French Democracy

Topics: Republic, France, Charles de Gaulle Pages: 3 (848 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Democracy Paper- France.
Although the Greeks might claim that democracy originates from the ancient city state of Athens, the French could plausibly argue that modern democracy emanates from the French Revolution of 1789. Many Nation-states pattern there government, democracy and constitution after the French. Although the course of democracy in France has hardly run smooth since then, it is still to this present day a democracy non-the less. Unlike the American political system and the British political system, which essentially have existed in their current form for centuries, the French political system has evolved since 1789, with the two world wars having a major impact - the current form of the French system is a much more recent construct dating from 1958 and today's Fifth Republic , which centralizes substantial power in the President and is a response to the political weaknesses of the pre-Second World War Third Republic and post-war Fourth Republic. France is now in its fifth Republic presently; anytime there is a new constitution it marks the start of a new republic. Four of France's five Republics have had presidents as their heads of state, making the French presidency the oldest presidency in Europe still to exist in some form. However, in each of the Republics' constitutions, the President's powers, functions and duties - and his relation with French governments - have differed. Under the Third and Fourth Republic, which were parliamentary systems, the office of President of the Republic was a largely ceremonial and powerless one. The constitution of the current Fifth Republic greatly increased the President's powers. Consequently the Presidency is easily the most powerful position in the French political system. Duties include heading the armed forces, appointment of the Prime Minister, power to dismiss the National Assembly, chairing the Council of Ministers, appointing the members of the highest appellate court and the Constitutional Court,...
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