De Gaulle, Charles

[ (di gohl, di gawl) ]

A French political leader and general of the twentieth century. De Gaulle headed the Free French Resistance to the Nazis in World War II and served briefly as president of France after the Nazis were driven out. He was called back as president in the 1950s under a new constitution that he himself specified. In office, he solved the crisis over Algeria that was dividing the country. He also made aggressive moves to strengthen France's international position, such as acquiring nuclear weapons. De Gaulle was known for his grand and imperious manner.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.