Charles de Gaulle Biography

President of France / World War II Figure

Born: 22 November 1890
Died: 9 November 1970 (aneurysm)
Birthplace: Lille, France
Best known as: President of France, 1958-69
Charles de Gaulle was the dominant political leader and grand figurehead of France during and after World War II. De Gaulle was a career soldier in the French Army who had been wounded and held prisoner during World War I. He rose to the rank of general and was serving as France's minister for National Defense and War in June, 1940, when France capitulated to Germany early in World War II. DeGaulle escaped to Britain, where he made a famous broadcast calling on the French people to resist (earning him the nickname of the "Man of June 18, 1940"). DeGaulle formed the Free French forces and led the provisional government that ruled France after it was retaken from Germany. After the war he was elected head of the French government, but left the post in 1946 and formed a new political party, the Rassemblement du Peuple Francais (Rally of the People of France, or RPF). DeGaulle was in and out of politics until 1958, when he was called to form a government amid political chaos in France. He oversaw the constitutional reforms that led to the Fifth Republic of France, and became the first president of the new Republic in 1959. Proud, stubborn, and charismatic, he insisted on France's right to pursue an independent path from both Europe and the United States. He also settled France's difficult relations with its Algerian territory by granting self-determination to Algeria. He served as president for just over a decade until stepping down in April of 1969.

Copyright © 1998-2006 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.


Provided by Infoplease—an authoritative, comprehensive reference website that offers an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs. Visit Infoplease.com to find more resources endorsed by teachers and librarians.

Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!

Start Trial


Free Gift with Newsletter Sign-Up
Do you receive our free newsletters? We send out seasonal content tie-ins, topical resources, and daily activities. And now when you sign up for any TeacherVision newsletter, we'll send you a packet of our most popular back-to-school essentials as a free gift!

October Calendar of Events
October is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Fire Prevention Week (10/4-10), Metric Week (10/4-10), World Space Week (10/4-10), Earth Science Week (10/11-17), Chemistry Week (10/18-24), Teen Read Week (10/18-24), Make a Difference Day (10/24), and Halloween (10/31). Plus, celebrate Bullying Prevention Month, Diversity Awareness Month, Learning Disabilities Month, and School Safety Month all October long!

Bullying Prevention Month
October is Bullying Prevention Month, and it's a crucial topic for teachers and administrators to address. Bullying can cause both physical and emotional harm, and it can range from inflicting physical abuse to cyber-bullying (the use of cell phones, social networking sites, and other forms of technology to cause emotional distress). Learn how to recognize several forms of bullying and teasing, and discover effective techniques for dealing with and preventing bullying in your classroom.

Happy Halloween! Kids love this holiday and all the spooky decorations, games, and stories that go along with it. (Not to mention the candy, of course!) Take advantage of their enthusiasm with classroom connections and fun activities.