List of Presidents of France

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Below is a list of Presidents of France. The first President of France is considered to be Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III), who was elected in the 1848 election, under the French Second Republic. The current President is Emmanuel Macron, from 14 May 2017. He was elected in the 2017 election.

Jean Casimir-Périer spent the shortest time in office, resigning in 1895 only six months and 20 days after taking office. François Mitterrand served the longest, nearly fourteen years.

Of the individuals elected as President, two died in office of natural causes (Félix Faure and Georges Pompidou), and two were assassinated (Marie François Sadi Carnot and Paul Doumer).

Predecessors[edit]

After the establishment of the French First Republic in 1792, the three powers of the State were entrusted to the National Convention, the unicameral parliament. The National Convention was led by a President (see List of Presidents of the National Convention), who rotated fortnightly.

From 1793 the National Convention was dominated by its sub-committee, Committee of Public Safety, in which the leading figures were Georges Danton and then Maximilien Robespierre.

After the 9th Thermidor, Robespierre and his followers were arrested and executed, and the National Convention was replaced by a "Legislative Body" divided in Council of Five Hundred (lower house) and Council of Ancients (upper house), while the executive power was took of by a Directory. The Directory was officially led by a president, as stipulated by Article 141 of the Constitution of the Year III. An entirely ceremonial post, the first president was Jean-François Rewbell who was chosen by lot on 2 November 1795. The directors conducted their elections privately, with the presidency rotating every three months.[1] The last president was Gohier.[2] The leading figure of the Directory was Paul Barras, the only Director to serve throughout the Directory.

In 1799, the Coup of 18 Brumaire deposed the Directory in favor to General Napoleon Bonaparte. The MP Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès was a proponent of a new system of government for the Republic, and the coup initially seemed certain to bring his system into force. The Constitution of the Year VIII establish a new government called Consulate, composed by Bonaparte, Régis de Cambacérès and Lebrun as first, second and third Consuls, respectively. In 1804, the First Republic finally dissolved with the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte as "Emperor of the French".[3]

List of officeholders[edit]

Portrait Name[a]
(Birth–Death)
Term of office & Election Political party Ref.
Previous office

French Second Republic (1848–1852)[edit]

The Government of Jacques-Charles Dupont deputised during the interim (24 February 1848 – 9 May 1848).
The Executive Commission deputised during the interim (10 May 1848 – 24 June 1848).
The Government of Louis-Eugène Cavaignac deputised during the interim (28 June 1848 – 20 December 1848).
1 Napoleon-III.jpg Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte
GCLH
(1808–1873)
20 December 1848 2 December 1852 1848 Independent[b] [5]
MP of the National Assembly for Seine
(24 September – 20 December 1848)
After the establishment of the French Second Empire, the Presidency became vacant from 2 December 1852 to 31 August 1871.

French Third Republic (1870–1940)[edit]

