Les années Mitterrand II (1986-1995)

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  • Created on: 27-05-18 12:51
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  • Les années Mitterrand II(1986-1995)
    • 1986 Parliamentary Elections
      • The PS lost the General Election (37%)
        • The RPR and UDF coalition regained a majority that they lost in 1981 (51%)
        • The FN entered in the AN for the first time with 6% (around 35 seats)
          • Demonstrates the progression of the party which was practically non-existent 5 years before
      • The Fabius government  was dissolved and FM asked Chirac to become the next PM
        • THe beginning of cohabitation
        • Only 5years after altérnance, the right had returned with a majority
        • This was the first time in the context of French Politics that the government was not politically aligned with the President
          • This meant that FM had to interpret the constitution in a different way than before
            • "La constitution, rien que la constitution, toute la constitution" (FM)
            • The government had almost complete control over the interior policy
            • The President kept control over the foreign policy and defense
              • This is due to the fact that the Constitution names the President as Head of State, so therefore they need to represent France abroad and acts as Commander in Chief of the army
                • The President and PM had to act as a united front in front of their foreign partners in order to not damage France's credibility abroad
    • Chirac's governmental measures
      • Chirac's government did the complete opposite of what was implemented 1980-1986
        • Privatised numerous industrial and banking groups
          • The plan was to privatise 35 groups in 5 years including dont St Gobain, CGE, Matra, Société Générale, Suez, Paribas and Havas
          • Similar to the policies that Thatcher was implementing at the time
        • Failure of the Devaquet law project on university reform
          • Wanted more flexibility regarding the management of universities: wanted to introduce selection into unis
          • Withdraw due to riots and the death of a student led to the government backing down
        • Took a harder stance in regards to illegal immigration
          • Charles Pasqua was the minister in Charge and became a bit on an enemy for the socialists
          • The Pasqua bills were the laws which limited immigration and were a response to the rise in the far-right votes
            • Charles Pasqua was the minister in Charge and became a bit on an enemy for the socialists
            • Wanted to persuade voters to leave the far-right and return to the moderate parties
        • FM and JC signed the "Single European Act" on 17th February 1986
          • Promoted free movement of capital and people and abolishing trade barriers
            • First step towards the EU
    • 1988 Presidential Elections
      • After 2 years of cohabitation, this was the first time that the President and PM would go head to head in the presidential elections
        • Mitterrand used his Presidential charisma to his advantage
          • FM's slogan was "la France unie"- and he tried to portray himself as a president for everyone
            • During the presidential debate, FM constantly undermined JC as 'just the PM'
              • JC constantly tried to get out of this role and wanted to fight for the candidature on an equal level, but FM insisted on calling him PM
                • JC couldn't gain assertive control over FM
                  • In the end, FM was the real winner from the cohabitation period
                • FM also tried to portray JC as as the man of tough immigration measures- portraying him as agressive, nasty as opposed to FM who was the 'charismatic' president
      • On 8th May 1988, FM was reelected as President of the Republic
        • Won with 54.02% of the vote compared to JC's 45.98%
          • Victory was different to the  one from 1981, as it wasn't won on the basis of left-wing values. FM now represented a more moderate, centrist view
            • Mitterrand dissolved the AN elected from 1986 and proposed "l'ouverture du centre"
              • Wanted a coalition with UDF
                • The left regained a relative majority of 48% on 12th June
                  • The PS won 260 seats
                  • The first-past the post system had been restablished by the right
                    • The PCF only won 5% of the votes and the FN didn't gain a single seat
                      • Michel Rocard, a "moderate" socialist was named PM
    • Mitterrand's Second term
      • Michel Roucard and "l''ouverture du Centre" (1988-1991)
        • The policies implemented were far more centrist than before
          • Creation of RMI (revenue minimum d'insertion)
            • Was a living wage given to people over the age of 25 (working age) but didn't have any other right to claim for unemployment benefits
              • Aimed at helping people get back into employment
          • Creation of CSG (la Contribution Social Généralisée)
            • A new tax which went towards social security due to the fact that the health system was in debt
              • This measure was not very popular, HOWEVER it did help to reduce the deficit
          • Created the ISF (L'impôt de Solidarité sur la Fortune)
            • This was a former measure (wealth tax) which Chirac had scrapped in 1986
        • MR was quite popular due to his pragmatism
      • The second term was more positive than first
        • MR was quite popular due to his pragmatism
        • The economy improved between 1988-1991 and unemployment fell
    • A New Era of Cohabitation (1993-1995)
      • The 1993 General Elections was a disaster for the left: both the PS and PCF
        • With 14% of the vote, the PS only regained 67 seats out of 577
          • The left paid the price for the levels of unemployment and their policy of austerity
            • They also failed to address the corruption scandals
        • The PCF only had 25 seats
      • The new RPR-UDF majority had 485 seats
        • Chirac refused to be the PM- he had learnt from his previous mistakes  in the 1981 election
          • Edouard Balladur was named the new PM
    • Mitterrand's legacy?
