Charles de Gaulle

(Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle)

Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
  • Born: November 22, 1890
  • Died: November 9, 1970
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession: Leader

101

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54

Citations

177

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Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to reestablish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement when appointed President of the Council of Ministers by President René Coty. He was asked to rewrite the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France later that year, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969. He was the dominant figure of France during the Cold War era, and his memory continues to influence French politics.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
[John F.] Kennedy was a mask on the face of America while Lyndon Johnson was America. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
… a war of extermination. War & Peace
A constitution … is good for a certain people and for a certain time. It shouldn’t be mummified. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
A constitution is made of a spirit, institutions, and a practice. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
A Japanese Prime Minister is a little transistor salesman. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
A man of character finds a special attractiveness in difficulty, since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty that he can realize his potentialities Human Nature
A state worthy of the name has no friends—only interests. [This is a generalized expression of British Prime Minister John Henry Temple's statement a century earlier. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
At no place in this world can I yield a single French right. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Before the human race today there are only two roads: War or brotherhood. War & Peace
Brazil is not a serious country. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Deliberation is the work of many men. Action of one alone. Management & Managing Government
Diplomats are only useful in fair weather. As soon as it rains they drown in every drop. Diplomacy & Diplomats
England’s drama is to be forced to choose between the remains of her Empire at the price of American hegemony and a loyal commitment to the continent. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back upon himself. Leaders & Leadership
France cannot be France without grandeur. Miscellaneous
Hegemony of the dollar. Minorities & Women
How can one conceive of a one-party system in a country that has over two hundred varieties of cheeses? Political Parties & Machines
I am a man who belongs to no one and who belongs to the whole world. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I cannot sacrifice or compromise my principles. Miscellaneous
I have against me the bourgeois, the military and the diplomats, and for me, only the people who take the Metro. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I have tried to lift France out of the mud. But she will return to her errors and vomiting. I cannot prevent the French from being French. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I respect only those who resist me, but I cannot tolerate them. Respect ;Miscellaneous
In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It was difficult to contradict this artist—this seducer. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Joan of Arc was not elected. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Men are of no importance. What counts is who commands. Leaders & Leadership
No country without an atom bomb could properly consider itself independent. Power
Old age is a shipwreck. Elderly, Aging. Old Age, Social Security & Pensions
One does not arrest Voltaire. Power
Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism is when hate for people other than your own comes first. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Sentiment inspires me no less than reason. Policy & Policy Making
Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
That policy was correct … That was 1957. It is now 1967. Policy & Policy Making ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. Human Nature
The choice is De Gaulle or anarchy. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The Dirty War La Guerra Sucia War & Peace
The enemy will not be able to halt our pursuit… and we shall have all the glory of beating the army that thought itself the finest in the world… and this without the Russians being absolutely necessary to us. War & Peace
The French will only be united under the threat of danger. Nobody can simply bring together a country that has 265 kinds of cheese. States. Nations & Nationhood
The great leaders have always stage-managed their effects. Leaders & Leadership ;Public Relations & Image
The leader is always alone in times of doom. Leaders & Leadership
The United States is a very difficult country to govern. Management & Managing Government
There are two groups of people in the world, the Anglo Saxons and the Soviets who have been stockpiling nuclear weapons. France will not accept a position of permanent and massive inferiority. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
They really are bad shots. Miscellaneous
To govern is always to choose among disadvantages. Management & Managing Government
Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Truths! Do you think I could have created a government … with truths? You make history with ambition, not with truths. Leaders & Leadership
We are still at the stumbling stage in atomic weapons. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
We must have cohesion, the unbreakable bond between metropolitan France and her overseas territories. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
We’re defending the West here … a certain notion of what man is. Human Nature
When I want to know what the French people think, I ask myself. Public Opinion & Polling
Where there is mystery there is power. Power
You have a solid State behind you, a united nation, a great army. For my part, I am too poor to afford bending. Negotiating & Negotiations
You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
A great country worthy of the name does not have any friends.
A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.
As an adolescent I was convinced that France would have to go through gigantic trials, that the interest of life consisted in one day rendering her some signal service and that I would have the occasion to do so. Life
Authority doesn't work without prestige, or prestige without distance. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.
Church is the only place where someone speaks to me and I do not have to answer back.
Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Diplomats are useful only in fair weather. As soon as it rains they drown in every drop.
Don't ask me who's influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he's digested, and I've been reading all my life. Life
Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own.
For glory gives herself only to those who have always dreamed of her.
France cannot be France without greatness.
France has lost the battle but she has not lost the war. War & Peace
Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown.
Hearing Mass is the ceremony I most favor during my travels. Church is the only place where someone speaks to me and I do not have to answer back.
How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese? Government
I grew up to always respect authority and respect those in charge. Respect
I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I have heard your views. They do not harmonize with mine. The decision is taken unanimously.
I have tried to lift France out of the mud. But she will return to her errors and vomitings. I cannot prevent the French from being French. History
I might have had trouble saving France in 1946 - I didn't have television then.
I was France. History
In politics it is necessary either to betray one's country or the electorate. I prefer to betray the electorate. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In the tumult of men and events, solitude was my temptation; now it is my friend. What other satisfaction can be sought once you have confronted History? History
It is not tolerable, it is not possible, that from so much death, so much sacrifice and ruin, so much heroism, a greater and better humanity shall not emerge. Death
Never relinquish the initiative.
No nation has friends only interests.
Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so.
Once upon a time there was an old country, wrapped up in habit and caution. We have to transform our old France into a new country and marry it to its time. Time
One cannot govern with 'buts'.
Only peril can bring the French together. One can't impose unity out of the blue on a country that has 265 different kinds of cheese.
Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Silence is the ultimate weapon of power. Power
Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.
The graveyards are full of indispensable men.
The leader must aim high, see big, judge widely, thus setting himself apart form the ordinary people who debate in narrow confines.
The sword is the axis of the world and its power is absolute. Power
The true statesman is the one who is willing to take risks.
There can be no prestige without mystery, for familiarity breeds contempt.
Treaties, you see, are like girls and roses; they last while they last.
We are not here to laugh.
When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. We are angry at each other much of the time. Time
When I want to know what France thinks, I ask myself.
You have to be fast on your feet and adaptive or else a strategy is useless.
You start out giving your hat, then you give your coat, then your shirt, then your skin and finally your soul.
You'll live. Only the best get killed.