-The National Convention met in September 1792 and voted to abolish the monarchy immediately and establish a republic. It proceeded to try Louis XVI for treason, convicted him, and executed him on January 21, 1793. During this time, counter revolutionary revolts broke out in rural areas such as the Vendée, and the military situation continued to deteriorate.
However, the French people who overthrew Louis XIV in the revolution soon found themselves faced with yet another dictator. A victorious officer in war, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself as emperor of France and revoked the republic. In 1848, the French people through another revolution established the Second Republic, Napoleon became the president, but he betrayed and a limited monarchy was restored until 1871, when the Third Republic was founded and lasted until World War I which ravaged the country’s northern regions. Following Nazi Germanys invasion of France during World War II, the collaborationist Vichy regime gained rule in France. Liberated by Allied and the Free French forces in 1944, France restored a parliamentary democracy under the Fourth Republic. A costly war in Indochina and rising nationalism in French colonies during the 1950s overwhelmed the Fourth Republic. The Fifth Republic was established in 1958 under Charles de Gaulle, who presided over the dissolution of most of France’s overseas colonies. In 1981 France elected its first socialist president, François Mitterrand. From 1986 through the beginning of the 21st century, France balanced a form of divided government known as “cohabitation”, with a president and prime minister from different political parties.