      • On 8th January 1996, FM died of prostate cancer
        • He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993
      • Several revalations about his life came to light after his death
        • He had a secret daughter form another woman who lived at the taxpayers expense
        • He had been decorated by the Vichy regime despite saying he was a supporter of the resistance
          • Despite the modernised economy and numerous social measures to help the working classes...
            • BUT there was a loss of competitivity for the French econmy which was lacking in important reforms
              • A rise in unemployment and support for the Front National
                • There was a confidence crisis amongst French people due to the new, more globalised world of the 1990s
    • Historical Events
      • The fall of the communist bloc
        • The reunification of Germany in 1989
          • France benefitted from the opportunity to again support the German Chancellor
            • The French government supported Gernam reunification in exchange for Helmut Kohl supporting the idea of an EU currency
              • The Euro was born at the end of the communist bloc and at the beginning of German reunification
              • The Golf War in 1991
                • Mitterrand rejoined the allied colition after the invashion of Kuwait led by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein
                • Mitterrand supported American intervention in Kuwait
                  • French people supported this action
                  • BUT the French engagement in the conflict caused the resignation of the defence Minister jean-Pierre Chevènement
  • The PS lost the General Election (37%)
    • The RPR and UDF coalition regained a majority that they lost in 1981 (51%)
    • The FN entered in the AN for the first time with 6% (around 35 seats)
      • Demonstrates the progression of the party which was practically non-existent 5 years before
  • HOWEVER, there were still difficulties which FM had to face
    • The controversy of the 'foulard isalmique" (Hijab)
      • Started in a Parisian banlieu where young girls who wore a hijab to school were suspended as it infringed laïcié
        • Beginnning of difficulties with secularism in schools and how to handle it
        • The French government ruled that it was NOT unlawful to suspend the girls
          • Beginnning of difficulties with secularism in schools and how to handle it
    • The October 1990 riots in Vaux-en-Velin
      • The first sign of 'malaise sociale'. The first time that there was awareness that certain parts of French society (mainly young people in the banlieus) were stuggling
        • Unemployment, a lot of drugs, crime, racism and fights with the police.
    • The return of unemployment in 1991 and 'malaise sociale'
      • The October 1990 riots in Vaux-en-Velin
        • The first sign of 'malaise sociale'. The first time that there was awareness that certain parts of French society (mainly young people in the banlieus) were stuggling
          • Unemployment, a lot of drugs, crime, racism and fights with the police.
      • Accusations of bribes and corruption within the PS
      • There was a rise in Euroscteptism
        • French people were beginning to get the sense that France wasn't benefitting from EU.
          • Shows in the referendum for the Maastricht treaty, where FM wanted the French people to approve of the creation of a single currency
            • Only 51% approved which was a very small majority- shows discontent
              • In May 1991 FM appointed the first and only female PM in French history- Édith Cresson
                • Was a victim of a lot of sexism and machoism
                • She was only in power until April 1992 due the PS' poor results
                • The October to November 1988 strikes led by civil servants and nurses
                  • They wanted better working conditions and wages
        • Unemployment was blamed on EU regulations

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