5 May 2023

What is May 68? – What happened and why is it an important date

By Donald

During the month of May 1968 the student society of Paris began a strike at the Sorbonne that achieved great advances in the rights of workers. This article explains what happened on that date and how important it was to the world. In the same way, the causes that led people to express their wishes in the streets and the consequences that these events produced are mentioned.

Strikes and revolutions achieved great social advances in workers’ rights. That is why the demonstrations of the people have such relevance in the economic and social development of a country. So, this article explains what represented the month of may 1968 and the consequences it had for French society. In the same way, the objectives of this strike and the causes that originated it are listed.

What happened in May 1968?

In May 1968, one of the most important events for the working society of France occurred. An event in which both the students and the French proletariat benefited due to the great pressure exerted on the government shift. It is also known as the French May, thanks to the global impact of this famous strike.

During May 1968 a set of student protests of a university nature, however, later became union strikes. These protests were held at the Sorbonne, Paris, France and lasted until June of the same year.

In principle it was about student protests that were against the sexual segregation and authoritarianism of the University. In the same way, the strikes showed their discontent against capitalism and the consumer society in France. However, as the days progressed, the labor unions and political parties joined the fight, although with different objectives.

This is how the largest demonstration in the history of France took place, which brought together 9 million workers. A strike in which the government of charles de gaulle was threatened, despite the fact that this was not a stated goal. In addition, these protests caused the population of Spain, the United States, Argentina, Switzerland, Italy and other countries to rise up as well.

What were the causes of the French May 68?

The great demonstration of May 1968 was developed by a mass social outbreak, however, all these people were not protesting for the same reasons. In this sense, each social sector had its own reasons to raise its voice against the policies that the French government practiced. University students were the first to take to the streets as a result of the sex segregation.

These students considered that the universities practiced authoritarianism, since they did not allow men and women to circulate near the dormitories of the opposite sex. In the same way, young people demanded the participation of the government in the Vietnam War.

However, the workers in the economic sector also had their causes to go on strike. Well, a year before the start of the demonstration, a small economic crisis developed in which many people were made redundant. The number reached 500 thousand people and a new strike like the one carried out by the miners’ union was expected.

Likewise, in the political sphere the importance and popularity of left-wing movements began to rise. Well, the world began to question whether the bourgeoisie that the United States practiced was the correct way to govern. These ideas arose from the ideas embodied by the marxist thought and the different revolutions that happened in some countries like Cuba.

What objective did May 68 have?

In May 1968, the discontent of French society in general could be observed, but each group had a different objective. In this sense, the objective of the university students was to specify a greater integration of people in social spaces. Thus, one of the things they demanded was the elimination of the rules that prevented sharing between men and women.

Similarly, the student union protested for greater freedoms in privacy from each person. Since, the regulations in educational institutions were very restrictive.

The workers’ union had the objective of reducing working hours. At that time, French civilization had a motto that said ‘take the metro, work and come back to sleep’. Which, alluded to the routine that people had before the long working hoursIn addition, they demanded an increase in their income.

For its part, the French communist party tried to win supporters and downplay the right movement. So, they exposed that the government of Charles de Gaulle practiced excessive capitalism. So, they spread the ideas of Marx through the Sorbonne and in Paris in general.

What were the consequences of May 1968?

The great strike of May 1968 was considered a failed proposal, since it did not obtain immediate responses to the discomfort that the demonstrations caused. However, the consequences began to appear from 1969, when the agreements were signed. Grenelle Accords. At first, a project to decentralize the State was attempted, where the president held a plebiscite in which the option of did not win. This led to the resignation of Charles de Gaulle as President of France.

The students obtained the possibility of electing student representatives, who could have a voice and vote in the councils of the faculties. The worker sector received a 35% increase in their salaries, in addition to the reduction of hours in the working day. Likewise, working days were also reduced and the number of vacation days was increased. In the same way, the union for workers within the companies was opened so that the people who make it up would watch over the rights of others.