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

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Was England considered a “colony” of France?

After the "Norman conquest of England", many things including languages, the ways of life, etc. have changed a lot in Europe. Especially it affected the English language significantly that a lot of ...
2
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2answers
176 views

Why has Hatutu's population never returned to the island?

Any info on this topic is scarce and hard to find. Hatutu is an island in French Polynesia, part of the Marquesas Islands group. The population was evacuated (I believe) prior to the underwater ...
13
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2answers
543 views

Were there elections in France under the absolute monarchy?

I was wondering, if any elections allowed in France during the period of absolutism. In the Middle age, people with civil and political rights were allowed to elect some kind of city council (also in ...
95
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9answers
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Why was France granted an equal status among victors of World War II?

How is it that France emerged from World War II with a similar status as the U.S.A., Britain, the Soviet Union, and China in terms of possession of a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, ...
9
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3answers
539 views

How did the First French Empire and allies differ from the other European monarchies at that time?

During the Napoleonic Wars (especially towards the end), France and most of its allies (e.g. Kingdom of Italy, Duchy of Warsaw, Kingdom of Spain) are absolute monarchies. However, they seemed to ...
7
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1answer
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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 ...
2
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1answer
77 views

What alternatives to working was proposed in Paris during May, 1968? [closed]

What ideas for alternatives to work, or a society where people work to survive, did people have during May 1968 in Paris? How could that society function and how could people feed themselves? I've ...
6
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1answer
234 views

Ports Used by French Navy in 1792 and Strength of Fleet

I am currently writing series of young adult novels about the European Conflicts beginning in 1792. Where were the major and minor French Navy ports and yards, and what was the relative strength of ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Why does the UK buy some of its major military hardware from the USA while France is self-reliant?

UK: Trident missile. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. AgustaWestland Apache Boeing E-3 Sentry. Raytheon Sentinel some other examples In contrast, France isn't nearly as reliant on USA. Why did ...
8
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1answer
449 views

What was the reaction to English monarchs using the title “King of France”?

After the Hundred Years War (or "wars") the English had been wiped off France, but English monarchs kept using their official title "King of France". As I understand, this was to legalize their claims ...
12
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4answers
3k views

Why did the French insist on reclaiming Indo-China after WWII?

After WWII France was in rebuilding mode, and yet they insisted on trying to reclaim Indo-China. It would seem that in the new world order this did not make much sense for a country that was trying to ...
3
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0answers
2k views

Why does the rooster symbolise France? [closed]

The Gallic Rooster is widely used as a symbol of France. However, there are a number of conflicting sources on how it originated. The French embassy in the USA states that the rooster originated ...
0
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2answers
151 views

When was the first secular society?

When was the first attempt to create a secular society? (a society that was intentionally separate from religion). Was the French Revolution the first to discard religion as an legitimizing force and ...
6
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1answer
94 views

Diaries or writings of Cathar Perfecti in 12th Century France

The Cathars were a Gnostic sect of southern (Languedoc) France in the 12th Century. "Perfecti" were individuals in the sect who followed the most extremely austere lives, renouncing worldly pleasures ...
7
votes
2answers
770 views

What was the average size of French families during the Middle Ages?

My question takes place in at the beginning of the middle-ages in France. Let's focus on small villages and ordinary people (peasants, craftsmen, etc.). I would like to know how many people used to ...
14
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3answers
317 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807

who were the presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807? the French wiki only has an undated list of names (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribunat): Pierre Daunou Jean-Nicolas Démeunier ...
6
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1answer
148 views

How did the French word 'familier' become associated with the concept of Magical Familiars, historically?

How did the word 'familier' (French) become associated with the concept of Magical Familiars, historically? Or do we not know? Proof for the concept being from French, first.
10
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7answers
1k views

Painting of a French man in a red jacket around 1850, who is this man?

This is a painting from near 1850 that depicts a (famous) French man, possibly noble, in a park, maybe Paris. Is he a Minister? King? Military? Whoever he might be, I consider he is important, since ...
4
votes
2answers
450 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) ...
10
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2answers
495 views

Why was Germany unified in Versailles not Berlin?

Why did Wilhelm I (or Bismarck) decide to perform official Germany unification in France? In my opinion, if the ceremonial was to honour the Prussian king and be a tribute or allegiance to him, it ...
8
votes
1answer
672 views

What was the need to call the Estates-General of 1789?

I read that in France at the time of the French revolution, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his will alone. Rather he had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would ...
24
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3answers
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Why wasn't Monaco unified with France?

Why wasn't Monaco unified with the Kingdom/Republic of France during the unification? I understand France used to be a very decentralized kingdom with many areas ruled by vassal or smaller rulers, and ...
3
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0answers
114 views

What were the names of the weapon manufacturers in France in the late 1700's

What were the names of the companies that manufactured hand weapons in France in the late 1700's and who were the most productive.
1
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0answers
174 views

What does the case of Louis Napoleon tell us about the passport regime in 1830s Europe? [closed]

Here is a more specific question about passports and borders. The Wikipedia entry on passports describes how for several decades leading up to WWI, the system for checking travelers' identities when ...
17
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3answers
1k 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 ...
3
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2answers
593 views

How did Napoleon I succeed in France despite his shortcomings in French?

TL;DR. My question: The following sources onfirm that despite Napoleon's industry and perseverance, he never refined his French to the level of a native fluent speaker. So how did he succeed in France,...
2
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2answers
761 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
532 views

What were French actions against Germany during September 1939?

In Poland "Phoney war" is treated as betrayal by UK and France, who only declared war against Germany and did not perform any other actions. This combined with Soviet attack on 17th September is said ...
3
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4answers
450 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 ...
5
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1answer
302 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 ...
2
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2answers
596 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?
2
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0answers
65 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): ...
3
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
1
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1answer
173 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?
45
votes
10answers
11k views

Why didn't France and UK invade Germany September 3rd 1939?

On September 3rd 1939, when UK and France declared war on Germany, both ordinary Polish people and government officials became enthusiastic. There were spontaneous demonstrations of support for the ...
4
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1answer
341 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 ...
14
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2answers
882 views

What happened to all the french guillotines?

Quoting Wikipedia: "The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer ...
4
votes
1answer
902 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 ...
2
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1answer
864 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?
-1
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1answer
596 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 ...
5
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0answers
342 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 ...
9
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2answers
367 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 ...
4
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1answer
513 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
648 views

How did Napoleon evade the British fleet and return to France?

After the defeat of the French fleet off the coast of Egypt in 1798, Napoleon's army was cut off in a far away and hostile country. One year later, after eluding the British fleet, he made it safely ...
2
votes
2answers
282 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 ...
4
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1answer
1k 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 ...
18
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1answer
1k views

What effect did the Attack on Mers-el-Kébir have on Great Britain's international relations during WW2?

The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir/Battle of Mers-el-Kébir was an action that took part between the Royal Navy and the French Navy on July 3rd 1940 that was a result of Winston Churchill ordering that the ...
4
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3answers
235 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 ...
13
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3answers
1k views

What was the foreign policy of 1791 France?

Having done some research on my own had yielded little to no results on pre-radical revolutionary France regarding foreign policy. I am specifically looking for arguments during the constitutional ...