The Government of Louis-Jules Trochu deputised during the interim (4 September 1870 – 13 February 1871).
Adolphe Thiers Nadar 2.JPG Adolphe Thiers
GCLH Académie
(1797–1877)
17 February 1871 30 August 1871 1871 Independent [6]
2 31 August 1871 24 May 1873
MP of the National Assembly for Seine
(12 February 1871 – 31 August 1871)
3 Patrice de MacMahon crop.jpg Patrice de MacMahon
MF GCLH MM
(1808–1893)
24 May 1873 30 January 1879 1873 Independent[c] [8]
General Governor of Algeria
(1 September 1864 – 27 July 1870)
4 Jules Grevy.jpg Jules Grévy
GCLH
(1807–1891)
30 January 1879 2 December 1887 1879 Moderate Republican [9]
1885
President of the Chamber of Deputies
(8 March 1876 – 31 January 1879)
The Government of Maurice Rouvier deputised during the interim (2 – 3 December 1887).
5 The evolution of France under the third republic (1897) (14782530655).jpg François Sadi Carnot
GCLH
(1837–1894)
3 December 1887 25 June 1894 [‡] 1887 Moderate Republican [10]
Minister of Finance
(16 April 1885 – 11 December 1886)
The Government of Charles Dupuy deputised during the interim (25 – 27 June 1894).
6 Jean Casimir-Perier.jpg Jean Casimir-Perier
GCLH
(1847–1907)
27 June 1894 16 January 1895 1894 Moderate Republican [11]
President of the Chamber of Deputies
(2 June – 27 June 1894)
The Government of Charles Dupuy deputised during the interim (16 – 17 January 1895).
7 Felix Faure.jpg Félix Faure
GCLH
(1841–1899)
17 January 1895 16 February 1899 [†] 1895 Moderate Republican [12]
Minister of the Navy
(30 May 1894 – 17 January 1895)
The Government of Charles Dupuy deputised during the interim (16 – 18 January 1899).
Emile Loubet.jpg Émile Loubet
GCLH
(1838–1929)
18 February 1899 18 February 1906 1899 Moderate Republican
(1899–1901)
[13]
8 Democratic Republican Alliance
(1901–1906)
Presidents of the Senate of France
(16 January 1896 – 18 February 1899)
9 Armand Fallières.jpg Armand Fallières
GCLH
(1841–1931)
18 February 1906 18 February 1913 1906 Democratic Republican Alliance
(1906–1911)
then renamed
Republican Democratic Party
(1911–1913)
[14]
Presidents of the Senate of France
(3 March 1899 – 18 February 1906)
10 Raymond Poincaré 1914.jpg Raymond Poincaré
GCLH Académie
(1860–1934)
18 February 1913 18 February 1920 1913 Republican Democratic Party
(1913–1917)
then renamed
Democratic Republican Alliance
(1917–1920)
[15]
President of the Council of Ministers
(14 January 1912 – 21 January 1913)
11 Paul Deschanel 01.jpg Paul Deschanel
GCLH Académie
(1855–1922)
18 February 1920 21 September 1920 Jan.
1920
Democratic Republican Alliance [16]
President of the Chamber of Deputies
(23 May 1912 – 10 February 1920)
The Government of Alexandre Millerand deputised during the interim (21 – 23 September 1920).
12 Alexandre Millerand 1914.jpg Alexandre Millerand
GCLH
(1859–1943)
23 September 1920 11 June 1924 Sep.
1920
Independent [17]
President of the Council of Ministers
20 January – 23 September 1920)
The Government of Frédéric François-Marsal deputised during the interim (11 – 13 June 1924).
13 Gaston Doumergue 1924 crop.jpg Gaston Doumergue
GCLH
(1863–1937)
13 June 1924 13 June 1931 1924 Radical-Socialist Party [18]
President of the Senate
22 February 1923 – 13 June 1924)
14 Paul Doumer 1931.jpg Paul Doumer
GCLH
(1857–1932)
13 June 1931 7 May 1932 [‡] 1931 Radical-Socialist Party [19]
President of the Senate
14 January 1927 – 11 June 1931)
The Government of André Tardieu deputised during the interim (7 – 10 May 1932).
15 Albert Lebrun 1932 (2).jpg Albert Lebrun
GCLH
(1871–1950)
10 May 1932 11 July 1940 1932 Democratic Alliance [20]
1939
President of the Senate
11 June 1931 – 10 May 1932)
After the fall of Republic and the establishment of the collaborationist French State led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, the Presidency became vacant, from 11 July 1940 to 20 August 1944.

French Fourth Republic (1944–1958)[edit]

The Chairmen of the Provisional Government deputised during the interim (20 August 1944 – 16 January 1947).
16 VincentAuriol (cropped).png Vincent Auriol
GCLH MR
(1884–1966)
16 January 1947 16 January 1954 1947 French Section of the
Workers' International
[21]
President of the National Assembly
3 December 1946 – 20 January 1947)
17 René Coty-1929.jpg René Coty
GCLH
(1882–1962)
16 January 1954 8 January 1959 1953 National Centre of
Independents and Peasants
[22]
MP of the National Assembly for Seine-Inférieure
7 November 1948 – 23 December 1953)

French Fifth Republic (1958–present)[edit]

