Correction : Extracts from the memoirs of Charles de Gaulle

Bac histoire 2013 : two corrected documents. Here is one of them: Extracts from the memoirs of Charles de Gaulle.

Document n° 1: Extracts from the memoirs of Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle
guided France from 1944 to 1969

In his memoirs Charles de Gaulle recalls some of the major features of the government of France after the Second World War.

We can say that an essential trait of the French resistance is the will for social renovation. But it must be translated into action. Now, because of my powers and the credit (1) that opinion gives me, I have the means to do so. [Given that the country’s activity depends on coal, electric current, gas, oil, and will one day depend on the fission of the atom, that in order to bring the French economy up to the level that progress requires, these sources must be developed, that this requires expenditures and work that only the community is capable of accomplishing, nationalization is necessary. In the same vein, the State is given the direction of credit. In fact, since it is its responsibility to finance the largest investments, it must be given the means to do so directly. This will be done by nationalizing the Banque de France and the major credit institutions. […] Finally, in order to bring the new economy to invest, that is to say, to take from the present in order to build the future, the “High Commission for the Equipment and Modernization Plan” will be created during this same year. But there can be no real progress if those who make it with their own hands do not benefit from it. The government of the Liberation intends to make this happen, not only through wage increases, but above all through institutions that will fundamentally change the condition of workers. The year 1945 saw the complete overhaul of the social insurance system and its extension to many areas. All employees were obliged to be covered. Thus disappeared the anguish, as old as the human race, that illness, accident, old age and unemployment had weighed on the workers. [On the other hand, a complete system of family allowances was put into effect

Source: Charles de Gaulle, Mémoires de guerre, Le Salut, 1944-1946, Plon, 1959

(1) « … the credit for that opinion gives me » : credit here means “the confidence of opinion” and not the financial meaning that the word takes in the rest of the text

Correction of document n° 1: Extracts from Charles de Gaulle’s memoirs

Salvation, 1944–1946, is the third volume of Charles de Gaulle’s war memoirs published in 1959.

In this work, Charles de Gaulle describes the victory of Free France.
He brings in the whole book of maps, telegrams, letters. It is therefore a particularly well-documented work with a clear historical purpose.
Charles de Gaulle defends a vision of traditional French values.

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