Throughout the majority of its history, France has been a monarchy and is generally considered to have begun with the Frankish Kingdom in 486. In 1792, Louis XVI was overthrown, and the First Republic was established. Executive authority shifted to a number of bodies throughout the First Republic, finally ending in the Consulate, which fell to the First Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte (who'd previously become Consul for Life) in 1804. Napoleon was overthrown in 1814, and made an ultimately unsuccessful bid to regain the crown the following year. In the meantime, the House of Bourbon was restored.
The Bourbon Restoration lasted until the so-called July Monarchy of 1830, when Louis-Phillipe I displaced Charles X and proclaimed himself "Monarch of the French" in a bid to create a more populist monarchy. The July Monarchy held until the Revolution of 1848, giving way to the brief Second Republic. After series of executive bodies, the Second Republic established the office of the Presidency as the head of state. The sole office holder was Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the late emperor. Rather than serve a single term as President, Bonaparte overthrew the Republic, and established what came to be called the Second Empire in 1852, with himself as Emperor of the French. Napoleon III ruled the Second Empire until it fell in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and was succeeded by the Third Republic. No serious attempts to restore the French monarchy in any form have been made since the fall of the Second Empire.
Under the Third Republic, the head of state was the President, a largely ceremonial office. As a consequence of France's initial defeat in 1940, the Third Republic was terminated, and the authoritarian French State was created, with Philippe Pétain as its only Chief of State. With France's liberation in 1944, a Provisional Government was established with the Chairman acting as the head of state, until the creation Fourth Republic in 1946. Once again a ceremonial president was the head of state. However, that republic suffered many of the same problems as the Third Republic. In 1958, a new constitution established the Fifth Republic. Unlike previous republics, the President of the Fifth Republic wields a great deal of power.
The instability of France's government continued throughout the 19th century and into the 20th. In 1862, Napoleon III, ruler of the Second Empire, supported the victorious Confederate States during the War of Secession, in part to thwart the United States and shore up France's puppet empire in Mexico. In 1870, the Second French Empire was defeated by Prussia. Napoleon III was overthrown, and the Empire fell while Prussia became the nucleus of the German Empire. France installed a Third French Republic.
Despite a policy of revanchism, France was defeated again by Germany in the Great War. In the years that followed, France was in turmoil. By 1931, the Third Republic fell and the monarchist party Action Francaise installed a new king, Charles XI. The new kingdom was not able to defeat Germany in the Second Great War. Charles XI was killed, and his successor, Louis XIX, was forced to sue for peace.
|Head of State||Title||Term|
|Napoleon III||Emperor of Second French Empire||1852-1870|
|Unknown||President of the Third French Republic||1870-1931|
|Charles XI||King of France||1931-1944|
|Louis XIX||King of France||1944-Incumbent at series end|
By the 19th century, the Kingdoms of France and Spain had been brought into a political union under one monarch under the aegis of the Holy Alliance. The king of France and Spain ruled over a substantial global empire, second only to the British Empire.
- Louis XVI During his reign, an uprising of the French people was thwarted, and Louis's throne was saved.
- François IV, the ruler of the Holy Alliance in the 1990s. In 1995, the Holy Alliance backed an assassination attempt on Charlies III of the British Empire.
Louis XV reigns in the Atlantis short work, "Nouveau Redon". His successor, Louis XVI, reigns in the sequel novel, The United States of Atlantis. While several stories are set in the 19th century, they don't address the status of the French monarchy in that timeline.
In the novel In High Places, the Black Plague was more devastating to Europe. In 1381, the reigning French king, who goes unnamed, joined with the reigning pope (also unnamed) to order the execution of a messianic figure named Henri. Both were killed the day after the execution when a church ceiling collapsed on them. Over the following centuries, Islam sweeps into Europe, leaving a rump Kingdom of Versailles. In 2096, Versailles is ruled by King Charles. Another French kingdom, Berry, is ruled by the Muslim king Abdallah.
The outbreak of World War III in 1951 brought about the end of the short lived Fourth French Republic. In June, 1951, a Soviet atomic bomb destroyed Paris, killing most of the French government, including incumbent president, Vincent Auriol. France established a Committee of National Salvation, with Charles de Gaulle as its head.
|Head of State||Title||Term|
|Vincent Auriol||President of the Fourth French Republic||1947-1951|
|Charles de Gaulle||Chairman of the Committee of National Salvation||1951-Incumbent as of most recent volume|
Other Republican Heads of State
In addition to the above, Charles de Gaulle is evidently the head of state of France in his capacity of Chairman of the Provisional Government in The Man With the Iron Heart. He appears to hold that position until 1948, two years longer than he did in OTL.
Philippe Pétain is Chief of the French State in the Worldwar tetralogy, just as in OTL. After the Peace of Cairo ends the Race's invasion of Earth, Nazi Germany absorbs the entirety of France. After Germany is defeated in the Race-German War of 1965, France creates a new French Republic under the leadership of Jacques Doriot. Doriot's position as head of state of France is not explicit.