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This paper examines the role of Pierre Mendès France in the decision of the French National Assembly to reject the European Defense Community (EDC) proposed by René Pleven in October 1950 and signed by the [Antoine] Pinay government in 1952. Since the signing of the EDC treaty in 1952, successive governments of the Fourth Republic delayed action on ratification of the treaty until 1954 when Mendès France assumed the office of prime minister and, acting against conventional wisdom, forced the National Assembly to vote on it. The EDC was a collective attempt by western European powers, with the full support of the United States, to counterbalance the overwhelming conventional military ascendancy of the Soviet Union in Europe by forming a supranational European army. This collective security plan had its origins in the French government of René Pleven in 1950. Why the French signed the treaty establishing the EDC two years later in 1952, and then rejected it in 1954 after four years of debate, is of central concern to this paper, which explores the intersection and interplay of various factors that contributed to the negative French vote.