Officially the French Republic is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands

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Everyday Life in Vichy France

I never really thought much about this, sort of brushing it off as "France, no war really" (yes, dumb, mindless, unconscious) as one would Spain or Switzerland, while studying the rest of the Reich ...
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615 views

Why did the French nobility adopt Calvinism?

The Wikipedia article on the French Wars of Religion) says that the Calvinist form of Protestantism, in particular, spread into the nobility. Now, I'd like to know why is that, and not Lutheranism for ...
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172 views

France vs Germany in 1940: equipment vs. organization [closed]

Many times I heard that in 1940 France had more tanks than Germany and that French tanks were better than German ones. Is it indeed so? What about airplanes?
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43 views

What is the usage of a small wash-house in Versailles during Louis XIV times?

I was searching for the usage of a small construction on the edge of the Versailles Castle gardens (the stone thing on the left on the picture below, one of the gates (Saint-Antoine) is on the right): ...
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2answers
91 views

Napoleon's exploits in 1785

Napoleon Bonaparte being commissioned Second Lieutenant at the age 17 in French Artillery, returned to Corsica. Given his French Allegiance, why did he join the resistance movement while still ...
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1answer
102 views

Napoleon's Height [duplicate]

I have heard from some scholars that Napoleon was actually average sized. The only reason everyone thinks he is short is because of the difference in English inches and French inches. Is this true?
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80 views

What happened to the french overseas colonies during the beginning of the french revolution?

While I understand that Paris and then most of France got swept up in revolutionary fervor. What happened in its far flung colonies, such as the Antilles, India, North America, Africa and even ...
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479 views

John the Fearless: John I or John II? Can the French and the English agree?

I am comparing the English and French wikipedia articles about John the Fearless: The English article has him as "John II of Burgundy" while the French article says he's John I of Burgundy: ...
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1answer
520 views

Flag of Paris: Why blue and red?

The flag of Paris is blue and red. What was the red chosen for? What was the blue chosen for? I have heard that blue identified with Saint Martin, and red with Saint Denis, but the Wikipedia pages ...
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1answer
206 views

What happened to the French soldiers evacuated at Dunkirk and elsewhere in 1940?

How many of them fought on in the Free French Forces and how many of them simply repatriated back to France?
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167 views

Did Jaques Chirac say “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power”?

This article claims that Jaques Chirac stated in March 2008: “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power” This is significant because it implies France is ...
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163 views

Was Napoleon's own strategy the cause of his downfall? [closed]

I've been reading Rothenburg's The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon and Parker's Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800, and while I realize there were a ...
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5k views

Why did Great Britain switch alliances to France?

England (and it's succeeding states) were at war with France for close to 1000 years. First it was over land, then they competed over religion, then they competed over colonies. For much of that ...
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1answer
122 views

Why would Cavour ally with France instead of any enemy of Austria that wasn't looking to grab Nice and Savoy?

In 1858 during Italian unification, the Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont, Cavour, entered into an alliance with France. In return for French aid against Austria, Cavour ceded Savoy and Nice to ...
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1answer
142 views

Did De Gaulle really say “I am France” (Je suis la France)?

My great grandpa always told me WWII stories and he always told me De Gaulle said that, however, I can't find any reliable source for it. I have a book stating that supposedly he wrote that in a ...
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298 views

What is the current location of the “Cauldron of Trun and Chambios” from August 1944?

I am trying to document my grandfather's participation in World War II, and have come across a letter written by a German military official informing my grandfather's parents that their son is missing ...
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2answers
197 views

Were there any Frankish/French kings who probably had no extramarital sexual relations?

I was listening to Dan Carlin's podcast about the start of Merovingian dynasty, and he made a snide quip about the early Merovingians (starting with Clovis) and even Carolingians not exactly being ...
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1answer
331 views

When did the French Revolution end?

Is there a consensus among historians on when the regarding when the French Revolution ended? Google results including Wikipedia names Napoleon's coup d'etat in 1799 as the end of the French ...
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155 views

Did the USSR have a more positive relationship with France than other west european countries after 1945?

France and the USSR were allies before World War 2. A number of things intervened before then and 1945, not limited to the war itself. After the war, did Soviet officials publicly (or privately) ...
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368 views

What did the nobles do after the French Revolution?

After the French Revolution, the privileges of the aristocracy were abolished. Some nobles were executed, others migrated, but what happened to those who stayed in France? Did they live off what ...
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1answer
367 views

Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch's strange title

The title of Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch, seems odd to me. It was acquired by his father Jean II de Grailly (so it was passed down from father to son like other titles of nobility): Jean ...
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132 views

Curious office hours of Topographical Bureau where Napoleon served in 1795?

In his new biography Napoleon the Great Andrew Roberts reports about Napoleon's stint in the Historical and Topographical Bureau of the war ministry in Paris between mid-August and early October 1795. ...
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4answers
1k views

Why did the Allies let Hitler break the Treaty of Versailles?

I was reading about what led up to ww2 and I noticed that Hitler broke several of the agreements in the Treaty of Versailles such as getting a army of more than 100000 men. I was wondering why the ...
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3answers
130 views

Why was Anne of Austria so called?

She was a Spanish princess by birth. So why is she called "of Austria"? Is it because her mother was an Austrian princess? But presumably, it should be the person's place of birth that gives them ...
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45 views

Sales of books of Rousseau in Versailles

I am currently comparing the sales of books by Rousseau and Voltaire in the city of Versailles, and I noticed a very important peak in sales of books by Rousseau in 1781. I was wondering if anyone ...
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2answers
327 views

Was either side legally in the right in the Hundred Years War?

