–2008, and President of the Corrèze General Council 2008–2012. The second left-wing President of the Fifth Republic. Elected in the 2012 election, defeating Nicolas Sarkozy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (1808–1873)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Adolphe Thiers (1797–1877)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Patrice de Mac-Mahon (1808–1893)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Jules Grévy (1807–1891)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Marie-François-Sadi Carnot (1837–1894)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Jean Casimir-Perier (1847–1907)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Félix Faure (1841–1899)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Emile Loubet (1836–1929)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "Armand Fallières (1841–1931)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Raymond Poincaré (1860–1934)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Paul Deschanel (1855–1922)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Alexandre Millerand (1859–1943)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Gaston Doumergue (1863–1937)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Paul Doumer (1857–1932)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Albert Lebrun (1871–1950)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Vincent Auriol (1884–1966)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "René Coty (1882–1962)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Alain Poher (1909–1996)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "Georges Pompidou (1911–1974)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  21. ^ "Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1926)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  22. ^ "François Mitterrand (1916–1996)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  23. ^ "Jacques Chirac (1932)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "Nicolas Sarkozy (1955)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "Biographie officielle de François Hollande" [Official biography of François Hollande] (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Retrieved 15 May 2012.