18 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F015892-0010, Bonn, Konrad Adenauer und Charles de Gaulle (cropped).jpg Charles de Gaulle
GCLH GCM CL Cg (1914) Cg (1939) CC MIV Mcg
(1890–1970)
8 January 1959 28 April 1969 1958 Union for the New Republic
(1959–1967)
[23]
1965 Union of Democrats for the Republic
(1967–1969)
President of the Council of Ministers
1 June 1958 – 8 January 1959)
The President of the Senate Alain Poher deputised during the interim (28 April 1969 – 20 June 1969). [24]
19 Georges Pompidou (cropped 2).jpg Georges Pompidou
GCLH GCM Cg (1939)
(1911–1974)
20 June 1969 2 April 1974 [†] 1969 Union of Democrats for the Republic [25]
Prime Minister of France
14 April 1962 – 10 July 1968)
The President of the Senate Alain Poher deputised during the interim (2 April 1974 – 27 May 1974). [24]
20 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing 1978.jpg Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
GCLH GCM Cg (1939) Académie
(born 1926)
27 May 1974 21 May 1981 1974 Independent Republicans
(1974–1977)
then renamed
Republican Party
(1977–1981)
[26]
Minister of Economy and Finances
20 June 1969 – 27 May 1974)
21 Confidences de François Mitterrand (cropped).jpg François Mitterrand
GCLH GCM OF MR Cg (1939)
(1916–1996)
21 May 1981 17 May 1995 1981 Socialist Party [27]
1988
MP of the National Assembly for Nièvre
6 December 1962 – 21 May 1981)
22 Jacques Chirac 1997.jpg Jacques Chirac
GCLH GCM OF CVM COMA COAL MA Algérie COEN
(born 1932)
17 May 1995 16 May 2007 1995 Rally for the Republic
(1995–2002)
[28]
2002 Union for a Popular Movement
(2002–2007)
Mayor of Paris
25 March 1977 – 16 May 1995)
23 Rajoy y Sarkozy en Madrid -detail.jpg Nicolas Sarkozy
GCLH GCM
(born 1955)
16 May 2007 15 May 2012 2007 Union for a Popular Movement [29]
Minister of the Interior
2 June 2005 – 26 March 2007)
24 Francois Hollande 2015.jpeg François Hollande
GCLH GCM
(born 1954)
15 May 2012 14 May 2017 2012 Socialist Party [30]
President of Corrèze General Council
20 March 2008 – 11 May 2012)
25 Emmanuel Macron in July 2017.jpg Emmanuel Macron
GCLH GCM
(born 1977)
14 May 2017 Incumbent 2017 La République En Marche! [30]
Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs
26 August 2014 – 30 August 2016)

Graphical timeline[edit]

Emmanuel MacronFrançois HollandeNicolas SarkozyJacques ChiracFrançois MitterrandValéry Giscard d'EstaingGeorges PompidouAlain PoherCharles de Gaulle

Living former Presidents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

^† Died in office / ^‡ assassinated.
  1. ^ Including French honorifics.
  2. ^ Bonaparte rejected any political label, but was supported by Bonapartistes, the Party of Order, and some socialists.[4]
  3. ^ MacMahon considered himself a "Legitimist", but also avoided to interfere in the monarchist's claim of restoration. His election was supported by all royalists, conservatives and moderates in the Parliament.[7]
  1. ^ Cheynet, Pierre-Dominique (2013). "France: Presidents of the Executive Directory: 1795-1799". Archontology.org. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Lefebvre & Soboul, p. 199.
  3. ^ Roberts, Andrew (2014). Napoleon: A Life. Penguin Group. p. 355. 
  4. ^ Séguin, Philippe (1990). Louis Napoléon Le Grand. Éditions Grasset. p. 123-125. 
  5. ^ "Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (1808–1873)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Adolphe Thiers (1797–1877)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  7. ^ D.W. Brogan (1940). France under the Republic: The Development of Modern France (1870-1939). Harper & Brothers. p. 97. 
  8. ^ "Patrice de Mac-Mahon (1808–1893)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "Jules Grévy (1807–1891)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Marie-François-Sadi Carnot (1837–1894)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Jean Casimir-Perier (1847–1907)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Félix Faure (1841–1899)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Emile Loubet (1836–1929)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Armand Fallières (1841–1931)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Raymond Poincaré (1860–1934)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Paul Deschanel (1855–1922)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "Alexandre Millerand (1859–1943)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "Gaston Doumergue (1863–1937)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  19. ^ "Paul Doumer (1857–1932)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "Albert Lebrun (1871–1950)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  21. ^ "Vincent Auriol (1884–1966)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  22. ^ "René Coty (1882–1962)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  23. ^ "Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  24. ^ a b "Alain Poher (1909–1996)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  25. ^ "Georges Pompidou (1911–1974)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  26. ^ "Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1926)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  27. ^ "François Mitterrand (1916–1996)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "Jacques Chirac (1932)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  29. ^ "Nicolas Sarkozy (1955)" (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "Biographie officielle de François Hollande" [Official biography of François Hollande] (in French). Official website of the French Presidency. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.