Legalistically speaking which side was right in the Hundred Years War. My view is that the Salic law combined with the principle that nobody can transmit a right greater than he himself can possess ...
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180 views

US Army stations in France during World war 2

My grandpa served in World War 2 as a technical Sergeant for the Signal corps (414 signal company). He kept a very extensive list of everywhere he traveled and I'm trying to put together a map of all ...
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253 views

Did Napoleon write an elegy to Imam Hussain?

In this YouTube video, noted Pakistani scholar, Allama Zamir Akhtar Naqvi claims (in Urdu) that Napoleon wrote a letter or poem in honour of the historical figure Imam Hussain, during a war between ...
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95 views

Contemporary objections to the Bill of Rights's 1st Amendment / Declaration of the Rights of Man, art. 10? [closed]

What were the objections to the Bill of Rights's 1st Amendment when it was first published? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise ...
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1answer
76 views

What was the judicial body in 16th century France called?

I was listening to a series of audio lectures on Religious wars in Europe. In the lecture on French wars of religion, there was a mention of a judicial authority in Paris. However, I couldn't catch ...
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415 views

Jewish King of Narbonne

In today's edition of Le Monde, Marek Halter mentions something about Jewish Kings in Carolingian France, recognized by Charlemagne. Probably using Arthur Zuckerman 'Jewish Kingdom in feudal France' ...
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447 views

Why are the “Three Musketeers” called musketeers?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Musketeers_%281987_TV_series%29 They fight with sabres all the time. No musket. So why?
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4answers
312 views

Why are only the Normandy landings referred to as D-Day?

Thinking about the anniversary of the Normandy landings, I was struck that the terms D-Day and H-hour were used to denote the start time of all allied military operations. Are there any specific ...
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231 views

What is the ancestry of the Robertians, progenitors of the Bourbon dynasty?

The countries Spain and Luxembourg are currently ruled by kings from the House of Bourbon, so I thought I'd try to trace their (patrilineal) ancestry as far back as possible. Well, the Bourbons are ...
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1answer
155 views

Were commandos brought in to break the Grand Mosque siege French or Pakistani?

In December 1979 some miscreants occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca. I have read the Wikipedia article regarding this, but i am still unclear who broke this siege. Were they Pakistan army commandos or ...
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1answer
129 views

Moving day in Paris, France in the 19th century

Is it true that rental agreements or leases in Paris France all used to start/end on the same day? I think this would have been in the mid/late 19th century or earlier. I know Quebec, Canada had a ...
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1answer
94 views

Furniture van in 1848 France

In Alistair Horne's Seven Ages of Paris, he gives a description of France's revolution in June of 1848. He says, Killed, too, were no fewer than five of Cavaignac's generals, as well as hundreds ...
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236 views

Tricolore: Why have the colors been chosen that way?

The French flag, the Tricolour, was installed as France's national flag shortly after the Revolution in 1790. Its colors are Red and Blue - which are the colors of the flag of Paris - and White - ...
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123 views

How much did it cost to maintain Gustavus Adolphus' army? How much of it was paid by Richelieu?

I know that Cardinal Richelieu subsidized a large portion of Gustavus Adolphus' Protestant forces during the 30 Year War - despite France, ironically, being a Catholic power (citation obviously ...
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1k views

What is the equivalent in France of the “Victorian era”?

By Victorian era I mean the moral rigidity and the dominance of the bourgeoisie. We had the same culture in France but I can't find the proper term to phrase it. For example how would you translate ...
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251 views

Why did France make an alliance with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the 1850's?

It is clear why Cavour wanted the alliance, but what benefits would France have from allying itself to a relatively weak (as far as I know) kingdom?
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55 views

Quesnay, Adam Smith, and Pitt

I am now reading the book Decadent Societies by R.M. Adams and on pp.66-7 he writes: Quesnay's ideas, which fell on stony ground in France, showed their basic vitality when picked up by Adam ...
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1answer
183 views

Who were the “tyrants” that Charles Martel “crushed”?

The second chapter of Einhard says: It was this Charles that crushed the tyrants who claimed to rule the whole Frank land as their own, and that utterly routed the Saracens, when they ...
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922 views

“More Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War”?

True or false? This is claimed by Andrew Roberts in The Storm of War. Quote: As more Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War, it is unsurprising that ...
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2answers
380 views

Legacy of the May 1968 Paris riots

As you may be well aware, France has had a notable number of riots, uprisings and revolutions in the last 250 years or so. I believe it the Fifth-Republic has been in existence for approximately 50 ...
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3answers
538 views

Who were the traders involved in the triangular slave trade? [closed]

There is currently a big polemic in French news media about antisemitism. A French comedian is accused to propagate antisemitic ideas in France. I have no intention to propagate this polemic on this ...
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1answer
173 views

Civilians in Napoleon's Grand Army when he invaded Russia

It is fairly well documented that Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in 1812 was somewhat slowed by the large amounts of civilians following the army. My question is - where did these civilians come from ...
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1answer
176 views

Is there support for the theory that the 1918 influenza resulted from churning up microbe-laden French soil?

Margaret MacMillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 contains the following: In the first years of the peace, fresh afflictions fell on European society: the influenza epidemic ...
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1answer
373 views

What mistake did abbot [Jacques?] Delille make when eating an egg at the Court of Louis XVI?

Stendhal's Scarlet and Black has a curious passage where the main character observes that even the eating of a boiled egg "reveals the progress one has made in the godly life" To support this it ...
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457 views

Did the French Revolution help produce French military “elan?”

In earlier wars against the British and Germans (e.g. the Seven Years' War of 1756-1763), French armies did not particularly distinguish themselves, even with a numerical advantage. Yet during the ...