France and the origins of the United Nations, 1944–1945: "Si La France ne compte plus, qu’on nous le dise”

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Abstract

During their long exile during 1940–1944, various components of the “Free French” were largely kept out of the “Post-War Planning” process that took place in the American State Department. They perceived this absence as a major, and often deliberate, humiliation that made the circumstances of their exile all the more exasperating. Charles de Gaulle was seen by the “Anglo–Saxon” Allies as a figure of dubious worth and usefulness, and Washington’s general tone was to dismiss the exiles as the “so-called Free French.” They were admitted to the decision-making process only slowly and grudgingly, and not until after many of the key decisions about organising the United Nations had been taken. This article shows how that exclusion affected the French leadership, how they reacted, and suggests some lasting results. It also assesses to what extent France had a coherent contribution to the formation of a global international organisation during 1943–1944, and what factors inhibited France properly articulating that contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-234
Number of pages19
JournalDiplomacy and Statecraft
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017

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