France's new rulers at the Liberation promised a decisive break with both the wartime Vichy regime and the pre-war Third Republic. There were indeed fresh departures - but alongside messy, unplanned continuities and false starts. The 'new' Fourth Republic resembled the Third (but contained some seeds of the Fifth). Elites were purged, yet politicians from the Resistance were still held back by established party figures. Catholics embraced the ideals of the Republic and Resistance, until called to order by the Church hierarchy. Women won the vote, but still lacked full civil rights. France's empire, promised a new deal, was subjected to repression. Radical economic reforms were accommodated within a neo-capitalist framework. Reluctantly aligned with the West, France maintained uneasy relations with her 'Anglo-Saxon' allies.Prepared by an international team of specialists, The Uncertain Foundation analyses a complex and defining period of regime change, economic renewal, social transformation, and adjustment to a fast-evolving world.

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