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Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (French: [ʃaʁl də ɡol] ( listen); 22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French general, resistant, writer and politician. He was the leader of Free France (1940–44) and the head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–46).
In 1958, he founded the Fifth Republic and was elected as the 18th President of France, until his resignation in 1969. He was the dominant figure of France during the later Cold War era. De Gaulle was accused of putting French national interests ahead of the rest of the world. Nationalism can be bad.
[De Gaulle] sanctioned the development of nuclear weapons, withdrew France from NATO and vetoed the entry of Britain into the Common Market. He also granted independence to Algeria in the face of strong opposition at home and from French settlers in Algeria.
In May 1968, violent demonstrations by university students shook de Gaulle's government. A general strike followed, paralysing France and jeopardising the Fifth Republic. De Gaulle held elections and the country rallied to him, ending the crisis. In April 1969, De Gaulle resigned the presidency after losing a referendum on a reform proposal. 
Includes material from Wikipedia