France is the largest country in Western Europe. However, it is Europe’s third-largest country, after only Ukraine and the European portion of Russia. Forest covers over one-third of its land area, making it the EU’s fourth most forested country.

The country is also referred to as ‘L hexagon’, which means the hexagon, or a six-sided shape, due to its six-sided shape omitting its foreign territories. It borders Germany and Belgium in the north, the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and the Pyrenees Mountains and Spain in the south.

Explore the complete list of French presidents

Knowing about French presidents can help you learn about the political history of the region. If you are a student facing difficulties in learning French, this post will surely increase your interest in France and the French language as a whole.

French presidents: Office details and list

Before we get into the list of French presidents, let’s explore some important details about the office of the French president.

About the office of the French president

  • The President of France is the head of state in France.
  • He is also in charge of the executive.
  • He also serves as the commander-in-chief of the French Armed Forces.
  • The President of France serves as Andorra’s ex officio co-prince, as well as the grandmaster of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit.
  • The French presidency was introduced during the July Revolution of 1830 when it was originally offered to the Marquis de Lafayette.
  • After 18 years, the Second Republic introduced the title of elected head of state, for which Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was chosen for the first time, prompting the 1851 self-coup to subsequently proclaim himself emperor as Napoleon III.
  • Following Napoleon III’s death, a republican administration was reestablished in 1870 as part of the Third Republic. A referendum held in 1962 under the Fifth Republic at the request of President Charles de Gaulle and the election of the president of France changed the electoral college to a popular vote. Since then, twelve presidential elections have taken place.
  • Emmanuel Macron is the 25th and current officeholder. He is in this post since May 14, 2017.
Find the details of five republics of France

List of French presidents

Second Republic (1848–52)
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (1848–52)
Third Republic (1870–1940)
Adolphe Thiers (1871–73)
Patrice de Mac-Mahon (1873–79)
Jules Grévy (1879–87)
Sadi Carnot (1887–94)
Jean Casimir-Périer (1894–95)
Félix Faure (1895–99)
Émile Loubet (1899–1906)
Armand Fallières (1906–13)
Raymond Poincaré (1913–20)
Paul Deschanel (1920)
Alexandre Millerand (1920–24)
Gaston Doumergue (1924–31)
Paul Doumer (1931–32)
Albert Lebrun (1932–40)
Fourth Republic (1946–58)
Vincent Auriol (1947–54)
René Coty (1954–59)
Fifth Republic (1958– Incumbent)
Charles de Gaulle (1959–69)
Georges Pompidou (1969–74)
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1974–81)
François Mitterrand (1981–95)
Jacques Chirac (1995–2007)
Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–12)
François Hollande (2012–17)
Emmanuel Macron (2017–Incumbent) 
Emmanuel Macron

To become good at French, you must look for ways to boost your interest in the language. Explore the details about these French presidents to know about their services during their tenure. You can also take advantage of different French learning books to boost your French knowledge.

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Frequently asked questions

How long is a French president’s term?

Since 2002, the term of a French president is five years. It was previously seven years.

How is the French president elected?

The French president is elected through a two-round popular vote system. If no candidate receives an absolute majority in the first round, a second round is held between the top two candidates.

How is the French president’s power limited?

The French president’s power is limited by the Constitution, which establishes a semi-presidential system where the president shares executive power with the prime minister. The president’s actions are also subject to oversight by parliament and the judiciary.


French presidents have played a crucial role in shaping France’s political landscape and history. From Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte to Emmanuel Macron, each president has left their mark on the country, influencing policies, international relations, and domestic affairs. Exploring their services can help you understand the region well.

We also recommend you book lessons with italki. Improve your vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar with the help of tutors. Take your first step towards French fluency. 

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