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HTY 410

Good Essays
There is no denying it; Margaret Thatcher was one of the most influential icons in the 20th century. For Charles de Gaulle, the same could be said. Both Leaders, Thatcher of Great Britain and De Gaulle of France, were influential in the paths of development in their two respective countries during their time period as political leaders. They both left an immense amount of impacts on their two respective countries, which still can be seen today. Both leaders also shared similar traits, while also having some interesting contrasting aspects. In this essay, I will compare and contrast the two influential leaders, Thatcher and De Gaulle, while also delving into some of the major impacts these two political leaders had on their respective countries.
First, to compare Thatcher and de Gaulle, we would need to look at how both entered office. First off, de Gaulle boycotted French politics for twelve years since the creation of the Fourth Republic in 1946 and its excessively parliamentary nature. When the Algerian Crisis broke way and virtually destroyed the Fourth Republic, the people of France turned to Charles de Gaulle, who was at the age of sixty-seven. De Gaulle inherited a mess, which he had to solve. As de Gaulle predicted and his countrymen found out the hard way, the Fourth Republic, like the Third Republic, was too strongly parliamentary. When de Gaulle was given his six-month emergency rule in 1958, which was the time allotted to write a new constitution, he created the Fifth Republic to have a strong presidential aspect. Although many criticized the Fifth Republic for being excessively authoritarian, there were numerous democratic aspects. De Gaulle was eventually voted in as the first president of the Fifth Republic, which ...

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...ically only five percent of the population went to the universities in France, but as France opened the floodgates and allowed more people to attend, universities became overcrowded. The revolt was joined by a lot of French workers and eventually grew to up to ten million Frenchmen on strike. Trains and planes even stopped running. In the end though, the events of may 1968 turned out to be mostly an affair of middle class students and was centered in the Paris metropolitan area. De Gaulle tackled the issue by promising education reform and called for new elections.
Overall, both de Gaulle and Thatcher share interesting comparison factors while as differing in a multitude of ways. There is no denying that they impacted their countries in colossal ways, which still can be seen today. However, by the end of their tenures, their popularity faded and they were replaced.
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