The Turning Point
There are a few occasions in history when a decision so purely technical on the surface has produced such tremendous consequences.
on the interim aid to France in 19471
Jean Monnet, in his Memoirs, described penetratingly the "mal français" of the period of the Fourth Republic ( 1946-1958):
Resignation had become the habitual response of Governments in the face of difficulties and trials of strength. The chance of escaping burdensome responsibilities, together with the permanent danger of being outvoted by an Assembly which ran no risk of dissolution, had made governmental instability a political way of life. Crisis had become the most natural and simple way of dealing with problems that demanded courage: it was a case of solving them by default. 2
Democracy, snatched from the French nation by the parliamentary hara-kiri of July 10, 1940, at Vichy, was restored almost immediately following the peace. An assembly that was also constituent was elected on October 21, 1945. This formally ended the Third Republic, which had in reality been concluded by the "parenthesis" of Vichy.
There followed the resignation of General de Gaulle from the presidency of the Provisional Government in January 1946, in the midst of the work of the Constituent Assembly; the rejection by the electorate of the draft constitution