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A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

This post was published on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 2:12 pm. It has been categorised under Design France and been tagged under , , .
7 Sep 2010 3:50 pm

Is that Charles de Gaulle?

Alex Sepkus
10 Sep 2010 6:45 pm

Vive Jean Bastien-Thiry!

Andrew Cusack
10 Sep 2010 9:51 pm

Hélas, they never put Jean Bastien-Thiry on a coin.

14 Sep 2010 7:34 am

Thank you for this piece, an elderly Charles de Gaulle. Which coin is this?

In many respects Charles de Gaulle was a pretty awful leader, of course. The record in Algeria speaks for itself. After a military revolt brought him into power he announced that Algeria was French. This made many of the natives choose to support the civilian authorities on the basis that they were staying. Just a few short years later he abandonned the place with terrible results. The one million European inhabitants fled and there were devilish reprisals against the loyalist Harkis who were betrayed to grim deaths. Overall, his decisions removed twenty percent of the population of that country through emigration or slaughter over subsequent years.

He is remembered for two reasons. The first is that he gave the French people a myth to believe in: that they resisted the Germans. The second is that under his presidency the economy grew. These hardly outweigh his failings and rudeness to his old hosts during his exile, such as his withdrawal from the integrated NATO structure and his Quebec speech.

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